Independent Music NZ is excited to announce the 2020 recipient of the Classic Record. This award celebrates an iconic record that has shaped Aotearoa’s music scene and continues to inspire us today.
This year, IMNZ pays respect to Shona Laing for her synth-soaked album South released in 1987 on Pagan Records (NZ). South includes seminal track ‘(Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy’ a New Zealand classic that first saw great international success before landing on local radio and jumping to #2 on the NZ Music Charts. South marked a significant shift in Shona’s career where synth-pop suddenly took the reins, her insightful lyrics, both poetic and political, remained. Following South, Shona toured internationally, produced five more albums, received two APRA Silver Scroll's and was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame in 2013!
“She can be the achingly sensitive poet, a furiously astute social and political commentator (yes, she wrote a song called White Colonial Middle-Class Anarchist) or a woman speaking plainly of the power of passion and love.” - Graham Reid, Elsewhere.co.nz
Shona Laing will receive the Independent Music NZ Classic Record award at the Taite Music Prize awards ceremony on 5 May.
Shona Laing first appeared in the music scene in 1972 when her audition for the TV talent show New Faces was shown to the record executive of Phonogram Records - she was signed before the country saw her on-screen. Shona won second place on New Faceswith her song ‘1905’, it reached No. 4 on the NZ Singles Chart and stayed there for 14 weeks. Shona delivered many more chart-topping songs including ‘Show Your Love’ (No. 4) and ‘Masquerade’ (No. 11) from her first album Whispering Afraid in 1973. The same year, she would receive her first of many RATA Awards - Best Newcomer, Best Female Vocalist and Performer of the Year. Other defining moments in Shona’s career included; taking the top prize at Tokyo World Song Festival in 1974, a singles deal with EMI leading to ‘Don’t Tell Me’ on BBC Radio One’s A-playlist, joining Manfred Man’s Earthband for two years, the success of ‘(Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy’ and subsequently South, receiving the APRA Silver Scroll twice for 'Soviet Snow' (1988) and ‘Mercy of Love’ (1992) and being inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
Read Shona Laing's profile on Audioculture here.