Why the real music fans pay attention to the APRA award long-list

The newly released APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award contenders long-list is a great cheat-sheet for catching up on the best new music being produced in Aotearoa, Charlotte Ryan tells Nights.

The list, released by APRA on Thursday, contains a diverse group of mixed genres, with some surprises and new-comers, Ryan said.

“It was a surprising list. It’s a very diverse list, which is so, so cool.”

Twenty songs have been selected that are up for the Silver Scroll – a group that will later be narrowed down to a shortlist of five songs. And a further five songs are nominated for the Maioha Award, honouring waiata in te reo Māori.

“What I do love is the amount of waiata that is in this year. Also, there’s some fantastic new bands that have never been nominated for a Silver Scroll before,” Ryan told Nights’ Emile Donovan.

“There’s a local band called Skilaa and they’re kind of jazzy-indie.

“One thing that has stood out is that two of the nominees in the long list of 20 are also nominated for the Maioha Award – I’ve never seen that before. Also, Stan Walker is nominated four times – two times in the long list and then two times in the Maioha Award.”

Ryan says the Silver Scrolls are particularly worth paying attention to, to hear the musical best of the best.

“The Silver Scrolls are all about the art of the song – songwriting. So it’s not about the album, it’s not about how many sales you get on your CD or anything like that – it’s purely about the art of the song.

“This long-list is a great way for us to discover new local music – it’s such a diverse list this year, and if there was anyone who wanted to catch up on the best local songs written over the last year, this is the list – the top 20 list.”

Listen to the Spotify playlist of all of the songs here

Of the two big NZ music awards each year (the other is the Aotearoa Music Awards or AMAs), the Silver Scroll is the one focused on musicianship, Ryan says.

“It’s judged by musicians – it’s judged by fellow songwriters, they judge it on the lyrics, on the production, on the originality, on the cadence – on anything that songwriters think about.

“This is all sorts [of genres], it’s just based on an incredibly well written song.”

“It’s definitely in my eyes the prestigious award of the year.”

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 8 October at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards ceremony at St James Theatre in Pōneke Wellington.

Ryan says an interesting thing about being at the ceremony or hearing it is that it includes performances of each of the top five Silver Scroll Award contenders, but performed by other New Zealand artists: “So you really get the sense of the song.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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