Troy Kingi's latest album Holy Colony Burning Acres has left a footprint in the New Zealand scene as it takes out yet another award at yesterday's Taite Music prize giving.

The Northland musician was awarded winner of the Taite Music Prize 2020 for his deep-roots/reggae album that came out in July last year, "delving into the dark corners of worldly Indigenous politics, namely colonisation and its (c)rippling effects on today's social climate", as Kingi describes it.

Last year the record earned Kingi two awards: the Te Māngai Pāho Best Māori Artist and Best Roots Artist at the New Zealand Music Awards (TUI).

Embedded in electrifying 70's-style deep roots/reggae, Kingi takes these issues head-on with Marley-inspired political consciousness.


Holy Colony Burning Acres is the third album in his aspirational 10-10-10 project: 10 albums in 10 genres in 10 years.

The annual Taite Music Prize awards ceremony took a slightly different stage this year due to Covid-19 regulations.

Originally to take place at Auckland's Q Theatre in April, the awards ceremony found a new home via webstream.

Kingi's deep-roots/reggae album <i>Holy Colony Burning Acres</i> came out in July last year.
Kingi's deep-roots/reggae album Holy Colony Burning Acres came out in July last year.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a quick appearance, presenting the main award and acknowledging the depth of loss the pandemic has made on the music industry.

"These are uncertain times but something I'm sure about is our [music] industry will be a vital contributor to New Zealand's recovery and we are working hard as a government – as we speak – to make sure that the arts are at the centre of our revitalisation."

The Taite Music Prize highlights outstanding New Zealand albums released in the past calendar year.

The award is open to all genres of music from any record label and judged on artistic merit, regardless of genre or sales.


Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of the country's most highly respected music journalists, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity in an entire collection of music contained on one recording.

Kingi received a cash prize of $12,500 from Taite Music Prize founding partner Recorded Music NZ; recording time at the Red Bull Studios in Auckland; and a year's supply of Red Bull product.

Dunedin-based songwriter Millie Lovelock took out the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award for Repulsive Woman – Relief.

Murray Cammick was presented with the Independent Spirit Award for his contributions to music through photography, journalism, radio and more, and the Independent Music NZ Classic Record award was presented to Shona Laing for her iconic album South released in 1987.

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