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2012 Critics’ Choice Prize Winner Announced RSS

  • October 18th 2012
2012 Critics’ Choice Prize Winner Announced

Watercolours has been named as the 2012 winner of the Critics’ Choice Prize, part of the 2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Finalists Loui the ZU, Watercolours and Beach Pigs each performed a live set at the King’s Arms in Auckland last night (Wed. Oct. 17) in front of a packed crowd and a panel of 13 music critics. The critics were tasked with selecting just one recipient; someone they believe has the potential to win a Tui in the future.

Following an impressive set, Watercolours - the stage name of Auckland’s Chelsea Jade Metcalf - took home the prize. Watercolours says: “I am completely blindsided by this win as all of the performers brought their A game tonight. It is encouraging to see the support there is for my music.”

The Critics’ Choice Prize, now in its third year, is designed to recognise and promote up-and-coming Kiwi music talent and potential future music awards winners. In 2011 the line-up included Kimbra, while in 2010 it included Home Brew – both are now finalists for this year’s Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on November 1. The 2010 line-up included The Naked and Famous who have gone on to achieve great local and international success.

“The panel has shown remarkable skill in picking future Tui winners in the past and I have no doubt they’ve got it right again this year – all three finalists looked and sounded fantastic and have great potential for the future,” says RIANZ managing director Chris Caddick.

In addition to recognition from top music industry experts, Watercolours gets money and professional guidance and advice to help her ‘make it’ in the competitive New Zealand music market. She receives a $10,000 recording and music video grant from NZ On Air and a $2,000 gear voucher courtesy of The Rockshop. Several heavyweights in the music industry also lend their support. It includes meetings and mentoring sessions from Brent Eccles Entertainment Ltd, Entertainment Accounting Services and McLaughlin Law. Watercolours also receives a 12-month membership to the Music Managers Forum where she can attend seminars free of charge and also make use of one-on-one mentoring sessions. Finally, IPONZ is tailoring a package around Watercolours’ intellectual property needs to ensure she can protect and manage the IP she goes on to create.

Musician Notes


Watercolours is the musical moniker of singer-songwriter, photographer, writer and artist Chelsea Jade Metcalf. Her unique sound, which some describe as ‘dream-pop’, has already garnered her a legion of followers. Chelsea has her finger in many musical pies – she’s a member of folksy band Teacups and also recently lent her vocals to James Duncan’s new album.


Loui the Zu

Mzwethu Ngubane, otherwise known as Loui the ZU, may be young but he’s already making a big splash on the Auckland music scene. Earlier this year he gave Kiwis a taste of his unique style with the release of ‘LBSB: The Fruits Of My Labour' featuring ‘You Don’t Have To Lie’. Loui the ZU also released his first commercial single on 1 October. The 18 year old MC, producer and songwriter was born in Zimbabwe and raised in Auckland.


Beach Pigs

Auckland four-piece Beach Pigs initially self-released a debut EP of catchy short and sweet pop songs before Arch Hill Records took a shine to the band and remixed and remastered the tracks. Beach Pigs recently embarked on a nationwide tour with Rackets resulting in EP tracks ‘Work’ and ‘Cigarette’ receiving strong alternative radio airplay.