Millyz is nominated for Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards. He’s seen in 2017 – many tattoos ago. (Photo: John Brewer)

The lineup of Boston Music Awards nominees for the year is rich with Cambridge and Somerville staples. Familiar names include Once Somerville and The Sinclair, which represent the area as nominees for Live Music Venue of the Year. Small performance venues Atwood’s Tavern; Club Passim; Lizard Lounge; The Burren; and Toad are up for Intimate Live Music Venue of the Year.

For Live Music Stream of the Year, honoring those who adapted their programming to meet the challenges of Covid-19, local favorite Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys have been nominated for the “Bunker Buds” livestream, a nightly broadcast designed to create a sense of togetherness despite pandemic stay-at-home orders.

Brandie Blaze, a Cambridge-born rapper, is nominated for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. (Photo: Brandie Blaze via Facebook)

Club Passim’s Live Stream; Once Somerville’s Virtual Venue; and HipStory House Party, a Cambridge-based celebration of local hip-hop artists, are also nominated for their use of virtual performance platforms for artists during the pandemic. Another strong contender is seven-time Boston Music Awards winner Will Dailey’s Isolation Tour, which was held virtually to raise funding for several Cambridge-area venues in need.

Nominated for Artist of the Year is Millyz, a Central Square-based rapper whose album “Blanco 3” debuted at No. 6 on the iTunes charts when it was released in October.

Nominated for Video of the Year is Alec Hutson’s “Zebra,” with a feature from Cliff Notez, who is up for an impressive six Boston Music Awards. With videography by Alex Ezorsky, “Zebra” comes alive through visual references to Cambridge, Somerville and Boston; you might notice Hutson strolling through Porter Square or meeting friends at Winter Hill Brewing Company in Somerville, for example.

Other nominees include Cambridge-born rapper Brandie Blaze for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Coral Moons, currently collaborating with Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville to raise money for local indie venues, for Alt/Indie Artist of the Year. Anjimile, a frequent performer in Cambridge and Somerville, appears in seven categories.

The awards have been recognizing up-and-coming talent and spotlighting music industry contributions and excellence since 1987, but the mantra of “Celebrate, Support, Unite” may be  particularly relevant this year. While the awards, normally held at the House of Blues in Boston, will announce winners online Dec. 11, fans can still show virtual support by sharing the news on social media and buying nominees’ music.


This post was updated Nov. 23, 2020, to correct the omission of “Zebra” and the creative team behind it.

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