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The third annual Artisan Awards will be celebrated this year at Massey University’s School of Music and Creative Media Production in Wellington, recognising the creative talents behind the scenes of the top New Zealand records of 2018.

Five Tui awards will be presented at the Artisan Awards, including Massey University Best Producer, Best Engineer, Best Album Cover and NZ On Air Best Music Video as well as the presentation of the inaugural Music Teacher of the Year.

Recorded Music New Zealand CEO Damian Vaughan says: “We are thrilled to bring the Artisan Awards to Wellington and shine a light on the incredibly talented people bringing world-class quality to Aotearoa’s music industry. This is the third iteration of the Artisan Awards, and every year the calibre of the finalists continues to impress!”

The Massey University Best Producer finalists for 2018 are Simon Gooding, Tom Larkin and Hammerhead for their joint efforts on by Alien Weaponry, Estère for her work on her own double album My Design, On Others Lives, and Neil and Liam Finn for their production on Out Of Silence by Neil Finn.

Impressively, Simon Gooding has two nods for Best Engineer. He’s been recognised alongside Tom Larkin, Scott Seabright and Samuel Sproull for his efforts on by Alien Weaponry, as well as the work he did with Jordan Stone on Neil Finn’s Out Of Silence. Chris Chetland is a finalist for Best Engineer for the second year in a row after working on Rangatira by REI.

Always a hotly contested category, NZ On Air Best Music Video sees three outstanding finalists this year.

Chris Graham worked with Louis Baker on the stylistic music video for his 2018 single ‘Black Crow’, and Shae Sterling crafted the video for ‘Bloodlines’ by The Adults featuring powerful performances from Estère & JessB. The last finalist spot goes to Marlon Williams for the work on his own track ‘Vampire Again’.

This year’s finalists for Best Album Cover include Barny Bewick for his work on Seven by Cairo Knife Fight, Jaime Robertson and Matthias Heiderich for their collaboration on In Spaces EP by Sola Rosa, and Tami Neilson, Ashley Church, Xoe Hall and Jules Koblun for their group efforts on the album cover for Tami’s Sassafrass.

This standalone event specifically acknowledges those who capture, craft and enrich the artists’ musical works into final recordings, as well as the talented visual artists translating the musicians’ visions into album artworks and music videos.

Also announced on the night will be the winner of the inaugural Music Teacher of the Year, and finalists (already previously announced) are Elizabeth Sneyd, founder of Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust in East Porirua, Jane Egan from Gisborne Girls High School, and Judith Bell who has led the development of the music program at Chisnallwood Intermediate School for the last 20 years.

This year’s Artisan Awards will be supported by a performance from New Zealand supergroup The Adults, a collaborative project started by John Toogood and including Raiza Biza, Ben Wood (Trinity Roots) Emily C. Browning and 2018 Vodafone New Zealand Music Award finalists Estere, JessB and Kings.

Andre Ktori, Head of School of Music and Creative Media says: “We are excited to have these awards come to Wellington. It aligns with our interests in supporting the sector and the creative industries in the city.  Having Jon and the Adult’s play at the awards is so cool especially having completed his MFA with us this year.”

Not only will the Massey University Artisan Awards be presented but Recorded Music NZ and Massey University and with the support of NZ On Air will also be holding three seminars the day of the awards at Massey premises as part of the Tui Music Series:

  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Designmakers Studio with Tami Neilson, Jaime Robertson, Barny Bewick, and Ashley Church with a focus on design.
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Filmmakers Studio with Shae Sterling and David Ridler with a focus on music video making.
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm: NZ Music Producer Series masterclass with Sylvia Massy, Gil Norton, Clint Murphy and moderated by Greg Haver.

The Tui Music Series gives Kiwis the chance to hone their skills and learn from the best in their chosen field from both local and international professionals.


Artisan Award Finalists:

Best Album Cover:

  • Jaime Robertson & Matthias Heiderich – In Spaces EP (Sola Rosa)
  • Barny Bewick – Seven (Cairo Knife Fight)
  • Tami Neilson, Ashley Church, Xoe Hall, Jules Koblun – Sassafrass! (Tami Neilson)

Best Engineer:

  • Chris Chetland – Rangatira (REI)
  • Simon Gooding, Tom Larkin, Scott Seabright, and Samuel Sproull – (Alien Weaponry)
  • Jordan Stone & Simon Gooding – Out Of Silence (Neil Finn)

NZ On Air Best Music Video:

  • Chris Graham – ‘Black Crow’ (Louis Baker)
  • Shae Sterling – ‘Bloodlines’ (The Adults ft Estère & JessB)
  • Marlon Williams – ‘Vampire Again’ (Marlon Williams)

Best Producer:

  • Estère – My Design, On Others’ Lives (Estère)
  • Simon Gooding, Tom Larkin, Hammerhead – (Alien Weaponry)
  • Neil and Liam Finn – Out Of Silence (Neil Finn)

Music Teacher of the Year:

  • Elizabeth Sneyd
  • Jane Egan
  • Judith Bell


The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards will be broadcast live on TV Three on November 15 from 8.30pm. Tickets are on sale now, $35 general admission + booking fee, available from Ticketmaster.

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