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Vera Ellen Wins 2024 Taite Music Prize

Jujulipps also won big on the night

Vera Ellen

Nicola Sandford

Vera Ellen has won the 2024 Taite Music Prize for her excellent second album, Ideal Home Noise.

Vera Ellen was honoured at the ceremony in Auckland’s Q Theatre tonight, despite facing strong competition from the other nine nominees that included Ebony Lamb, Dick Move, Erny Belle, and Mermaidens.

Ideal Home Noise saved me from a difficult time in my life, as music continues to do so for me,” the Wellington-based musician said upon accepting the award.

“I’m a product of the beautiful Aoteaoroa music community, but we need more venues and infrastructure and respect the mana of musicians that they are being paid. Music is important for our quality of life. Thank you so much and free Palestine,” she concluded.

Ellen follows last year’s winner, Princess Chelsea, who triumphed with her acclaimed album, Everything Is Going to Be Alright.

The prestigious award recognises the best New Zealand albums released in the past year, with Belle now receiving a cash prize of $12,500. A voting academy comprised of IMNZ members, musicians, and industry professionals decided the final shortlist and winner.

It was Princess Chelsea herself who opened the show with a searing performance of the title track off last year’s winning album, accompanied by her six-piece band.

The Auckland Live Best Independent Debut went to Jujulipps for her debut EP Get That Shot, released via Big Pop Records. “[I’m] really grateful to be standing here. I really enjoy creating art and making music. What the heck!” the rising rapper said.

2024 Taite Music Prize (Winner in bold)

Dick Move – Wet (1:12 Records)
Ebony Lamb – Ebony Lamb (Slow Time Records)
Erny Belle – Not Your Cupid (Flying Nun Records)
Home Brew – Run It Back (Years Gone By)
Mermaidens – Mermaidens (Independent)
Shepherds Reign – Ala Mai (Golden Robot Records)
Tiny Ruins – Ceremony (Ursa Minor)
Tom Lark – Brave Star (Winegum Records)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – V (Jagjaguwar Records)
Vera Ellen – Ideal Home Noise (Flying Nun Records)