Country Music Awards New Zealand

Horizon Nominees 2015

The winner is Kayla Mahon

The Horizon is an emerging artist award that is announced each year at the Country Music Awards New Zealand (CMANZ). The Award originated as it became apparent nationally that young artists entering the music field particularly in the genre of Country required support and a platform from where they could: • Develop their skills and knowledge in stage presentation, song writing, recording, decision making and leadership. • Be recognised as an emerging New Zealand artist both nationally and internationally. • Contribute to their community both locally and nationally. Three emerging New Zealand artists, who are passionate about their music and are endeavouring to make this their career are invited each year to be an Horizon Nominee. These are selected by the KPA Board jointly with other notaries in the NZ Music Industry. After performing at the CMANZ, followed by an interview with Rob Potts (Promoters of CMC Rocks, Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival and recently Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Management of Morgan Evans) and Gray Bartlett MBE (CEO & Founder at New Zealand Entertainment Academy Ltd and Patron of KPA the Award is presented. The prize includes a trip to perform at the CMA World GlobaLive Nashville ( and the CMC Rocks (, Australia’s largest International Country Festival.
Kayla Mahon Hannah Cosgrove Jenny Harraway
Country music singer/songwriter, Kayla Mahon is from small town Gore, in Southland New Zealand. With country music as a mainstay, her infectious voice, an acoustic guitar and a bundle of original songs Kayla is set to show that passion, grit and deep rooted musicality are characteristics that find her compared to favorite artists like Kacey Musgraves and Clare Bowen. Country audiences were introduced to Kayla as one part of the successful country pop New Zealand duo, called The Heartleys in 2009 where they together won many prestigious awards. Fast track to 2015, and Kayla is now steering the ship on her own musical course. Launching a solo career on the back of her Top 24 contestant appearance on a New Zealand Television show, is an experience she say’s has “set a fire inside of her to song write and become the country artist she has dreamed of”. With two duo albums as a fine springboard, this year she is recording a solo debut EP (with producer Roger Corbett, The Valley Studio) where she is stepping into a mature musicality offering personal reflection and creating her authentic country sound. Hannah is a singer/songwriter and has been singing since she was taken to her first country music club at the age of 7. She has had tremendous success, winning many awards over the years. The major ones being NZCMA Entertainer of the Year twice as a Junior and twice as an Intermediate and last year, 2014, winning the Senior Country Music Entertainer of the Year. She also won 2014 NZCMA Songwriter of the Year with her song 'What I Never Do" Hannah has also won Junior and Intermediate Overall at NZ Gold Guitars. She is also a graduate of the Junior Country Music College in Australia after winning scholarships to attend. Hannah has been busy writing songs and is hoping to record her debut album early next year. She is in her last year of a three year Bachelor of Media Arts majoring in Commercial Music. Hannah’s musical potential was recognised by the Adastra Foundation which provides financial and mentoring support to extraordinary young New Zealanders in their pursuit of excellence. She gained scholarships from them in 2014 and 2015. Hannah’s recent success on New Zealand Television show has strengthened her desire to pursue music professionally. Hannah has performed regularly all over New Zealand and in Tamworth Australia for over ten years on her own and recently as part of her newly formed duo Mae Valley. She is very honoured to be nominated for the Horizon Award. Born into a musical family, Jenny was lucky to have her talents recognized and nurtured from a young age. Along with her very artistic classically trained mother and yodelling stockman father they joined the Central Coast Country Music Club in Oamaru not far from where she grew up in Kurow, North Otago. At the age of nine she was also enrolled in classical lessons with the renowned Ms Dorothy Cayford of Oamaru and was coached to many Oamaru Operatic Society competition wins. But the country in Jenny wasn't to be denied and from the age of ten she began to make finals and gained many wins around the New Zealand Country awards scene, some of the more notable would be wins at the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards, an invitation to compete in the Entertainer of the year in Gisbourne 1995 and competing on the television talent quest McDonald's Young Entertainers. Not afraid of a bit of hard work Jenny set out to achieve her dreams of being a successful country recording artist and in 2009 applied, was accepted and graduated from the CMAA college of country music in Tamworth Australia. Armed with a new found knowledge of what it takes to go professional, Jenny has been forming a fan base through gigging and online and developing her sound and brand in preparation for recording her debut EP in 2016.

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