Independent Music NZ announces the 2022 recipient of the Classic Record which aims to acknowledge Aotearoa New Zealand's rich history of making fine albums that continue to inspire us and define who we are.
This annual award acknowledges one Aotearoa New Zealand record released over 20 years ago on an independent label. Whether a 12”, a compilation, EP, or full-length album, these records have become quintessential gold nuggets of our musical history. Like the Taite Music Prize main prize the Classic Record is a critically judged award for originality considering the artistic merit, creativity, innovation and excellence of an album in its entirety irrespective of album sales, artist popularity, previous awards or international achievements.
This year's judging panel has recognised the 1994 New Zealand album; PROUD - An Urban-Pacific Streetsoul Compilation. Encapsulating and showcasing the incredible talent of young artists from South and West Auckland that were yet to come into mainstream consciousness, producer Alan Jansson worked with Tim Mahon (from Otara Music Arts Centre and Blam Blam Blam) and Phil Fuemana to bring in a range of artists representing the contemporary Māori and Pacifica music of the time. The result was the hugely influential 1994 compilation PROUD, featuring Sisters Underground, Pacifican Descendants, Semi MCs, MC Slam, Radio Backstab, DJ Payback, and Otara Millionaires Club.
In his book, 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, music writer and broadcaster Nick Bollinger wrote, “It was Jansson’s instinct to emphasise elements of the music that reflected the Pacifican background of the artists, and throughout the album one could hear log drums, ukuleles and the so-called ‘Māori strum’ which Jansson had first encountered at after-work parties on the building sites where he had worked as a teenager. The result was a sound uniquely New Zealand, and strikingly different from the R&B and hip-hop coming from anywhere else at the time.”
The most successful tunes off the compilation were Sisters Underground’s ‘In The Neighbourhood’ and ‘We R The OMC’ by The Otara Millionaires Club.
Jansson continued working with Pauly Fuemana, who had taken the OMC name after the group had split. Their collaboration eventually gave the world ‘How Bizarre’, described on British TV show Top Of The Pops as “the biggest song ever to come out of New Zealand”. ‘How Bizarre’ reached the Top 10 in 15 countries, and reached No.1 in many places, including Australia, NZ, Austria, Canada, Ireland and the United States.
Listen to PROUD - An Urban-Pacific Streetsoul Compilation
on Apple Music HERE or on Spotify HERE
The NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award is the first of its kind for Aotearoa New Zealand and comes with a $2500 cash prize. The ground-breaking addition to the Taite Music Prize for 2022 celebrates special individuals who made a creative contribution and significant impact with coverage of Aotearoa music in 2021. For the award’s inaugural year, finalists are shortlisted by the IMNZ board.
The finalists for the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism awards are:
- Undertheradar.co.nz – Editorial Team; Chris Cudby and Annabel Kean
- 'Aotearoa Hip Hop: The Music, The People, The History' - Podcast creators; DJ Sirvere and Martyn Pepperell
- RNZ Music’s The Sampler - Producer and journalist; Tony Stamp
- 95bFM’s Long Player “Milk III - Reuben Winter” episode - Producers; Jess Fu and Reuben Winter
IMNZ chairperson, Pippa Ryan-Kidd, says, “ The addition of the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism award is in the spirit of legendary broadcaster Dylan Taite and our wish to congratulate those who give media space to New Zealand music. We found the decision on finalists a difficult one as many dedicated individuals do much of this work purely out of passion with no recompense. Our criteria for this award is to highlight “creative contribution and significant impact” and our judges had to hone in on the best of the best under this guise. Our hope and aim is to encourage new and young writers to take up the voice that some of our leading music journalists have worked so hard to give a platform to over the years.
The Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award and the NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award will be presented at the official Taite Music Prize 2022 online ceremony on April 20th, 2022 broadcast via the IndependentMusicNZ YouTube Channel. More information to come.