The MusicNL Awards celebrate the musicians and industry professionals of Newfoundland and Labrador, by recognizing the accomplishments of its members.
The bulk of the awards were given out tonight at an awards gala hosted by an on-point Alan Doyle, at the St. John’s Convention Centre. The gala closed off a week of varied workshops, showcases, and events.
By the end of it, 2 dozen awards were handed out to numerous artists and industry workers, some obvious choices, some surprises, and the esteemed Glen Tilley took home the Life time Achievement Award.
3 Trophies a Piece for Janet Cull, Steve Maloney, and The Kubasonics
4 artists went into the night with 5 nominations each: Janet Cull, Ian Foster, Steve Maloney and The Once, while 3 names left with three trophies a piece: Steve Maloney, Janet Cull, and The Kubasonics.
The Ukrainian sensation, The Kubasonics, clearly surprised themselves by winning Folk Album and Group of the Year, but after earning a standing ovation for their performance, no one was surprised to see they won The Overcast’s Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year award, for their wild, engaging, infectious stage presence. The entire room was stomping along, many having just heard the band for the first time. They’re the act everyone was talking about as they left tonight.
In her review of Steve Maloney’s The Memory Game in The Overcast, Sandy May praised the album for being “bigger and more ambitious, yet somehow more refined than Maloney’s debut. All of the sonic pieces instinctively fall into place: lavish strings, guitars, piano, synthesizers, vibraphone, therevox, percussion, all complementing one another, and effortlessly showcasing Maloney’s talent as a songwriter and vocalist. At just 8 tracks, the album is a concise, yet completely satisfying offering.” Steve won Best Alternative Album, Country Album, and Male Artist of the Year.
“Underneath Janet Cull’s Real Tough Love,” says The Overcast’s Brad Pretty, “ lies a coal engine powering a locomotive filled with local splendor … It flares up and pushes forward. It smokes its way to the next stop, each its own sordid haunt, each with its own soul, its own cry or lament. The only real consistency is the thick cloud her voice is wrapped in. It’s confident, sultry, and downright huge, each inhale and exhale measured precisely with just the right dose of grace and power.” Cull took home Album of the Year, Best Female Artist, and Pop/Rock Album of the Year.
Here are the Winners:
FACTOR Album of the Year: Janet Cull’s Real Tough Love
Alternative Artist of the Year: Steve Maloney
O’Reilly’s Celtic/Traditional Artist of the Year: Rum Ragged
Country Artist of the Year: Steve Maloney
The Overcast Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year: The Kubasonics
Pose Row & Travel Bug’s Female Artist of the Year: Janet Cull
Folk/Roots Artist of the Year: The Kubasonics
Group of the Year: The Kubasonics
Instrumental Recording of the Year: Fretboard Journey
Classic Hits Coast 101.1 FM Jazz/Blues Artist of the Year: Earle & Coffin
DC Design House Male Artist of the Year: Mick Davis
The Nickel Music Video of the Year: Kellie Loder – “Boxes” Dir: Tom Cochrane
MOLSON/COORS Pop/Rock Artist of the Year: Janet Cull
Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: JYAY
Ron Hynes SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Steve Maloney
Urban/Electronic Artist of the Year: Happy Beats
Industry Award Winners
Graphic Artist: Krista Power
Krista Power is a well-known force in the local music scene, not just for her stunning design work, but as one half of the force behind everyone’s favourite concert promotion company, MightyPop, and as a member of Derm Kean & an Incredible Woman. Power is also a part-time instructional assistant in the design department at The College of the North Atlantic, and lends time to things like Girls Rock NL and Ladies Learning Code.
Industry Professional of the Year: Andrew Boyd
Outstanding Company of the Year: Rock Eden
Boyd is the founder of Rock Eden, a recently launched non-profit digital music magazine created to promote artists from Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as artists touring our province. The magazine focuses primarily on web features as well as live performance videos and radio. The website is home to fetures, articles, videos, downloadable music plalylists and more.
Media Person of the Year: Paul Brace
Paul Brace is the host of “The Coast Home,” which airs Mondays through Fridays on Coast 101.1, during the ride home from work. Since joining The Coast, Brace made it a goal to goal to include songs from the local music scene “as much as possible,” including interviews. When not DJ-ing for the station, he’s a producer. And songwriter himself, as well as a voice actor, and the owner of Empire Sound, a small studio in his home, where he produces local bands and creates jingles and advertisements for businesses. He’s a graduate of the Metalwork’s Institute of Sound and Music Production, and he won the Songwriters Association of Canada’s Most Promising Songwriter in 2009.
Educator of the Year: Melanie O’Brien
O’Brien trained at Sheridan College in Ontario, where she studied performance and also started songwriting – she was also up for two music awards this week: Rising Star and Female Artist of the Year. Melanie offers vocal coaching out of her home studio, where she teaches students of all ages and levels with an emphasis on vocal health, performance, and enjoyment. In her second year at the Sheridan, Melanie was awarded the Prime time radio scholarship for outstanding achievement in commercial performance.
Side Musician of the Year: Darren “Boobie” Browne
The man who has served in too many bands to list, adding more than his fair share of flare to the music, has once again been recognized for his contributions to local music. There’s nearly no genre he hasn’t shown up in, and maybe no country he hasn’t toured. To quote his bandmates from The Kubasonics on this award win, “Our brother in arms Darren just won ‘Side Musician of the Year’ at the MusicNL awards. But we all know he is way more than a side musician!”
Volunteer of the Year: Don-E Coady
Don-E is best known as the founder of Dc Design House Inc., an award-winning advertising and design company in St. John’s, NL, but his name is never far from music happenings in the province, and his endless list of volunteering credits overlaps with the Arts often (he’s a board member at Unpossible NL, for example, and NL; and a co-founder of The Designers, a media-arts community-building event-based organization. It’s not his first win of this very award, and he’s also been nominated for Media Designer of the Year at the ECMAs.