Finalists announced for the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

The ‘Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa’ have been announced and it’s a strong group of 2019 Tui finalists!

Kiwi hip hop artist Tom Scott’s jazz-inspired hip hop project Avantdale Bowling Club was three years in the making, but only took one week to reach #1 in the NZ Album Charts.  Described by Tom as ‘a self-help book addressed to myself’, this self-titled debut is up for three Tui at this year’s awards including:

  • THREE Best Solo Artist
  • Best Hip Hop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa
  • Album of the Year

The next wave of New Zealand hip hop is well represented with teenagers Church & AP. After releasing their debut EP Cathedral / All Purpose in April, the Auckland boys have become the local duo to watch. Their track ‘Ready or Not’ is nominated for Single of the Year, and the two are in the running for

  • Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year
  • Best Hip Hop Artist

Troy Kingi’s mission to create 10 albums in 10 years continues with the release of his 3rd instalment Holy Colony Burning Acres, a deeply personal and spiritual examination of the plight of First Nations peoples around the world. A 2018 winner of the Best Soul/RnB and Best Māori Artist Tui, Troy Kingi & The Upperclass are up for:

  • Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist | Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa
  • Best Roots Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa

Founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad and Stu, L.A.B. have established a name for themselves as a cornerstone of the Kiwi summer circuit. Their unique blend of soulful-rock and electronic-funk continues on their second album L.A.B II and after being released this year, the band are finalists for:

  • Best Group
  • Best Roots Artist.

Wellington singer songwriter Louis Baker has been releasing music since 2013, but his 2019 debut album Open has propelled him into the mainstream eye – and for good reason. This collection of songs hones Baker’s neo-soul sound and sees him up for:

  • Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist
  • Best Soul/RnB Artist | Te Kaipuro Awe Toa.

“We have a phenomenal music scene here Aotearoa, a real community that encourages and fosters development and growth, and now we see these artists and their music finding audiences and success overseas, across streaming services throughout the world. It makes me proud to be a part of the ever-evolving and growing Kiwi music industry.”

-Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan


VNZMA 2019 Finalists (by category)

Album of the Year | Te Pukaemi o te Tau

  • Aldous Harding – Designer
  • Avantdale Bowling Club – Avantdale Bowling Club
  • The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
  • Broods – Don’t Feed The Pop Monster
  • Mitch James – Mitch James
  • Marlon Williams – Live at Auckland Town Hall

Vodafone Single of the Year | Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau

  • Aldous Harding – ‘The Barrell’
  • BENEE – ‘Soaked’
  • The Beths – ‘Little Death’
  • Church & AP – ‘Ready or Not’
  • Drax Project – ‘All This Time’
  • Six60 – ‘The Greatest’

Best Group | Te Roopu Toa

  • Beastwars – IV
  • The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
  • Broods – Don’t Feed The Pop Monster
  • L.A.B. – L.A.B. II

THREE Best Solo Artist | Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa

  • Aldous Harding – Designer
  • Avantdale Bowling Club – Avantdale Bowling Club
  • BENEE – FIRE ON MARZZ
  • Mitch James – Mitch James

Smirnoff Breakthrough Artist of the Year | Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te TauBAYNK

  • BENEE
  • The Beths
  • Church & AP

Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist | Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa

  • Louis Baker
  • Rei
  • Troy Kingi

The Edge Best Pop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa

  • BENEE
  • Broods
  • Mitch James

Best Alternative Artist | Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa

  • Aldous Harding
  • The Beths
  • Tiny Ruins

Best Soul/RnB Artist | Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa

  • Bailey Wiley
  • Louis Baker
  • Rei

Best Hip Hop Artist | Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa

  • Avantdale Bowling Club
  • Church & AP
  • Diggy Dupè

Best Roots Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa

  • L.A.B
  • Lost Tribe Aotearoa
  • Troy Kingi

Best Electronic Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa

  • Pacific Heights
  • Sweet Mix Kids
  • TALI

Best Rock Artist | Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa

  • Beastwars
  • Racing
  • Villainy

Best Worship Artist | Te Kaipuoro Kairangi Toa

  • Equippers Worship
  • Harbourside Worship
  • Jules Riding

Best Classical Artist | Te Kaipuoro Inamata Toa

  • The Linkwood Guitar Duo
  • Michael Houstoun & Bella Hristova
  • Simon O’Neill

Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga

All finalists are eligible for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award | Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga, which will be announced on the night. Voting for the Vodafone People’s Choice Award will be opening soon to the public.

Music Teacher of the Year | Kaiārahi Puoro o te Tau

  • Duncan Ferguson – St Andrews College, Christchurch
  • Jane Egan – Gisborne Girls High School, Gisborne
  • Sue Banham – Rosehill College, Papakura, Auckland

Legacy Award | Tohu Whakareretanga

  • Th’ Dudes

Highest Selling Artist/Te Toa Hoko Teitei

Will be announced on the night

NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year | Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau

Will be announced on the night

International Achievement | Tohu Tutuki o te Ao

Will be announced on the night

Additional Tuis presented in 2019
Best Folk Artist | Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa
Winner: The Frank Burkitt Band – Raconteur
Great North – The Golden Age
Jono Heyes – 9 Pilgrims

Best Pacific Music Album | Te Pukaemi Toa o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa
Winner: Tomorrow People – BBQ Reggae
Kings – Lov3 & 3go
SWIDT – The Most Electrifying

Best Country Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa
Winner: Jenny Mitchell – Wildfires
Jamie McDell – Extraordinary Girl
Tami Neilson – Sassafrass!

Best Jazz Artist | Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa
Winner: GRG67 – The Thing
Antipodes – Good Winter
Dog – No Dogs Allowed

Best Children’s Artist | Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa
Winner: Craig Smith – Not Just For Kids 2
Marian Burns – Songs For Kids
Anna van Riel – Fishing For Stars


The ‘Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards | Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa will be broadcast live on THREE on 14 November from 8.30pm. General public tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Key dates for 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards:

  • Thursday 10th October – Artisan Awards finalist announcement presented by Massey University
  • Thursday 24 October – This year’s Tui artist announcement
  • Tuesday 29th October – Saturday 9th November
    Tui Music Series at Roundhead Studios, Auckland and SAE Creative Media Institute, Auckland
  • Monday 4th November – Artisan Awards, presented by Massey University at Massey Campus Wellington
  • Friday 8th November – NZ Music T-Shirt Day
  • Thursday 14th November – Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (Spark Arena)

Follow the Awards news online: www.nzmusicawards.co.nz @VNZMA and use the official hashtags #VNZMA and #VNZMAs

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