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Reb Fountain Awarded Taite Music Prize 2021

Reb Fountain Awarded Taite Music Prize 2021

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Frances Carter / Wednesday 21st April, 2021 9:49AM

The twelfth annual Taite Music Prize was indeed a glitzy and glamorous occasion last night, returning to Tāmaki Makaurau's Q Theatre after necessarily switching to a livestream format for 2020's Covid-derailed ceremony. This year's awards felt reflective of the significant challenges faced by Aotearoa music industry over the past 12 months, acknowledged in MC Sarah Thomson's (95bFM) introductory speech. In many ways the public face of the Save Our Venues fundraising campaign to support independent venues across NZ during dire times for gigs, Reb Fountain was awarded the Taite Music Prize for her 2020 self-titled album, while representatives of the Whammy Bar community Na Noise took away the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award for their album Waiting For You, both up against stiff competition in an anyone-can-call-it kind of year. Notably, Na Noise drummer / keyboardist Christopher Varnham also has a Taite Prize under his belt for his work with Street Chant on their 2016 album Hauora.

Kicking off with a spectacular performance by Troy Kingi and band of 'Ethiopia' from his 2020 Taite Music Prize winning album with the Upperclass Holy Colony Burning Acres, attendees were also treated to a jaw-dropping live performance by Patea Māori Club of their 1983 te reo single 'Poi E', recognised for their groundbreaking work as this year's recipients of the IMNZ Classic Record Award. Presented to "a New Zealand person who assists our NZ musicians to grow and find their own unique pathways," this year's Independent Spirit Award was given to Pete Rainey and Glenn Common of Smokefree Rockquest, for their contribution to music through 33 years of encouraging young emerging Aotearoa artists to make their mark. Rounded off with a commanding Na Noise cover of Taite winner Reb Fountain's 'Faster', the 2021 presentation was a triumphant return following last year's uncertainties for our music community. Roving UTR reporters Annabel Kean and Chris Cudby were there documenting the event, interviewing winners and asking punters to "rotate for the Taites" — check out our Insta-stories over here for the full low down (better move fast before they vanish).

Dylan Pellett, General Manager Independent Music New Zealand said, "It’s astounding to me that we can celebrate together tonight and show off the talented artists that live and create in Aotearoa. What a privilege to present this event on behalf of our membership and the wider music community. Top work everyone!"

RNZ's Charlotte Ryan enthused: "Na Noise captured me with their psychedelic, hypnotizing guitars and vocals. Their sound and vibe remind me of bands from the past, singing cool pop songs with warped vocals and dark sonic undertones. Their debut was impressive, I'm excited to see what they do next."


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