Nau mai, haere mai. It’s week three of NZ Music Month 2021 | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa and it’s showing no sign of slowing down!
Check out what’s on this week - from shows, events, announcements, releases and more, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate. The theme for this year is Access All Aotearoa - celebrating local music for all New Zealanders, in every place, for every age, and in every genre.
These weekly e-newsletters showcase the great activity planned across Aotearoa throughout May, with a huge number of events taking place from the top of the country to the bottom. We’d love to hear from you with any suggested newsletter inclusions, so please do get in touch .
● Mental health and wellbeing organisation Voices of Hope have launched their Music Holds Hope campaign, engaging local artists to chat about their experiences with mental health struggles. The campaign aims to highlight the mental health issues that musicians often face in the industry, with appearances from Rei, Foley, Michael Murphy, Abby Lee Harder and Denel. The first video with Rei dropped last week, check it out here.
● The NZ Music Month Summit 2021 has been announced! Registrations have been super-busy for this annual event, which will be held at S @ Spark Arena in Auckland on Saturday 29 May. If you miss out on a coveted ticket, fear not – the Summit will be streamed online from 10am on the day.
● The Palmerston North City Library have curated their favourite Kiwi tracks into one fantastic playlist to celebrate NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa, available to stream here.
● The Project featured Christchurch band The Butlers on the show last week, finding out all about their unique indie sound before they hit the road with Muroki next weekend.
● The formidable PollyHill has been announced as Live Nation & Vodafone’s Ones to Watch artist for May. Joining a stellar line-up of other Ones to Watch alumni, PollyHill’s music has been shared on the global platform that aims to introduce audiences to brand new music. Check out her interview here, where she chats about how she got into music and what’s up next for her.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
● Tiki Taane will be gracing the stage at Christchurch’s Douglas Lilburn Auditorium for this special one-off performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra on May 21st. As one of the country’s most famed and diverse artists, Taane has constantly and effortlessly flowed through various different genres. Bringing along special guests MC Tali, Big Sigma and Charlie, and Karcia, this evening will be full of joyful surprises. Tickets are still available for this unique experience here.
● SNIFFERS have partnered with Jameson to bring together one of the biggest free shows the country will see this NZ Music Month. On May 22nd, MELODOWNZ, Wax Mustang, PollyHill and Katanyagi Twins will take over Auckland’s Studio for a one-off, first-come-first-served free show. Simply turn up on the night and get in to see some of the freshest hip-hop in Aotearoa. More details available here.
● Wellington based record label Meow are bringing up some of their finest acts to Auckland’s Powerstation. Bringing artists from around the country, the Powerstation will be home to some of the finest indie acts that Aotearoa has to offer. The Butlers, Molly & The Chromatics, There’s A Tuesday and Michael James Keane will be taking the stage for this huge headline show, with tickets available here.
● Throughout May, remember nights and gigs gone by on guided tours of Auckland inner city’s most iconic music venues and sites. Music historian Gareth Shute will guide you through a free, hour-long journey that explores the history of Auckland’s live music scene, past and present. Revisit former variety show halls, jazz and rock clubs, coffee lounges, and punk, R&B, and dance music haunts. For those who can’t make it, download the AKL City Tours app and select 'Historical Music Venues Trail' for a self-guided tour of some of Auckland's most beloved music venues. Check out all further info here.
● The Art of the Record exhibition makes its South Island debut this week after starting in Auckland and Wellington. Now it’s Christchurch’s time to revel in the presence of Aotearoa’s most iconic album artwork. Head along to The Arts Centre’s Pūmanawa exhibition space this week before it's too late.
● Another exhibition kicks off this week, From The Pit premieres some of the finest live music photography from around the country. Available to view in galleries in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the exhibition will include images of BENEE, Devilskin, Villainy and Montell2099 amongst many others. There will also be a series of workshops and panel discussions available in Auckland and online with more info and exhibition details available here.
● Auckland’s Tuning Fork has just launched its monthly Thursday concert series, Thursdays I’m In Love. The latest edition will feature emerging artists from hip-hop, indie and pop with WHOSHOTSCOTT, Indyah and Levyne all gracing the stage of the newest series in Auckland. At a steal with only $10 tickets, get on down this Thursday with tickets here.
● Award-winning te reo Māori metal band Alien Weaponry will be heading to Hamilton for a very exclusive show with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra this Saturday. After Covid-19 halted their European tour, the band are exploring new local projects, including this performance. After performing in Hamilton this Saturday, Alien Weaponry are taking the show on the road, heading to Christchurch on May 27th.
● Legendary band Opshop are reuniting for one-night only in Christchurch this Friday for a very special benefit concert, with Gorilla Biscuit as support, the first band to ever win Smokefree Rockquest. Recently a life-long friend of Opshop and former member of Gorilla Biscuit suffered a serious health setback and the boys are fundraising to get them back on their feet. Head down to Christchurch’s The Good Home for this very rare reunion show with tickets still available.
● The annual Independent Music NZ Going Local seminar series hits Palmerston North and Wellington this week. With speakers from NZ Music Commission, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS and Cuba Dupa, the free event will give aspiring musicians and industry professionals advice on how to navigate the music landscape. Simply register for Palmerston North and Wellington to guarantee your entry. The Palmerston North leg will be followed by a showcase from 8pm with Kokoa Nashi, SDW and shannengeorgiapeterson, and the next night a Wellington showcase with Edera, Valentina and Munkhouse will be at Meow.
● The Rotary Youth Music Festival will feature over 200 students from Palmerston North at 15 different cafes and bars this Saturday. The event is completely free at every venue, and there’s no shortage of events in Palmy so make sure you head along.
● World-renowned conductor Stephen Esnall will be sharing his knowledge and experiences in a one-off talk this Wednesday at Dunedin’s Petridish. Esnall has a storied career, starting when he conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at just 23. He’s gone on to conduct and teach in Russia, UK and Spain. Tickets are still available for this very exclusive night, including a discounted option for students.
● The Warratahs are making a return to the stage this Saturday at Christchurch’s Isaac Royal Theatre. Having built a household name reputation since the 1980s, their unique blend of country, folk and rock and roll have garnered them a loyal fan base. Bringing along Jackie Bristow, Adam McGrath and Ebony Lamb, The Warratahs will have these musicians carousel throughout their performance to bring you this unique experience. For more information, tickets and exclusive hotel deals click here.
● For fans of metal, Auckland’s Thirsty Dog will play homage to the Swampkult Record’s Swampsong this Friday. Showcasing up and coming bands Head Lock Grave, Grym Rhymney and Project Bloodmoon. With tickets starting at just $5, it’s a night not to be missed for the headbangers out there.
● New Plymouth’s Puke Ariki Library will host a talk on the region's underground/punk scene. For the Underground Retrospective Talk, musicians from around Taranaki will share their advice and insight into the local scene at this free event. More info can be found here.
● Dunedin indie-rockers Ha The Unclear will be playing a very special one-off show at Auckland’s Freida Margolis, the same venue they played their first ever Auckland show in 2013. The group have been a staple in the scene since their incarnation, and after spending time recording for their new label in Paris, Ha The Unclear have come home to grace stages across the country. Get tickets to this very limited gig here.
● Wellington’s student station RadioActive have kicked off their NZ Music Month series with Live on Location, a live performance series around the city's iconic venues. Starting last Saturday with Vanessa Worm live at Club 121, the station on 89FM have followed up with Mystery Waitress live at the new Flying Nun store.
● ZM debuted their new video series Studio Access, giving listeners a dive into the making of New Zealand’s biggest songs. Last Thursday the crew brought in pop sensation BENEE to break down her huge 2020 hit ‘Supalonley’, chatting through the lyrics, production, inspiration and more. Check it out here.
● New Plymouth’s independent radio station MostFM will be hosting a live acoustic night at their head offices on Saturday, featuring local musicians Renee Milner and Dave Pope. Tickets are just $25 and include snacks and refreshments - show your support for independent radio this weekend!
● The Rock are showing support for this year's New Zealand Music Month | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa with The Great Kiwi Roadie. Simply text ‘choice’ anytime you hear a Kiwi song on air and be in the draw to win $3,000 towards a Kiwi rock roadie gig of your choice.
● The Breeze will be playing classics every hour on weekdays between 10am - 3pm, with tunes from the likes of Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Crowded House and many more, while the crew also give you a rundown of each track's history and success.
● iHeartRadio’s Kick station has been championing Kiwi artists this month, and caught up with one of the rising stars on Kiwi hip-hop, Hans. Watch his perform his song Caught Up as part of the Kick Couch Concert sessions here.
● The Slice of Bangers Countdown is coming to Pulzar FM on May 28th, to celebrate NZ Music Month. You can head over to Pulzar FM website now and vote for your favourite Kiwi track, and tune into the 50 track countdown next Friday, on air at 100.9FM and online via iHeartRadio.
● Pickle Darling are releasing their album Cosmonaut this Friday! Following their most recent single Boundless My Heart, prepare to be delighted by their electronic tunes.
● Botswana-born, Auckland-based hip hop artist Phodiso released his latest single War last Friday, the second release from his forthcoming EP Act II. Following up the release of Talk Too Much, the powerful hip hop track with an Afrikan flavour is an unapologetic celebration of how far the artist has come and his commitment to continuing to improve his craft. Check out the full EP next Friday, 28 May.
● IA have released the amazing new electronic single ‘Kōkōrangi’. IA teamed up with Te Toki Voyaging Trust - Waka Hourua and film director Moehau Hodges-Tai for a stunning performance video captured while sailing a traditional waka on the open ocean. ‘Kōkōrangi’ features the voices of the traditional Kōauau (bone flute) and Ponga Ihu (nose flute), celebrating the art of traditional pacific voyaging.
● CHAII has a new single ‘Oh Nah Yeah’ out on Friday 21 May, coinciding with the first date of her debut national tour.
● Salmonella Dub are releasing four digital singles this May, with the third ready to drop next Monday. You can check out ‘Searching For The Sungle’ on their Soundcloud from 24 May, and pre-orders for the collection as the six-track Soul Love Trippa 12" EP are available on their webstore here.
● Pulled from the eleven7four vault of tracks captured during the band’s trip to the Big Apple in 2019, their new single ‘Come Down’ releases this Friday, serving as a taster for their upcoming album' What The 1174 - Side 2’.
● ‘Call My Name’ is Troy Kingi’s first single from the upcoming album folk album ‘Black Sea Golden Ladder’, co-written with Delaney Davidson.
● REI has released his new dual single Urungi Autō / Drive Slow with both te reo and English versions of the track available. This is hot on the heels of the Sean Richards dnb remix of Good Mood – which has now been transformed to ‘Harakoa’ and is zooming up the local charts.
● KINGS’ fourth studio album The Rap List is out Friday 21 May. As you could guess from the name, the album is strictly beats and bars – and it’s all produced, written, mixed and mastered by Kings himself.
● Artist, songwriter, producer – and recently Popstars judge! - Vince Harder has a new single releasing this Friday called ‘Don’t Stop’.
● Auckland rockers Dead Favours have their two-part album 'Riffing & Yelling', out on 21st May. Following on from their single 'Move On', released at the start of NZMM, the band are about to hit the road on a four-date tour with shows in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.
Week three of NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa follows in the footsteps of the two weeks before it, with a huge number of tours happening around the country. Every genre is being showcased this week, with heavy metal heads treated to Beastwars’10th Anniversary Tour, while those who are into a singer-songwriter vibe can check out Dan Sharp’s Water Went Away tour. Also touring this week is Theia x Vayne on their Creep tour, Miles Calder as he continues his album release tour around the country and Brave Caitlin Smith’s Imaginary Band.
Check out the full list of tours happening around the country here.
NZ Music Month is run by the NZ Music Commission, with support from APRA AMCOS, Independent Music NZ, the Music Managers Forum, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ, SOUNZ and Te Māngai Pāho. The purpose of NZ Music Month to celebrate music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.
Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa | NZ Music Month 2021: Access All Aotearoa - great local music for all New Zealanders - in every place, for every age and in every genre right across Aotearoa.