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Monday, May 30, 2022

Anthony Tonnon wins the 2022 Taite Music Prize

Whanganui-based singer-songwriter Anthonie Tonnon won the 2022 Taite Music Prize last night, for his critically-acclaimed third album Leave 'Love Out of This', picking up a $12,500 cash prize into the bargain

The annual award, which honours outstanding music releases from the previous calendar year, was a live event again, presented at Auckland’s Q Theatre last night. Tonnon, fresh off a nationwide tour, won over nine other finalists, including Luke Buda and Reb Fountain.

In his acceptance speech he thanked his wife Karlya Smith, his parents and “people and places that this album belongs to”.  He said he wasn't expecting to win because the “quality of the other contenders’ was so strong.

“The album is the pinnacle of what I’ve aimed for as a musician. It’s the novel to us musicians,” he said.

He's spoken about the album previously, saying that it was about being part of the first generation growing up in the economic experiment New Zealand launched into during the 1980s.  "This is a constant theme for me," he told RNZ, "it's been what I've banged on about through all my albums."

More than 300 artists, media and industry members packed out the Auckland theatre for the ceremony, hosted by NZ On Air’s Sarah Thompson. 

The ceremony was opened by 2021 winner Reb Fountain performing 'Sampson' and 'Don’t You Know Who I Am' from her last album, self-titled.

The award, named after the late journalist Dylan Taite, honours outstanding Kiwi albums. Judging is based on artistic merit, rather than chart success or popularity. Previous winners include Lorde, Reb Fountain and Ladi6.  

Sir Dave Dobbyn was also there, to present the Independent Spirit Award, which went to broadcasting veteran Karyn Hay, honoured for her trailblazing work on the 80s TV series 'Radio With Pictures', her career with Kiwi FM, documentary work and current host of RNZ National’s 'Lately' show.  Hay says that this work is "just a part of who I am. Being proud of something you have championed isn’t how I see the world. I just do it, and hope the end result will hit home.”

There was also a special commendation made by Rolling Stone editor-in-chief, Poppy Reid, to Alison Mau for her important investigative work with Stuff, focussing on New Zealand music industry practices and the link with sexual harm and prevention. She said Mau’s work “is an outstanding contribution to the industry.  John Tait, Dylan's son said "Her important investigative work for Stuff shone a light on unacceptable behaviour that has been ignored by the music industry for too long.  Ali’s powerful journalism gave a voice to the victims and started a national dialogue that's driving systematic change.”

There was also the inaugural Outstanding Music Journalism Award, which was presented to RNZ Tony Stamp, who took away $2500 cash to spend on his record collection. 

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut went to Jazmine Mary for their debut album 'The Licking of a Tangerine'. The Independent Music NZ Classic Record award went to producer Alan Jansson for the 1994 Urban-Pacific street soul compilation, 'PROUD'.

Taite Music Prize 2022 winner Anthonie Tonnon's speech

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