Everything you need to know about the front-runners for the NZ Music Awards

The nominees are in for this year's VNZMAs and these are the acts leading the pack. Find out everything you need to know about them and read some of their weird and wonderful stories from the past year.


Album: Conscious (Second studio album)
Nominations: 5
Previous VNZMA wins: 5
Social followers: 342K
(Insta: 70.3K / Facebook: 220k / Twitter: 51.4K)
YouTube views: Heartlines: 638K / Free: 2M / We Had Everything: 124K / Are You Home: 129K

Favourite NZ album this year:
Ladyhawke's Wild Things

Highlight of the past 12 months:
Releasing the new record was awesome and then playing it live. We've had some of our best shows ever this year. Playing the Staples Centre in LA, while we were supporting Ellie Goulding, was a massive moment for us.

The strangest thing to happen in the past 12 months:
Everything has been strange and normal all at once. Moving to LA has been the coolest/strangest thing in itself, but in the way of touring stories, the strangest thing that happened was in Denver when we were touring with Ellie Goulding.

Everyone was told to stay inside the buses or the arena and not to walk in between them. We had no idea why at the time. I thought maybe someone really important was coming and security had to be tight but it turned out there was a shooter on the loose. There were helicopters circling and everything.

Being a Kiwi, that kind of thing is so crazy.


Album: Brown Girl (Fourth studio album)
Nominations: 4
Previous VNZMA wins: 4
Social followers: 189K
(Insta: 54.5K / Facebook: 105K / Twitter: 29.3K)
YouTube views: Brown Girl: 56K / Welcome to the Jungle: 39K

Favourite NZ album this year:
My favourite local album from this year has been SmokeyGotBeatz' SWIDT vs EVERYBODY. He was in LA with me making that album, and he's a super-talented young producer.

Highlight of the past 12 months:
Brown Girl going to #1 on the pop chart. It's my fourth studio album but it's my very first album to go straight to #1, so it was a really special moment for me after two years working on the record. [It] reminded me to never give up on my dreams.

The strangest thing to happen in the past 12 months:
I recently came back from tour in Singapore, where I performed in Pit Alley at the F1 Grand Prix.

We were performing on the night of the Ferrari team and were front row for a massive crash of Ferrari race cars. It was pretty crazy and exciting at the same time.

(They also bomb-checked our tour van with mirrors and sealed our windows before entering the grounds. Terrorist checks on tour - that was a new one!)


Album: Bays (Fourth studio album)
Nominations: 4
Previous VNZMA wins: 8
Social followers: 361K
(Insta: 13.3K / Facebook: 329K / Twitter: 18.6K)
YouTube views: Razor: 197K / Slings & Arrows: 214K

Favourite NZ album this year:
Electric Wire Hustle, The 11th Sky.

Highlight of the past 12 months:
Boomtown Fair in the UK - 30,000+ people. It was epic.

The festival itself was just crazy, amazing sets and design and an amazing crowd. Huge, as Bernie Sanders would say.

The strangest thing to happen in the past 12 months:

Travelling to South Africa and getting out listening to music; we've never played there before. And having everyone sing along with us.

Fun fact:
With 361K social followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Fat Freddy's Drop has the biggest social media following of this year's nominees.


Album: Composure (Debut studio album)
Nominations: 4
Previous VNZMA wins: None
Social followers: 9K
(Insta: 2K / Facebook: 6K / Twitter: 1K)
YouTube views: Feels So Right: 7K / Forget About You: 5K / Kind Of Love: 85K

Favourite NZ album this year:
The Leers' Are You Curious?

Highlight of the past 12 months:
I've ticked a lot of boxes this year - I've had the opportunity to play some shows overseas as well as two sold out shows in NZ. I've also finally released my debut record. It's been mental.

The strangest thing to happen in the past 12 months:
I was driving down this busy street and this dude pulls up beside me (we're both still driving), he winds down his window and yells - minus the expletives - "Maala! Your song In The Sky kills. Pull over, wanna smoke?"

I politely declined. That's got to be the strangest experience.


Album: Give Up Your Dreams (Sixth studio album)
Nominations: 3
Previous VNZMA wins: One - but engineer Lee Prebble has won four awards for his work on PF albums.
Social followers: 25K
(Insta: 2K / Facebook: 17K / Twitter: 6K)
YouTube views: Bob Lennon John Dylan: 34K / Give Up Your Dreams: 41K

Favourite NZ album this year:
Silicon's Personal Computer and Lawrence Arabia's Absolute Truth.

Highlight of the past 12 months:
Getting to compose the score for Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

The strangest thing to happen in the past 12 months:
Recording a choir of three people on December 23 in full last-minute desperation mode for the opening titles of HFTW.

We used so many microphones that we ended up with a session containing so many tracks that we almost couldn't work on it. Too much to look at.

Just livin' easy, wild and free round these parts. Cutting loose. Is that the most boring rock 'n' roll story ever? I hope so.

- TimeOut

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