When you’re a real music lover in addition to an avid traveller, then you definitely’re in all probability inclined to take a look at the native music scene in each new vacation spot you go to. New Zealand could also be small, however travelling music buffs shouldn’t be stunned to find the thriving group of native artists providing a definite Kiwi sound.
New Zealand’s music scene is really particular and distinctive, and it’s simple to see why it stands out in a league of its personal. For starters, New Zealand has a inhabitants of simply over 5 million folks, but its music scene punches properly above its weight when it comes to creativity, innovation, and variety.
One of many defining options of the New Zealand music scene is its emphasis on showcasing native expertise. Kiwi music is all about celebrating homegrown expertise and giving native artists a platform to shine. This has led to a vibrant and thriving music tradition that’s wealthy in selection, with every thing from indie rock to hip-hop to digital music.
Take a look at who’s who within the Kiwi music scene in our information to New Zealand music.
Lorde is a New Zealand singer-songwriter who first gained worldwide consideration together with her debut single “Royals” in 2013. Her music is commonly described as various pop or electropop, with a particular sound that blends moody, introspective lyrics with lush, atmospheric instrumentation.
Sound: Lorde’s model is characterised by her haunting vocals, which have a uncooked and emotive high quality that completely matches the introspective themes of her songs. Her music usually explores themes of adolescence, fame, and relationships, with a eager eye for element and a present for crafting memorable hooks.
Why see this artist: When you’re on the lookout for an artist who can ship considerate and emotionally resonant pop music that stands out from the group, then Lorde is certainly price trying out. Her music has been praised for its authenticity and depth, and her lyrics have resonated with followers world wide who’re on the lookout for one thing extra than simply one other pop banger.
High songs to take a look at: “Inexperienced Gentle,” the lead single from Lorde’s second album, “Melodrama.” Different notable songs from Lorde’s discography embody “Royals,” “Workforce,” and “Legal responsibility.”
Sound: A uniquely Kiwi mix of rock, R&B, drum and bass with a touch of soul
Why see them: Fashioned in Dunedin when the members had been attending college, Six60 is a agency native favorite identified for his or her legendary dwell reveals. They’re usually one of many first bands folks consider while you ask about notable Kiwi music acts. Regardless of worldwide success and recognition, they nonetheless love enjoying on residence soil in Aotearoa.
The identify Six60 comes from their previous deal with in Dunedin, 660 Citadel Avenue. Their first album was known as Six60, and their most up-to-date 2022 album was known as Citadel Avenue. It appears as if they don’t neglect their roots…
High songs to take a look at: “Don’t Neglect Your Roots”, “Rise Up”
Sound: Heavy soul with drum and bass, liquid funk
Why see them: One in every of NZ’s hottest bands has been round since 1999. Additionally, their monitor file of dwell performances is fairly good, having already performed at festivals like Glastonbury, Parklife, Massive Day Out and The Massive Chill, in addition to touring in Australia and Europe.
Throughout Prince Harry and Meghan’s then Royal tour of the South Pacific, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, introduced the couple with two Shapeshifter albums, The System is a Vampire and Stars.
High Songs to take a look at: “Stars”, “Life is a Dancefloor”
Shihad is a New Zealand rock band that has been making music for the reason that late Eighties. Their sound and elegance might be described as a mixture of exhausting rock, post-grunge, and various steel, with heavy riffs, driving rhythms, and melodic hooks that make for an electrifying listening expertise.
Sound: One of many defining options of Shihad’s music is the highly effective and emotive vocals of lead singer Jon Toogood, who is thought for his intense stage presence and his potential to convey a variety of feelings by means of his singing. The band’s music usually explores themes of alienation, angst, and the battle to search out which means in a fancy and complicated world.
Why see them: When you’re on the lookout for an artist that delivers hard-hitting, emotionally charged rock music, then Shihad is certainly price trying out. Their dwell reveals are legendary, with the band delivering high-energy performances that depart audiences breathless.
High songs to take a look at: One prime track to take a look at is “Residence Once more,” a strong ballad that showcases Toogood’s vocal prowess and the band’s potential to craft emotionally resonant songs that talk to the human expertise. Different notable songs from Shihad’s discography embody “Run,” “Bitter,” and “Pacifier.”
Sound: primarily reggae, with a mixture of blues and digital funk
Why see them: Hailing from Whakatane, Bay of A lot, L.A.B. are like a Who’s Who of the NZ music scene. Band members embody Brad and Stuart Kora, from the band Kora in addition to bassist Ara Adams-Tamatea beforehand in Katchafire.
Their single “Within the Air” topped the NZ charts in 2020, and after 73 weeks within the prime 10, grew to become New Zealand’s primary promoting single of all time, changing Tiki Taane’s track beneath.
High track to take a look at: properly, it needs to be probably the most profitable ever NZ single, “Within the Air”, though the comply with up “Why Oh Why” can be price a pay attention.
Fly My Pretties
Fly My Pretties is a New Zealand musical collective that was shaped in 2004. The group consists of a rotating forged of musicians and singers, who come collectively to create distinctive and revolutionary music that blends parts of folks, rock, blues, and soul.
Sound: The sound and elegance of Fly My Pretties is characterised by its natural, acoustic instrumentation, lush vocal harmonies, and dynamic preparations. The group’s music usually options complicated, multi-layered compositions that showcase the skills of the varied musicians concerned.
Why see them: One of many major causes to see or hearken to Fly My Pretties is the sheer expertise and variety of the musicians concerned. The group has included a number of the most gifted and revered musicians within the New Zealand music scene, together with members of The Black Seeds, Fats Freddy’s Drop, TrinityRoots, and plenty of others.
One more reason to take a look at Fly My Pretties is the group’s dedication to innovation and experimentation. The collective is thought for pushing the boundaries of conventional musical genres and creating music that’s contemporary, thrilling, and really distinctive.
High songs to take a look at: One prime track to take a look at is “Bag of Cash,” a cool and upbeat monitor that options the soulful vocals of A Woman Named Mo. With its infectious groove, catchy refrain, and uplifting message, “Bag of Cash” is an ideal introduction to the distinctive sound and elegance of Fly My Pretties. Different notable songs from the group’s discography embody “Sing It Over,” “Fortunate,” and “Turnaround”.
Sound: Experimental Dub and Roots thrown along with acoustic
Why see him: In addition to being one among New Zealand’s most well-known musicians, Tiki Taane’s spectacular CV contains stints as a music producer, dwell audio engineer and an intensive checklist of compilations with different notable Kiwi bands and artists.
He was in main NZ band Salmonella Dub earlier than pursuing a solo profession, has been the dwell sound engineer for Shapeshifter in addition to producing albums for Six60.
High track to take a look at: “At all times On My Thoughts” (beforehand probably the most profitable single of all time in NZ – see above)
Sound: Hovering soul blended with parts of jazz; early Celtic music
Why see her: One in every of NZ’s most iconic singer-songwriters (and most well-known feminine artists), Hollie Smith has been giving powerhouse dwell performances at prestigious outside festivals world wide since her award-winning NZ debut as a 16-year-old.
She has additionally toured with Fats Freddy’s Drop (beneath) and had 4 NZ #1 albums, in addition to a string of critically acclaimed worldwide reveals.
High track to take a look at: “Bathe within the River”
Fats Freddy’s Drop
Sound: Dub, reggae, soul, jazz and techno
Why see them: A 7 piece band initially from Wellington, they’re well-known for his or her improbable spontaneous dwell performances. They had been initially a gaggle of Wellington musicians who jammed collectively, and nonetheless has members from different NZ bands like The Black seeds and TrinityRoots.
Their model is stable “Aotearoa Roots”, the laid again dub/reggae sound from their Maori and Pacific Island backgrounds and tradition.
High Music to take a look at: strive a few of their early work like “Wandering Eye”, “Hope” or “Ernie”, or some later stuff like “Blackbird” or “Clear the Home”.
Sound: Various Indie R & B
Why see her: BENEE brings us bang updated within the NZ music scene. She was born in 2000, that’s after a number of the iconic NZ bands on this checklist had been shaped. Regardless of releasing her debut album Hey U X as late as 2020 (keep in mind that yr?), she had already discovered worldwide recognition as two of her songs, “Glitter” and “Supalonely” went viral as dance challenges on Tik Tok in 2019 and 2020.
Born Stella Bennett, she made her solo debut below the identify Bene, supported Lily Allen in Auckland, lastly changing into BENEE (pronounced Benny). Right here’s a bizarre reality: she almost deserted music to pursue her dream of representing New Zealand at water polo. Who knew?
High Music to Test Out: “Supaloney” that includes Gus Dapperton, or one thing extra present like “Inexperienced Honda”.
Sound: Blues-based psychedelic rock
Why see them: Comprised of members sourced from just a few of New Zealand’s different massive identify bands, Little Bushman are at their greatest dwell – they thrive at festivals the place they’ll embrace a love of improvisation and let the music stream. Entrance man Warren Maxwell was with Fats Freddy’s Drop till 2006.
High track to take a look at: “Peaceable Man”, “Child”
Ahoribuzz (Aaron Tokona)
Ahoribuzz is a New Zealand musical mission led by Aaron Tokona, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has been a distinguished determine within the Kiwi music scene for a few years. The sound and elegance of Ahoribuzz draw on a variety of influences, together with funk, soul, reggae, and rock, leading to a sound that’s each eclectic and extremely danceable.
Aaron Tokona was a extremely revered and influential musician within the New Zealand music scene. He was extra than simply the mastermind behind Ahoribuzz, he additionally performed in a number of different notable bands over time, together with Weta, Cairo Knife Combat, and Fly My Pretties.
Tokona was a multi-talented musician who performed a wide range of devices, together with guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. He was identified for his virtuosic enjoying model and his potential to seamlessly mix completely different genres and types in his music.
Along with his musical abilities, Tokona was additionally a beloved determine within the New Zealand music group. He was identified for his heat and pleasant persona, his infectious vitality, and his unwavering dedication to creating nice music.
Sadly, Aaron Tokona handed away in 2021 on the age of 45. His loss of life was a terrific loss to the New Zealand music scene and to music lovers world wide. Nonetheless, his legacy lives on by means of his music, which continues to encourage and entertain followers to at the present time.
Sound: The music of Ahoribuzz is characterised by its infectious grooves, catchy melodies, and expertly crafted preparations. Tokona’s songwriting is sharp and insightful, with lyrics that discover themes of affection, politics, and the human expertise with a eager eye for element and a wry sense of humour.
Why see them (in your favorite video channel): When you’re on the lookout for an artist who can ship high-energy, genre-bending music that may get you up and dancing, then Ahoribuzz is certainly price trying out on Youtube or Vimeo. Their dwell reveals had been famend for his or her vitality and pleasure, with Tokona and his bandmates delivering electrifying performances that depart audiences wanting extra.
High track to take a look at: One prime track to take a look at is “Sugar,” a cool and upbeat monitor that showcases one of the best of what Ahoribuzz has to supply. With its infectious bassline, catchy refrain, and irresistible groove, “Sugar” is an ideal introduction to the band’s distinctive sound and elegance. Different notable songs from Ahoribuzz’s discography embody “Into The Sunshine,” “Turnaround,” and “Burning Love.”
See what units the NZ music scene aside
A few of the hottest music genres in New Zealand embody indie rock, pop, and digital dance music (EDM). Bands like The Beths and Six60 have been making waves internationally with their catchy, guitar-driven indie pop. In the meantime, EDM producers like Sachi and Montell2099 have been placing New Zealand on the map with their distinctive tackle digital music.
However what actually units the New Zealand music scene aside is its willingness to experiment and push boundaries. Kiwi artists aren’t afraid to take dangers and take a look at new issues, which has led to some really groundbreaking music over time. For instance, the late singer-songwriter Prince Tui Teka fused conventional Maori music with up to date pop, making a sound that was each contemporary and genuine.
Different notable Kiwi musicians who’ve made their mark on the worldwide stage embody Lorde, Crowded Home, Fats Freddy’s Drop, and Flight of the Conchords. Every of those artists has carved out their very own area of interest within the music business, mixing influences from completely different genres and cultures to create one thing really distinctive.
In brief, the New Zealand music scene is particular as a result of it’s a melting pot of various influences and types, all coming collectively to create one thing that’s really one-of-a-kind. Whether or not you’re into rock, pop, EDM, or one thing in between, there’s one thing for everybody within the Kiwi music scene. So, whether or not you’re a neighborhood or a customer to New Zealand, be sure you take a look at a number of the superb music that this nation has to supply!
Expertise the Kiwi music scene dwell
Among the best locations to search out New Zealand’s prime artists is the superb summer season festivals on supply all through the season – take a look at our helpful Final Summer season Pageant Information to see our prime picks. Which Kiwi artists are your fave? Tell us who we’ve missed out on within the feedback beneath.