Let the music play:
Hitting the high notes with The New Zealand Music Awards.
It’s one of the biggest nights on the New Zealand entertainment calendar and this year the hosts are singer Stan Walker and The Project’s Kanoa Lloyd.
We’re talking about The New Zealand Music Awards,a star-studded evening attended by some of the country’s most beloved performers and celebrity guests.
For Walker, who shot to fame after winning Australian Idol in 2009, this will be the second time he has hosted the awards. Back in 2013 he teamed up with then The Block NZ presenter Shannon Ryan.
His first experience with the annual awards night was a few years before that when he was relatively new to the music business.
“I remember it wasn’t too long after Idol,” recalls Walker.
“It was just a buzz because I didn’t know that I had a fan base or that anything was happening for me in New Zealand.
“So it was cool to come back to New Zealand and be able to perform at the first time that I went to the awards.”
Walker picked up multiple awards that night and another one the
“I don’t know if I’m cool enough to be Stan’s friend.”
– Kanoa Lloyd with Stan Walker
following year. Until recently, his trophies from these awards shows were in different locations. “I’ve only just got them back,” he says. “I had a few of them in my niece’s little kitchenette. “She had three of them in there and then my mum had some and then I had some in storage from my house in Sydney. They are at my house now. I think I’ve got all of them. I don’t know.” Walker, 28, was born in Australia and is well used to flitting back and forth across the Tasman but now lives in Auckland. Earlier this year he was the subject of Stan, an unflinching and intensely personal documentary in which he had his stomach removed. His recovery took months but Walker, who was gearing up to do a nationwide tour when he spoke to TV Guide, says his health is now “really good”. “I’m healthy as,” he says. “I’m fit. My voice is in better condition than it’s ever been. I just can’t eat the old bad food that I used to love eating.” It is a busy time for Walker with his tour and the upcoming Music Awards which reunites him with Kanoa Lloyd. “I met Stan on and off over the years,” Lloyd says. “He used to come into Mai FM when I was working there. I think I interviewed him when I was at Four Live. But I guess we really connected through our work at The Project. He’s been a fourth host on The Project a couple of times now.
“Earlier this year Stan opened up about his journey through cancer and he and I talked a bit about that and putting that story out there.
“It’s a rare thing but sometimes when you do an interview ... you do feel way closer to that person.
“I think that’s what happened there. He might feel differently. I don’t know if I’m cool enough to be Stan’s friend.”
Lloyd says that Walker, who is used to being on stage, will be a terrific co-host.
“Stan is just 100 per cent Stan,” she says. “How he is on stage is how he is in the green room making a cup of tea and I think that’s what people relate to. He’s hilarious and charming.”
Unlike Walker, Lloyd’s skills don’t lie in the music department.
“I do sing but I’m not going to say it’s good,” she says.
“I do sing in the car. I sing Happy Birthday to my friends. Stan’s got all the talent.
“I’ve been to piano lessons, I’ve been to violin lessons, I’ve been to guitar lessons, I’ve been to recorder lessons but it never stuck.”
But whether you are musically gifted or not, Lloyd reckons the Music Awards are something we can all enjoy and appreciate.
“I think that New Zealand music is the soundtrack to us,” she says.
“I think that whether you are a massive hip-hop head or you’re a punk kid or you’re super into pop music, these artists and the songs and the work that they’re making, it’s there in the background for all of us all the time.
“So it gives us a chance to say thanks to these musicians for making our lives a bit cooler, more glamorous and more interesting.”