The status and recognition of children's music in New Zealand is about to be raised with the announcement of the finalists for inaugural awards: the APRA Children’s Song of the Year and the What Now Children’s Video of the Year.
Both awards are to be presented at StarFest the finale event of Christchurch City Council’s annual two week KidsFest on July 18 at the James Hay Theatre.
Finalists for the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) New Zealand Children’s Song of the Year are Angela Steele for ‘Girl In The Mirror’, Claudia Gunn for ‘Lullaby Time’, The Tangible Titans for ‘Sleep Baby Sleep’, Craig Smith for ‘The Wonkey Donkey Song’ and Fatcat & Fishface for ‘Una Momento’.
The self-proclaimed “outlaws” of New Zealand children’s music, Fatcat & Fishface also feature as a finalist for the What Now Children’s Video of the Year with ‘The Wreck of the Diddley’. The other two finalists vying for best video are Jelly Deluxe with ‘Humpty’ from their gold selling BabyJazz album, and New Zealand’s answer to the Wiggles: The Funky Monkeys with ‘The Thank You Song’. For the last month, What Now viewers have been voting for their favourite video via www.whatnow.tv, so this award is a true “kid’s choice”.
Fatcat & Fishface, often likened to the cheeky style of Spike Milligan and Roald Dahl, have been producing their “warped pop genius” tunes for over 10 years and produced five albums to date, all available via: fatcatfishface.com.
Christchurch based singer songwriter Craig Smith, has been performing his original songs and popular covers for over a decade. In late 2007, he released ‘Not Just for Kids’, a collection that has won the hearts of many a parent on a road trip! ‘The Wonkey Donkey Song’ is just one of the humorous tracks from this album, available at: craigsmith.co.nz.
Formed late last year, on a bus travelling to a soccer tournament, The Tangible Titans are Katikati based teenagers Kelsi Morris-Bullot & Bridget Martin. ‘Sleep Baby Sleep’ features on their second album ‘It Takes Two’, which is currently in production, the song was written for and dedicated to their English teacher and her baby boy Cooper. The Tangible Titans donate all proceeds from their album sales to Homes of Home – find out more at: tangibletitans.com.
Claudia Gunn is a songstress, primarily with electronic soul outfit Substax, but gets most of her musical exercise these days singing her “vocal quality controller” 22 month old son Dylan Elijah to sleep. This has proven productive for her songwriting and inspired a new repertoire of original material for children. To see if her entry ‘Lullaby Time’ works for your wee one, visit: myspace.com/claudiagunn.
The lyrics to ‘Girl In The Mirror’ were written during a power cut in Angela Steele’s home town of Taupo when she was just 8 year’s old. It went on to be a runner-up in the 2007 UK International Songwriting Contest – this was Angela’s third year in the competition featuring as either a finalist or runner up – not bad for someone who is yet to turn 12. Angela is one to watch out for, learn more about her at: myppk.com/go/angelasteele.aspx.
APRA Board Member Arthur Baysting says, “It’s time that New Zealanders recognised our children’s music for what it is – a rich variety of fantastic fun for kids and parents alike. APRA is proud to be promoting excellence in children’s music.”
The winners are announced in Christchurch on Friday 18 July at the James Hay Theatre.
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About APRA: The Australasian Performing Right Association is a non-profit service organisation, established in 1926, administering the rights of the world’s songwriters, composers and publishers in New Zealand and Australia. APRA represents over 50,000 Australasian members and over 2 million writers and publishers throughout the world under reciprocal, bilateral contracts with similar overseas service organisations.