New branding and spirit for New Zealand’s flagship music awards

Today marks the launch of the Aotearoa Music Awards, introducing a new era for Recorded Music New Zealand’s annual music awards.

Developed by creative agency LIKEMINDS in collaboration with specialist Māori concept and creative studio HAUMI, the Aotearoa Music Awards reinterpret what it means to be a Kiwi musician and artist.

Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Tohu Puoro o Aotearoa Sarah Owen says the decision to rebrand the awards aligns with continued efforts over the years to recognise Aotearoa’s tangata whenua and Te Reo Māori as the first language of New Zealand, as well as the importance of Te Ao Māori in our lives.

“Aotearoa is a land of diversity and stories, evoking people to share their experiences with us through music. Our artists are kaihanga of one of our greatest treasures – the music and songs that defines our lives,” says Owen.

“With the renaming to Aotearoa Music Awards and the kaupapa behind that, we are taking another step in bringing the awards back to the core of what they’re for: to celebrate, support and encourage the creative journeys of all our recording artists.”

LIKEMINDS founder and creative director Damian Alexander says the Aotearoa Music Awards acronym “AMA” (pronounced ah-mah) is an intentional reference to Te Ao Māori. We are embedding and acknowledging the indigenous culture of Aotearoa and the environment from where our musicians can flourish and prosper.

“An ama is the outrigger used to support waka during voyages across the ocean. In the same way, that Recorded Music NZ and the Aotearoa Music Awards support and celebrate New Zealand musicians and their work, as well as the support of the wider creative industry in Aotearoa,” says Alexander.

“We worked with Tiki Taane and Laughton Kora to create a bespoke musical score for the rebrand to bring the awards firmly back to the true resonance of this place we call home.”

Special 2020 show format

In addition to the new name and identity, the format of this year’s event will reflect the importance of music and the wider community in times like these.

Hosted by The Project’s Jesse Mulligan and The Edge Afternoon hosts Sharyn Casey and Jayden King, the three and a half hour spectacle will feature 18 intimate performances from some of our most beloved musicians.

In addition to the 20 Tui awarded on the night, multiple inductees will be welcomed into the NZ Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa – honouring and celebrating our beloved musicians, past and present.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan is pleased to announce the event will also be taking on a new form this year, with a renewed focus on the musicians and their craft.

“This November, we intend to not only honour and celebrate the spectacular music released over the past year but also highlight the incredible and important work of many of the individuals, organisations and initiatives throughout Aotearoa that are using music to unite and heal communities.

“We are honoured to shine a light on many of these organisations and their activities including our long-time awards charity partner MusicHelps, but also others such as Crescendo, Raukatauri and Girls Rock Camp who are using music to help our music whanau and heal our communities in this time of uncertainty.”

“The inaugural Aotearoa Music Awards will be an intimate reflection and celebration of the year that was and tell the stories of how our music community has navigated this unique and challenging year.”

The finalists and performers for the Aotearoa Music Awards will be announced on Thursday 8 October. The event will be taking place Sunday 15 November at Spark Arena and will be broadcast live on Edge TV & THREE.

Thanks to our sponsors NZ On Air, Te Mangai Paho, THREE, The Edge, Spotify, Hallertau, Young & Co, SkyCity and GHD.


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