What do you get when you cross a badminton playing Chihuahua called Jim, a motley crue of pirates and kindness?  A sample of the 2021 NZ Children’s Music Awards finalists – an annual presentation celebrating music written and recorded for kids.

These poets, rhythm makers, ensemblers and creators encourage Kiwi kids to trip the light fantastic, igniting a love for music for the tamariki of Aotearoa.  Music universally brings a magical joy to the senses and plays an especially pivotal role in our children’s lives, spinning their stories and swaying their souls.  And one of the few genres where the goal may even be, to get your listeners to sleep.

Drum roll please….

APRA Best Children’s Song finalists:
– Michal Bush, Andrew Knopp, Victoria Knopp for Brave performed by Music with Michal
– Robin Nathan for Chihuahua performed by fleaBITE
– Siu Williams-Lemi for He Uri Ngāti Hua-Rakau performed by Loopy Tunes Preschool Music

Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa / Best Children’s Music Artist finalists:
– Chris Lam Sam for Chris Lam Sam’s Silly Funny Songs For Kids!
– Music with Michal for Can You Make Music?
– fleaBITE for Snakes Alive

NZ On Air Best Children’s Music Video finalists: 
– Captain Festus McBoyle for Bubble video written and directed by Larissa Lofley, produced by Pea-Knuckle Productions
– Judi Cranston for 5+ A Day video by Judi Cranston, produced by Parry Jones
– Custard’s World Puppets/Whoa! Studios for A Little Care (Wash Your Hands) video produced by Candace Borchert and directed by Raj Singh

“Creative songwriting for tamariki is happening right now, particularly with stories celebrating and embracing te ao Māori, emotional wellbeing and positivity,” says Suzy Cato, NZ Children’s Music writer, author and broadcaster.  “It’s no wonder these performances will tickle your funny bone, send shivers up your spine, and then warm your heart up all over again. It’s equal to anything from international artists and, even better, it reflects kiwi kids and their whānau and lives.”

Presented by Recorded Music NZ, APRA NZ and NZ On Air, the awards have the support of Kiwi Kids Music, the national association of children’s songwriters, creators and producers.  Formed by some of the most passionate creators of music for Kiwi Kids, the association supports NZ children’s music creators and seeks to advance the potential of all our children to live healthy fulfilling lives.

The 2020 awards were celebrated with the show broadcast on Home Learning TV and online due to Covid so everyone was able to join in at home and enjoy the ceremony and you can watch it again right here.

Winners will be announced at an invite only ceremony on Sunday 16 May at Tuning Fork, Spark Arena.  The show will be hosted by Suzy Cato with awards presented by a cast of adorable Kiwi Kids. There will be live performances, video screenings and to follow the awards, interactive music-making workshops, BBQ and plenty of fun and games.

Thanks to APRA AMCOS NZ, Recorded Music NZ, Spark Arena and NZ On Air who have created a special spotifty playlist celebrating this years finalists, available here.