Princess Chelsea won the 2023 Taite Music Prize last night for her wonderful album Everything Is Going to Be Alright.
Presented by IMNZ, the award honours an outstanding Aotearoa album released in the previous calendar year. Despite facing strong competition from the likes of The Beths and Fazerdaze, Princess Chelsea’s album was a worthy winner.
“Over her first four albums, Chelsea Nikkel conjured glistening pop gems and her fifth release as Princess Chelsea, Everything Is Going to Be Alright, is no different,” Rolling Stone AU/NZ said of the album in its countdown of the Best New Zealand Albums of 2022.
“She explores the length and breadth of the genre on the album, brandishing baroque touches when she feels like it, performing as ethereally as Kate Bush if the moment calls for it; there hasn’t been a catchier pop song than “Forever Is a Charm” all year. In a just world, Princess Chelsea would be as renowned as Charli XCX.”
The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut went to Rolling Stone AU/NZ favourite TE KAAHU for her stunning album Te Kaahu O Rangi, which contained nine waiata written and sung entirely in te reo Māori. The singer-songwriter, who also performs as Theia, now has a $2,000 cash prize and a technical upskilling opportunity courtesy of Auckland Live.
The Independent Spirit Award was given to Paul Huggins for his continuous contributions to the local music community, which has included managing Real Groovy Christchurch and supporting many Kiwi musicians over two decades.
The NZ On Air Outstanding Music Journalism Award, meanwhile, was given to Namnita Kumar & Nadia Freeman for their Eastern Sound Stories Podcast produced by Eastern Sound Collective in conjunction with Radio Active.FM. Namnita and Nadia received a $2500 cash prize courtesy of NZ On Air.
And as previously announced, the Independent Music NZ Classic Record Award went to micronism for his 1998 album inside a quiet mind (Kog Transmissions).
“My hearty congratulations to all our finalists and winners this evening, may their music and work within the wider music community continue to inspire and elevate us all!” IMNZ general manager Dylan Pellett said. “And big hats off to all our partners for the Taite Music Prize with particular mention to Founding Partner Recorded Music NZ.”
The 2023 Taite Music Prize was held at Auckland’s Q Theatre on Tuesday night and featured performances by 2022 Taite Music Prize winner, Anthonie Tonnon, as well as micronism.