Wanganui musician Daniel Harding has cranked up the volume on his singing career with a double nomination at an international music award event.
The 29-year-old submitted his newly released song Not up to You to the Los Angeles Music Awards - a media company event that helps independent music artists from around the world become international stars.
The LA Music Awards is in its 24th year and Harding, of Ngai Tahu, said he was the only New Zealander nominated for an award this year. Not up to You is up for Best Pop Song of the Year and Mr Harding is up for Best Pop Male Artist of the Year.
Music stars such as Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas and Alien Ant Farm had been nominated for awards at the event in the past, Harding said.
"These people have all started from somewhere and now they've gone on to becoming international stars. Just being in the same category as these people is crazy."
Harding first started singing as a child in school talent shows and now works as a voice coach and as a lecturer at Wanganui's Universal College of Learning.
So far in his music career he has sung at events including the 2009 telethon charity event, the Wellington Sevens three times, and other performances around New Zealand. Being nominated for the LA Music Awards had opened so many more doors, he said. He will fly to Los Angeles in September to the awards' nomination ceremony party and will also attend the official awards ceremony in November.
Both red-carpet events will be covered by the American media. They will offer Harding a way to build relationships with record labels and others from the industry to help get his music to a global audience.
Harding said he first heard about the awards after meeting Anita Prime, a New Zealand singer-songwriter, at a charity event. Prime won the Best Video of the Year at the 2011 LA Music Awards and has since gone on to further her career in music internationally.
She has helped mentor Harding and said his voice was "world class". She said he was one of the top artists among the nominees: "I'm so proud of him. He's an amazing singer."
The song, which is available on iTunes, is "about people's judgment of you" and not necessarily living up to people's expectation, he said.
"It's not up to other people to tell you what is right or wrong," he said.
Music had always been his big love, he said, and he was looking for sponsorship to get to Los Angeles.
When he submitted the song to the awards he had expected only a critique on how to make it better.
"It's quite overwhelming.
"You work for something your whole life and in one split moment everything changes."