The Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards (VNZMA) have announced some major changes to the categories this year. It seems officials have heeded Aaradhna's call at last year's event.
The Indian/Samoan songstress was announced as the 2016 Best Urban/Hip Hop Album of Year, but refused the Tui Award saying, "For me, I feel like if I were to accept this award, I'm not being truthful in my song." She said, "If you're putting a singer next to a Hip Hop artist, it's not fair."
This year, the award for Best Urban/Hip Hop Album has been split into two new categories – Best Hip Hop Artist and Best Soul/RnB Artist.
A new category of Best Solo Artist will replacing Best Male Solo Artist and Best Female Solo Artist.
In an effort to recognise the many ways artists are now recording and releasing their music, all genre album categories have been renamed to Best Artist.
Best Māori Album is now Best Māori Artist.
The other genre album changes are now Best Pop Artist, Best Alternative Artist, Best Roots Artist, Best Electronic Artist, Best Worship Artist, Best Classical Artist, Best Hip Hop Artist, Best Soul/RnB Artist, Best Rock Artist.
This means all nominees can now be put forward if they have released an album or a minimum of five single tracks, other conditions also apply.
CEO of Recorded Music NZ, Damian Vaughan says the changes were made after consultation with artists, labels and managers. He says they were made in an aim to reflect our ever-changing and dynamic industry.
“We represent the recorded music industry, from artists and record companies through to every day listeners. It’s important to be responsive to feedback from all corners of New Zealand, listen to those who make and release music, to constantly evolve the Music Awards, and to embrace the way people are consuming music today.
“As we open the nominations for the 52nd annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, we strive to identify and celebrate all the powerful work coming from Kiwi artists and the people who support them.”
Nominations close on Wednesday 2 August 2017. More information on the other award categories and Artisan awards can be found on the VNZMA website.