Categories

New Mexico Music Awards
2015 Award Categories

Because the number of entries in a category fluctuate from year to year, we are considering the following changes.

Those categories with less than five entries may be combined with another category similar in style. For instance, Americana and Folk might be combined or World Beat and Reggae might be combined. Entrants will be given notice that their category will be combined with another and be given the option of a refund of their entry fee or moving their entry to another category.

For example, if the entrant does not want to have their music combined in the Folk/Bluegrass category, they would also have the option of moving the entry into the Best Song or Singer/Songwriter category.

In addition, categories with less than five entrants where the majority of the entries come from one person or band, the category will either be combined with another category, if appropriate, streamlined to eliminate the duplicate entries or the entrants will be given the option of a refund of their entry fee or having their entry moved to another category, where appropriate. For instance, if we have four entrants with the same name in the Blues category and one other entrant, the category will have to be altered to fit the new rule.

Also, I an effort to streamline the music awards presentation program, some awards will be handed out prior to the ceremony. The decision will be made based on the categories with fewer than five entries or other consideration such as combined or altered categories.

Single Length Genre Categories
Categories 1-26 are judged on production, performance and arrangement.

1. Adult Contemporary - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This category is the softer side of many artists in many genres, from Taylor Swift to Rod Stewart, Maroon 5 and Sheryl Crow, American Authors, John Legend, One Direction…you get the picture. Sometimes described as "Light Rock" or "Soft Rock". Other artists current include Train, Kelly Clarkson, Five for Fighting, Josh Groban, John Mayer, Snow Patrol and Elton John.

2. Americana - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This music encompasses the spirit of Folk with a modern twist. Ironically, unfamiliar to most Americans. Artists like Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, The Handsome Family, Old Crow Medicine Show, the Time Jumpers, Mumford & Sons, Jakob Dylan, John Hiatt and Rodeny Crowell. The original? Johnny Cash.

3. Blues - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Gutbucket, Down Home, Delta, Mississippi. Whatever you call it, its roots are African-American and it is the foundation for Rock and Roll music around the world. More modern blues artists include Joe Bonamassa, Larry Lampkin, Keb Mo’, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. The King Family (BB, Albert, Freddie) and legends like Buddy Guy are who we aspire to be.

4. Bluegrass - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Bluegrass, New Grass, Sweet Grass are considered for this category. Current artists include Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Dave Grisman, Bela Fleck, Chris Hillman Rhonda Vincent, Rickey Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and even Steve Martin. Traditionally un-plugged,

5. Children’s Music - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This music, written especially for youth aging in range from kindergarten through early teens may be entertaining, instructive or both. You know the usual suspects. Raffi, The Wiggles or Schoolhouse Rock, Disney stock and the Kidz Bop series are examples of this kind of music.

6. Country - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Contemporary Country and Hot Country dominate this category. Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney make up the hot side of Country Music, while Redneck Rock & Roll the likes of Justin Moore, Toby Keith and Zack Brown Band tend more toward the Contemporary. There is also room for the great balladeers like Vince Gill and Faith Hill. And where would we be without George Jones?

7. Electronica - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This music brings into its circle all forms of electronic music including Dance. Currents include Daft Punk, Pete Tong, Skrillex, DJ Vadim, David Guetta, The Wonder Girls, LFMAO, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, Scissor Sisters, Enigma, Cascada. Und Kraftwerk, Ja.

8. Folk – Original Compositions only. Folk music encompasses more traditional genres such as Johnny Cash, Dylan, John Prine, Bruce Cockburn,Kristofferson and Neil Young. Lucinda Williams, Iris De Menth, Chris Isaak and Tracy Chapman. More recent include the Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Lumineers, The Stray Birds and Rose Cousins.

9.Hip-Hop - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Hip-Hop retains the soul of R&B and the street of Rap and adds a beat. Think Drake, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Frankie Ocean, Wiz Kalifa, Akon, Pitbull, Bruno Mars, Ciara, Nelly, Chris Brown, Kanye, Diddy, Eminem, TI, and Trey Songz.

10. Indie Rock - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Current artists include Gossip, The Stokes, Haim, Boxer Rebellion and Llanios. Earlier incarnations include Muse, The Black Keys, Three Days Grace, Jack White, Red Jump Suit Apparatus, Green Day, The Killers, One Republic, Muse, Staind, Evanescence, Nickleback, Godsmack, and Saliva. Let us all lay down at the altar of REM and Nirvana.

11. Jazz - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Jazz today is created in a wide range of styles such as Contemporary, Smooth and Eclectic; but one thing is certain, Jazz will always define hip. Miles, Dizzy and Duke, who changed the face of jazz are now considered straight ahead traditional, The Rippingtons, Fourplay, Joe Sample and George Benson could be tagged as Contemporary while Wayman Tisdale, Dave Koz, Joyce Cooling, Marion Meadows and Boney James, are considered Smooth Jazz artists. Bela Fleck…definitely Eclectic.

12. Latin - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Encompasses Traditional local styles of Spanish music such as Regional Mexican. Waltzes, Polkas, Mariachi, Norteñas, Rancheras, Cumbia and more contemporary flavors including  Latin dance and big band, Cubano, Latin Jazz, Merengue, Tango as well as contemporary styles like Rigaton, Ritmo and Romantico. Consider Calle 13, Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Los Lobos, Prince Royce etc.

13. Metal - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This is not your father's Rock & Roll. Power chords, tree stumps for drumsticks and amps that go all the way up to 11. From Zepplin, Alice Cooper, AC/DC and Motorhead,  to Riot V, KIX, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold, Ironiclast, Finger Eleven, All That Remains, and Amon Amarth.

14. Modern Rock - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Often referred to as Classic Rock or Heritage Rock, this is the type of rock that embraces the style laid down by the likes of The Who, Springsteen, Aerosmith and Tom Petty. The second generation of rockers include The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Green Day, and Lenny Kravitz. Currents include Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Papa Roach, Foo Fighters, Muse, Alter Bridge and Disturbed.

15. Native American - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This music may be traditional style (drums, corn dances, round dances) or may be modern in scope (NAC, Rock, Hip-Hop) and must incorporate some sort of Native American cultural aspect. Ideally, it is written and/or performed by Native Americans. Reference R. Carlos Nakai, Indigenous, Redbone, XIT, Coupstick and a Tribe Called Red.

16. New Age Contemporary - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Reflective, soothing, spiritual are often the words used to describe this eclectic music. Enya, Kitaro, Secret Garden,Jean Michele Jarre, Armik, Jim Brickman and Paul Cardall would be the prime suspects in this category.

17. Novelty/Humorous – Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Songs in this category can be satirical, parody or humorous in nature. While you may parody previously released material using the original music arrangement as a basis for the parody, the parody itself must be original (i.e. satirical or humorous lyrics).

18. Pop – Pop has always been a catchall format for that style of music that is not defined by a specific genre but with mass appeal, nonetheless. It can range wildly from Ke$ha, Adele, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, Selena Gomez, Fergie, Kay Perry and Miley Cyrus to Michael Buble.

19. Punk - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. From The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Velvet Underground, and The Dead Kennedys to more contemporary artists like The Ataris, The Misfits, JuiceheaD, The Vibrators, Nick Cave, The Benjamins and the Transplants. Is punk dead? Is Tenacious D a parody? Emo is included in this category. Includes Steam Punk.

20. R & B - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Sometimes called "Black" or "Urban" This African-American influenced music brings to mind Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Earth Wind & Fire and Aretha Franklin. It has since spun off into other categories such as Rap, Hip-Hop and House. More recent examples would be Kendrick Lamar, Snoh Aalegra, Rhiana, Beyonce, Brian McKnight, India.Arie, Mariah Carey, Macy Gray, Ashanti, Shakira, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys.

21. Rap – Original compositions only. Rap is street and sometimes volatile protest music reaches back to Melle Mel, Public Enemy and Run DMC while pushing forward to Snoop Lion, Bow Wow, Kanye, Eminem, Soulja Boy, Tyga, Nicky Minaj, Chingy, Lil Scrappy, Unk, Jay-Z and Ja Rule.

22. Reggae – Original compositions only. Originating in Jamaica, the phenomenon soon went worldwide and is a major influence on dancehall music. Reggae artists today include Luciano, Concious Roots, Sanchez, Sizzla and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Marley.

23. Religious/Gospel - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Any style of music is accepted. The music should have a spiritual message. Generally, this category is dominated by Contemporary Christian music artists like Chris Tomlin, Finding Favour, Colton Dixon, Jars of Clay, Mercy Me and Third Day, but has included more traditional Gospel music like Kirk Franklin, and Kelly Price. Spiritual music and music from other world religions have been introduced into this category. This category is also judged on how professionally the music gets the message across.

24. Singer/Songwriter - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This genre attempts to define the songwriter not only as an entity, but as a style. Typically acoustic or stripped down to the bare essential components, it encompasses many styles. From James Taylor to Jewel, Alicia Keys to Ryan Adams and so many more this category makes many into one. Reference early Dylan, Lucinda Williams, The White Buffalo, Crystal Bowersox, , Adele, Emmylou Harris, Billy Joel, John Mellancamp, Taylor Swift, Elvis Costello…..the list goes on and on.

25. Western - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. This genre encompasses the original experience of American Folk music, but embodies the “Spirit of the West” and is more wide-open spaces than barrooms and pickups. Sons of the Pioneers and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot are the forefathers. Riders in the Sky and the Cascade Horesmen are more recent.

26. World - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. World music tends to have ethnic folk roots but comes in all styles and all tounges. South American, Russian,  African, Western, Austrailian and Eastern European, Caribbean and music from the Pacific Rim would all be labeled World Music. Consider everything from The Mollys to Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Ravi Shankar and even Hawaiian slack key guitar as World Music.

Performance Specific Categories
Categories 27-34 are judged on criteria specific to the category.

27. Best Arrangement Original Composition - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Judged solely on the arrangement, its rhythm, consistency and complexity.

28. Best Cover Song (Remake) - Single length entries only. Recordings of previously released commercial material. Re-recordings or covers of material previously entered into the New Mexico Music Awards are not eligible. Covers are the lifeblood of any music genre. Just ask Alan Jackson, Linda Rondstat or Phil Collins. Judged on the arrangement and performance only.

29. Best Instrumental Performance - Single length entries only. Judged solely on the instrumentalists’ performance. Any style, single or group. Any genre.

30. Best Mastering Engineer- Single length entries only. Once the project is finished and the musicians have long since packed up and gone home, the Mastering Engineer is tasked with “sweetening” the sound and making it perfect for high quality audio presentation. Judged on entire ensemble.

31. Best Recording Engineer - Single length entries only. Producers oversee a project's individual components but engineers put the sound together. Judged solely on engineering quality of the entry. Judged on entire ensemble.

32. Best Song - Original compositions only. Single length entries only. Any genre. Based solely on composition.

33. Best Vocal Performance - Single length entries only. Judged on the entire vocal ensemble. Any style, male, female or group. Any genre.

Non-Performance Categories
Judged on marketing concepts and design.

34. Best Video –The video category includes film and video scores as well as traditional music videos.

35. Best Packaging Design - Entries must be album length and commercially available. Please submit a separate CD for this category. Graphics are an important part of selling any project. Cheesy artwork says cheap production to a record label or to a consumer.

Full Length Categories
Categories 36-43 are judged as a full length, commercially available projects. Commercially available means that the product must be retail ready and available through retail outlets or the Internet as a download through a retail outlet such as I-Tunes.. Projects available as a download only must be burned to CD and submitted with artwork (if available) with the entry. Each project is judged on the consistency and commercial viability of the project.

36. Best Country CD – Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judged on the project’s commercial viability within the Country music marketplace. Also judged on performance, production and composition. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

37. Best Hip-Hop CD-Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judged on the project’s commercial viability within the Hip-Hop music marketplace. Also judged on performance, production and composition. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

38. Best Jazz CD – With so much Jazz in New Mexico this category is long overdue. Any type of Jazz will be considered including Classic, Bebop, Fusion, Swing, Smooth, Rag Time, Dixieland, Latin, Avante-garde, Mainstream and others. If it’s Jazz, we’ll know it.

39. Best Pop CD – Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judged on the project’s commercial viability within the Pop music marketplace. Also judged on performance, production and composition. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

40. Best Rap CD-Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judged on the project’s commercial viability within the Rap music marketplace. Also judged on performance, production and composition. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

41. Best Rock CD – Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judged on the project’s commercial viability within the Rock music marketplace. Also judged on performance, production and composition. Please submit a separate CD for this category

42. Norman Petty Producer’s Award - Entries must be album length and commercially available. Judging is based on the consistency and quality of the total music product. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

43. Best of the Year - Entries must be album length and commercially available. This category encompasses the entire project. Judged on original concept, composition, engineering, production, performance, artwork, marketing and commercial viability. Please submit a separate CD for this category.

 


 


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