Critics are a notoriously tough bunch to please so if you're awarded the NZ on Air Critics' Choice Award, you must be doing something right.

So meet Scuba Diva, aka Jimmy Mac, this year's winner of the prestigious Critics' Choice prize and a musician those in the know believe is going places.

Scuba Diva received the honour at a special showcase and ceremony at the Tuning Fork last night, where he performed alongside other nominees, Dunedin's psych-pop singer Kane Strang and Onehunga hip-hoppers Spycc & INF.

All were worthy choices, but it was Scuba Diva who nabbed the prize, his fuzzy, bubbling alt-funk impressing the panel of music journos and respected critics.

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Scuba Diva, who worked as Lorde's touring keyboardist, is now signed to Universal. He co-produced his two singles, What's the Point? and Marimba with Kody Neilson (Silcon) and both songs enjoyed success on student radio nationwide.

The Critics' Choice prize was established in 2010 and recognises new talent and potential future Tui winners. Previous winners include Kimbra and The Naked and Famous.