The Music Categories

Best Rock
A category for straight ahead pure rock and pop bands and artists.

Best Hard Rock
With a heavier sound than traditional rock, this category is for those who rock a bit harder.

Best Punk
A type of rock-‘n’-roll originating from garages in the 1960s, characterized by loud, insistent music and rebellious protest lyrics and behavior.

Best Metal
Heavy metal includes a group of related styles that are intense, virtuosic, and powerful and driven by aggressive sounds of the distorted electric guitar.

Best Pop
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the Western world as a softer alternative to rock and roll. Pop music is eclectic, and often borrows elements from other styles such as urban, dance, rock, Latin, and country; nonetheless, there are core elements that define pop music. Identifying factors include generally short to medium-length songs written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common use of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks.

Best Alternative/Indie
The term “alternative” was coined in the 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired bands on independent record labels that did not fit into the mainstream genres of the time.

Best DJ
For local DJs and acts that spin records at dance clubs or incorporate electronic elements into their music through samples, computers and sequencing.

Best Americana/Folk
A category for music that incorporates elements of various roots music styles including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, honky tonk and rockabilly.

Best Country
A category for the more traditional/pop/outlaw country artists and bands playing styles with a Southern/Western influence.

Best R&B
A music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, soul, funk, pop, hip hop and dance.

Best Soul
A category derived from gospel with an emphasis on vocals and an impassioned improvisatory delivery.

Best Hip Hop/Rap
For modern soul music exemplified by chanting vocals supported by sampled, synthesized or performed beats. Artists may be accompanied by musicians or recordings.

Best Blues
Both traditional and contemporary blues.

Best Jazz
Encompasses jazz, both traditional and contemporary.

Best Progressive Rock/Experimental/EDM
A category recognizing innovative instrumental skill with performances to be viewed as combined presentations of music, lyrics, and visuals.

Best World
This category encompasses styles of music heavily influenced by other cultures around the globe or countries other than our own.

Best Cover Band
A category for bands who cover multiple artists songs or those that focus on paying tribute to just one, regardless of genre.

Album of the Year
Must be released between September 1 and August 31 of the ballot year.

Artist of the Year
A category for the band or artist who had the biggest impact on the area’s music scene and it’s listeners. For outstanding achievement between September 1 and August 31 of that year.

Best New Artist
A category for the band or artist that had the brightest emergence from September 1 and August 31 of that year.

Best Recording Studio
With Omaha’s booming music scene and the rate at which records are created, we are also home to some fantastic recording studios who use their time, talent and equipment to help musicians realize their dreams and goals, while living their own. These studios are part of the necessary mechanics to a truly innovative city, full of working artists and creative economy.

Best Live Music Sound Engineer
Sound engineers are integral to successful musical endeavors. They, along with the musicians who trust them, collaborate digitally to bring beautiful and crisp audio to their audience. Through recording, mixing, and reproducing sound engineers use their expertise to give life to the performance experience.