Gold Winner Asia & NuGruv
Silver Winner Hillsburn
Bronze Winner Tri City Villains
“I’m pretty shocked, and grateful at the same time,” says Asia & Nu Gruv’s bassist Nathan Symonds. “We don’t get a lot of time to do things other than perform, it’s been a busy fall, and we’re booking into the new year, playing New Year’s Eve at the Casino and in Truro in November for Nova Scotia Music Week.” The chances are good that you’ve seen Asia & Nu Gruv before—playing soulful, party-hit classics and twists on top 40 hits, the band has been at this for over 10 years. In that time, they’ve honed their performances skills to a fine point. They know how to make you dance, it’s tested and true. “It seems every time we get some feedback it’s always about our interaction with audience,” says Symonds. “I think that’s a big thing, getting people involved. You can play music on stage all night, but a big part is to be engaging.” About frontperson Asia, who can belt out a classic with enough feeling to raise goosebumps, Symonds is succinct: “Either you have that gift or you don’t—she has it.” We agree.