What you need to know about tonight's VNZMA's

Tonight's the night! Whether you're dressed up to head to Vector Arena or are snuggled up at home watching TV3, you're in for some quality entertainment.

A celebration of the best musical talent the country has to offer, the annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, is always a star-studded affair, with rugby stars, actors, and, of course, our key musicians making the night one to remember.

This year, comedy duo Jono and Ben will host the awards, while Bic Runga, KINGS, Tami Neilson and Shapeshifter will take to the stage to perform their latest hits. 

Tonight, Bic Runga will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for her huge contribution to New Zealand music. Bic’s heartfelt ballads and soft-pop tunes have been well-loved ever since her first album, Drive, was released in 1997. Tomorrow Bic’s new album, Close Your Eyes, will also be released and if history is anything to go by, it's sure to be nothing short of amazing.

Of course, it’s the award winners we don’t know about which are the most exciting.

Leading the pack is Broods. The brother-sister duo from Nelson are nominated for five different awards tonight, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year and the People’s Choice Award. Their new album, Conscious, brings high-intensity electro-pop together with brilliant vocals.

Aaradhna is also set to do well. She’s had many hit singles such as American-soul inspired Wake Up, her soulful feature in Getting Stronger and the R&B hit Great Man. Aaradhna’s new album, Brown Girl, dropped this year and is now up for four different awards. The album speaks out about the racism she experienced due to her Samoan and Indian mixed parentage, and the collapse of her eight-year relationship with Leon Henry, a professional basketball player. The slow-burn songs bring soul to a whole new level.

The event will make a conscious effort to incorporate Maoritanga this year, after complaints from musician Tama Waipara and many others when TV3 excluded the Maori Album award from their live broadcast. A contemporary Maori welcome will be one of the steps taken to create a diverse atmosphere for everyone there tonight.

Other artists up for nomination are indie-rock band The Phoenix Foundation, reggae-electronic group Fat Freddy’s Drop, and the fresh new face in electronica, MAALA.

See below for the full list of nominees and tune in to TV3 tonight if you can’t be there in person!


Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year

Aaradhna – Brown Girl

Broods – Conscious

Fat Freddy's Drop – BAYS

Hollie Smith – Water Or Gold

Tami Neilson – Don't Be Afraid

The Phoenix Foundation – Give Up Your Dreams


Vodafone Single of the Year

Aaradhna – Brown Girl

Broods – Free

KINGS – Don't Worry Bout' It

MAALA – Kind Of Love

Shapeshifter – Stars

The Naked and Famous – Higher


Best Group

Broods – Conscious

Fat Freddy's Drop – BAYS

Sol3 Mio – On Another Note

The Phoenix Foundation – Give Up Your Dreams


Best Male Solo Artist

Avalanche City – We Are For The Wild Places

Dave Dobbyn – Harmony House

Lawrence Arabia – Absolute Truth

MAALA – Composure


Fiji Airways Best Female Solo Artist

Aaradhna – Brown Girl

Hollie Smith – Water Or Gold

Ladyhawke – Wild Things

Tami Neilson – Don't Be Afraid


Breakthrough Artist of the Year

KINGS – Don't Worry Bout' It

Leisure – All Over You

Nomad –  Oh My My

SACHI – Lunch with Bianca


Best Rock Album

Beastwars – The Death of All Things

Jordan Luck Band – Not Only... But Also

Villainy – Dead Sight


The Edge Best Pop Album

Avalanche City – We Are For The Wild Places

Broods – Conscious

MAALA – Kind of Love


Best Alternative Album

Lawrence Arabia – Absolute Truth

Silicon – Personal Computer

The Phoenix Foundation – Give Up Your Dreams


Best Urban/Hip Hop Album

Aaradhna – Brown Girl

PNC – The Luke Vailima EP

SWIDT – SmokeyGotBeatz Presents SWIDT vs EVERYBODY


Best Roots Album

Fat Freddy's Drop – BAYS

Rob Ruha – Pūmau

Unity Pacific – Blackbirder Dread


Best Electronic Album

Electric Wire Hustle – Aeons

Opiuo –  Omniversal

Pacific Heights – The Stillness


Te Mangai Paho Best Maori Album

Dennis Marsh – Maori Songbook 2

Kirsten Te Rito – Āiotanga

Rob Ruha, Pūmau


Best Worship Album

Edge Kingsland – Edge Vol.3: The Common Good

Grace Vineyard Music – Seek You

LIFE Worship – By My Spirit


Best Classical Album

Anthony Ritchie and Ross Harris – Fjarran

Kenneth Young – Shadows and Light

Zephyr – Zephyr


Vodafone People's Choice Award


Fat Freddy's Drop



Sol3 Mio


NZ On Air Critics' Choice Prize

Kane Strang

Scuba Diva

Spycc & INF


Photo credit: floodmagazine.com