Darren Watson has received numerous national and international awards and accolades for his skills as a live performer, his original songwriting, and a slew of influential self-produced albums. He has received multiple NZ Music Award nominations, and even picked up the Best Blues Song award at Nashville's prestigious International Songwriting Competition for All Going Wrong from his album South Pacific Soul.
Last year, Watson released a song, Planet Key, satirising the current Prime Minister of New Zealand. It was hugely popular online with an accompanying music video. The song had over 100,000 views in a week and reached #5 on the NZ Top 20 Singles Chart before the New Zealand Electoral Commission advised that the song was not able to be broadcast or sold without risking prosecution. Darren challenged the advice in the High Court. Some eight months later, the judge released a comprehensive ruling that vindicated the song and video on all counts. In doing so, the court emphasised the importance of the rights to freedom of expression and to participate in genuine elections for Parliament, confirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
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