Bespin take out 2015 NZ On Air Critics' Choice Prize

Bespin has been named as the winner of the NZ On Air Critics' Choice Prize in the 2015 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Artists New Gum Sarn, Bespin and Boycrush each performed a live set at the King's Arms Tavern in Auckland last night (Thursday 5 November) in front of a packed crowd and a panel of 10 music critics. The judges were tasked with selecting just one artist who they believe has the potential to become a future Tui award winner.

Auckland based Bespin took home the $10,000 recording and music video grant from NZ On Air following a lively set. Jonathan Lee from Bespin said "This is crazy. Thank you all so much. We're going to use this grant well and we're going to make a record out of it."

Now in its sixth year, The NZ On Air Critics' Choice Prize is designed to recognise and promote up-and-coming Kiwi music talent and potential future music awards winners. 

Previous shortlisted artists include The Naked and Famous and Homebrew while the likes of Kimbra, Sheep, Dog & Wolfand Randa have taken out the laurels.

"My congratulations go to all three acts who delivered exceptional performances," says Recorded Music NZ chief executive officer Damian Vaughan. "As always, the critics can only select one winner and Bespin is thoroughly deserving of this year's accolade."

NZ On Air music manager Brendan Smyth says: "The quality of this year's NZ On Air Critic's Choice Prize finalists is yet another reminder of the talent we have in our local industry. We look forward to following Bespin's promising career and seeing what they do with the NZ On Air grant."

In addition to recognition from top music industry experts andthe NZ On Air recording and music video grant, Bespin also gains professional guidance and advice from several music industry heavyweights. This includes meetings and mentoring sessions from Brent Eccles Entertainment Ltd, Entertainment Accounting Services Ltd and McLaughlin Law.

Bespin also receives a 12-month membership to the Music Managers Forum where they can attend seminars free of charge and also make use of one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Jonathan Lee, Alex Freer and Joel Beeby share an affinity for psychedelic grooves, ambient wash, and playing loud. The Auckland based three-piece is hard to categorise, with guitars somehow working into a psychedelic sound that seems to be entirely unique. Bespin played a set at Laneway 2015, and have recently released their debut EP ‘Osiris'.

Boycrush is the moniker of songwriter and producer Alistair Deverick. An accomplished drummer, his collection of demos led to an invitation to attend the respected Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid to launch his solo career. Boycrush has released a variety of tracks, best described as electro-pop, with the latest EP titled Girls On Top. 

New Gum Sarn
New Gum Sarn comprises Sophia Lawler-Dormer, Durham Fenwick, Dave Weir and Oscar Dowling and is inspired by the likes of Neil Young, Talk Talk and Television. 2015 has seen the group sign with Australian label Spunk Records and release a debut album ‘New Gold Mountain'.