Nau mai, haere mai. Welcome to the first weekly e-newsletter for TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA | NZ Music Month 2023!
NZ Music Month has launched with a bang and a huge focus on this year’s theme: Community + Collaboration. This year is about working together to build a more connected and collaborative musical landscape across Aotearoa, from songwriting experiments, content co-creation, partnerships to engage and grow audiences, right through to community events.
These weekly e-newsletters will showcase the great activity planned across Aotearoa throughout May, with a huge number of events taking place right across the country. We’d also love to hear from you with any suggested newsletter inclusions, interview requests or further information - all the contact details are at the bottom of this newsletter.
• Last week, Auckland Live announced their stacked line-up of events to celebrate NZ Music Month across May. Aucklanders will be treated to a series of free and ticketed events, with the full schedule available to check out here.
• Focused on bringing their local communities together after a devastating start to 2023, the Hawkes Bay Music Month Small Hall Sessions kick off this week with shows in beautiful small places across the region. The first four events will be at Maraekakaho Hall on Thursday 4 May featuring Jackson Plumpton, James ‘JR’ Rochester and Dusty Rhodes & The Bluesmobile; Clive Hall on Friday 5 May with Emma Webb, Campbell Burns and Dusty Rhodes & The Bluesmobile; Elsthorpe Hall on Saturday 6 May with The Cellars, The Munros and Dusty Rhodes & The Bluesmobile; and Takapau Town Hall on Sunday 7 May with Nikita, Fraser Mack and Devils Elbow. Tickets for all events are $25 and anyone can donate a ticket to locals affected by Cyclone Gabrielle by purchasing a seat at any show here.
• Radio Hauraki are celebrating NZ Music Month with an awesome campaign that’s also good for the environment! They have teamed up with Trees That Count for We Dig NZ Music – meaning for EVERY NZ artist played on Radio Hauraki this week, they'll plant a NZ native tree! That’s over 350 new natives planted across Aotearoa.
• To mark 10 years of celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand music, the AudioCulture Classic NZ Album Readers Poll will give the public the chance to choose which locally recorded and produced album is considered to be the very best of all time. Everyone who casts their vote goes into the draw to win a Thorens TC201 turntable* and $500 credit to spend, and thanks to Real Groovy and there will be spot prizes of exclusive AudioCulture merch to be won over the month. Head to the AudioCulture website to select your favourite New Zealand album before Sunday 28 May - the number one voted album will be announced on Wednesday 31 May.
• Hosted by Suzy Cato, the Ngā Manu Tīrairaka | Children's Music Awards will take place on Sunday 7 May. The winners of the 2023 Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Artist, APRA Te Korokoro Tūī | Best Children’s Song, and NZ On Air Te Huia Kaimanawa | Best Children’s Music Video awards will all be announced at the awards event.
• Street media company Phantom Billstickers is celebrating NZ Music Month with an offer of free posters for NZ musicians. While in 2022 the company gave away 40 posters to each act, this year’s offer is for 41, to mark the 41 years since Phantom pasted its first ever band poster. To make it easy for musicians to lock in their campaign, the company has created an online booking portal. Musical acts are invited to secure their free A3 poster campaign without delay, as inventory is strictly limited. Please note this is one campaign per show/artist.
• APRA AMCOS members only have until tomorrow afternoon to apply for the Moana Songwriting Sessions. An exciting new initiative that provides a dedicated space for songwriters to come together and form new connections within the Pasifika community, this unique event serves as a mini songwriting camp, inspiring artists to explore their identity and find innovative ways to champion their culture through music. The Moana Songwriting Sessions will be held at Big Pop Studios, Auckland May 29 - 31 and will be curated by highly regarded songwriters/producers Brandon Haru, Frank Eliesa (Frank Keys), and Saia Tu'itahi (SFT). Applications close 5:00pm on Tuesday 2 May – you can apply here.
• The Queen Shirl'e Academy presents Bring The Noise, a dynamic songwriting and youth development program aimed at elevating creativity and helping youth achieve their musical dreams. Every Friday over six weeks at the Ōtara Music Centre, the youth songwriting and artist development programme will share expert guidance from experienced industry professionals and teach invaluable skills in songwriting and navigating the music industry, complete with an opportunity for participants to showcase their talent and perform an original song as part of a musical showcase.
• FromThePit is an annual exhibition of music photography, featuring images of New Zealand musicians performing live, captured by some of the best music photographers across Aotearoa. Now in its fifth year, the 2023 edition hosts over 100 images that will be on screen around the country, with four featured in giant billboards, courtesy of Phantom Bill Stickers x NZMM, up around the motu now. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for an ever-growing number of sites.
• Want to test your knowledge of local tunes this May? The Aotearoa Music Month Heardle is back for Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa! Built by James Mac of BEACHWARE, the concept is similar to the word game Wordle, except its music. You have five turns to guess the artist and name of the song. Check it out here.
• TVNZ Breakfast want to know what your favourite local tunes are this month and they’ll be playing tracks from Aotearoa all throughout May. Head over to their Facebook page and join the conversation here.
• The SOLE Speaker Series 2023 in Christchurch kicks off tonight hosting Barnaby Weir (The Black Seeds), Eddie Kiesanowski (Pretty Stooked) and Dan & Corban of TWOMINDS Festival discussing Performance & Production. Tickets are available for this evening’s event here.
• Wednesday 3 May sees three (!) great talks about music in Aotearoa. 2023 Lilburn Research Fellow, Nick Bollinger is looking at ways in which pop music in Aotearoa New Zealand has reflected, contradicted, and contributed to our national stories. In this NZ Music Month talk “Musicians, Myths & Manifestos" he will offer a progress report on a few of his discoveries so far. If you can’t be there in person, you can register to watch the talk online here. Wellington Museum is hosting a lunchtime history talk lead by Chris Bourke of AudioCulture with Colin Morris and Kevin Kane on the topic of Wellington’s Lost Record Stores – more info is here. Further north, Auckland Central Library has Audioculture Presents: Gareth Shute - Music and New Zealand. That in-person talk will also be available to watch via Zoom; you can find all the details and the link for the talk online here.
• Three of Big Fans Ignite gig's take place during May, organised by the event management stream. The first Ignite gig in May is Riffs N Waves: Cliffs the Band, Borderline and Albert Street, on Friday May 5th! Riffs N Waves is a surf/indie rock gig featuring local bands: Kliffs the Band, Borderline and Albert Street. The show has now SOLD OUT but we’re looking forward to seeing the pics from the gig! The following night on Saturday 6th May we have The House Down: Blush.mp3, Fin and Poppa Jax. For one night only, Big Fan will be transformed into an underground club. Featuring a lineup of Auckland’s hottest and brightest stars in the DJ landscape, Blush.mp3, Fin, and Poppa Jax are set to deliver an unforgettable, all-inclusive experience that you won't want to miss. Tickets available HERE from $20. On Sunday 7th May No Conformity: Late to Chelsea, Strategist Wang and BEACHWARE will be taking the Big Fan stage. NO CONFORMITY is a youth-led and youth-focused event featuring local bands, all from varying genres. Late to Chelsea are a 4-piece-punk band who create distorted, rhythm heavy garage punk tracks. The 4 members of Strategist Wang blend elements of grunge, pop-punk, and the general absurdity of the teenage mind, and BEACHWARE is an indie rock group, making tight indie tracks that juxtapose pop hooks with warm chords, and smooth summer rhythms. With a youth focus and all proceeds going to Gumboot Friday, this is an event you will not want to miss. Tickets HERE!
• Thursday 4th May is set to be a brilliant night in Wellington with Live Nation & One NZ 'Ones to Watch'! The showcase will be held at San Fran where three exciting, emerging, local artists, Mā X Wynona, Soft Plastics and Dartz will perform.
• To celebrate NZ Music Month, Whanganui group The Flow Collective have decided to bring their musical show to Marton. Flow: Beautrais x de Vegt is a unique show that celebrates the Whanganui River and the stories of its people. It is made up of sixteen original compositions by Elizabeth de Vegt using poems from Airini Beautrais’ collection Flow: Whanganui River Poems (VUP2017) as lyrical inspiration. Tickets are available HERE.
• Kaitaia MetalFest is back with MetalFest 3 on Saturday 6 May! The Far North's original extreme music event attracts quality visiting acts from all over the country and will be supported by up and coming local bands. The event is designed first and foremost as an affordable concert experience for local rock fans, while also providing a platform for original extreme upcoming metal acts to play in a live setting. It will also showcase the hospitality and attractions of the Far North, and allow local bands to play alongside top tier touring acts to gain experience and confidence in a live setting. Tickets are available here!
• A Tribute to Sir Howard Morrison will be an amazing event this Saturday 6 May in Rotorua, being held at the venue named in honour of the man himself. The Morrison Whānau Tribute Concert will celebrate the life of this legendary performer at the Sir Howard Morrison Centre with very special guests including Howie Junior, Ray Woolf, Rewa Ututaonga, Yandall Sisters, Eddie Low, Gray Bartlett, Nikau Grace, Te Pumanawa Rogers, Stacey & Scotty Morrison, Temuera Morrison, Chris Powley & Takerei Peck.
• The Youth & Adults in the Music Industry (YAMI) Sounz Summit is 100% unique in offering a range of diverse workshops educating our Rangitahi on the Music Industry. Held in Wanaka on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, the topics in 2023 range from Songwriting, Demo It, Beat Making, Share Your Sound, I Wanna DJ, Mixing & Mastering, and Jobs in Music. A top tier list of Tutors and speakers, including Finn Andrews, Anika Moa, Liz Stokes, Anthonie Tonnon and more, will also be performing in showcases over the weekend.
• Indie-pop heartthrob & Thai-Kiwi singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit will be performing in Auckland at The Tuning Fork on Friday 5 May 2023 as part of his debut Australia & New Zealand Tour, in support of his sophomore album The Greng Jai Piece.
• Rita Mae's EP Release Show with support from Crystal Chen is at Whammy Bar on Friday 5th May! Rita Mae sold out her Night Drive single release show at Whammy’s Back Room in February and the Muriwai artist has been turning heads all over the past few months with her singles and live shows. The Superfeeling EP collects songs dating back to her first release, The Secret’s Out, through to new tracks Real Love, which dropped as a single on April 21, and Someday.
• Jazz pianist Nikola Memedovic is performing Wednesday 3rd May for their concert in the Lewis Eady Steinway NZ Showroom, tickets are available here.
• Mel Parsons has a new song - Tiny Days is coming out on May 5, and Mel's taking it on the road with her "Tiny Days Tour" later this month.
• There are some amazing songs on their way through the Waiata Anthems initiative this month with the first being Kei Pōhehe from Chad Chambers, launching this Friday.
• Corrella have a new te reo Māori waiata heading our way called ‘Ko Au’.
• All We Got by Rei will be out in the world on 5 May before his Koiora Session in Rotorua on the 26 May.
• Tāmaki Makaurau rapper Nauti has a new single to be revealed later this week.
• ARO have a new track ‘Know How’ out Friday 5 May – you can pre-save the song here.
• George Villa is releasing his debut single on May 5.
• Dillastrate are releasing their new pop single ‘I’m Crazy’.
• Lil Dust from Pōneke has a new track ‘Slow Motion’ out 5 May with a pre-save available here.
• Rita Mae is releasing her first EP, 'SUPERFEELING' on May 5.
• Ella Pollett, a 17 year old songwriter from Hawkes Bay, is releasing her second single, 'Sunny Days’.
• Powder Chutes are an emerging rock band from Wānaka releasing their new track ‘Moths to the Flame’ with an amazing looking video by Joe Murdie. You can pre-save the song here.
• VIICES 'SANDCASTLE' tour begins this weekend in Auckland on Thursday 4th May. For the other show locations & to buy tickets click here.
• Tiny Ruins will be performing eight shows around the country this May supporting the release of their stunning new album Ceremony. All the dates and info can be found here.
• Soft Plastics are celebrating the launch of their debut album with a nationwide tour of Aotearoa throughout May and June. Their hotly anticipated record Saturn Return is out digitally and on 12 vinyl now!
• Bleeders 'A Bleeding Heart' E.P. 20 Year Anniversary Tour kicks off this Friday 5 May. Here is the full list of shows and tickets!
• East York are playing two Wānaka shows in one day with Powder Chute on 4 May with a lunchtime all ages gig at Mt Aspiring College and an evening R18 show at Rhyme x Reason Brewery.
• Midwave Breaks are on their first Headline tour, featuring 9 shows across the motu for NZ Music Month, starting with New Plymouth this Friday!
• Devilskin are continuing their Let Me Breathe NZ tour with special guests East York this May, tickets are still available here.
• Byrony Matthews begins her We're All The Same Album Tour this Friday, starting with Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru!
• NO COMPLY have three tour dates across May, for their BKATIT tour! Following the release of their sophomore EP ‘BKATIT’ on the 28th of April, experimental and alternative NZ hip hop artists NO COMPLY are coming to give you one of their patented and increasingly well known, high energy live performances.
There’s so much more to come this TE MARAMA PUORO O AOTEAROA | NZ Music Month, and we’re excited to keep sharing news, releases and events with you across the month. If you’d like to make an inclusion to the newsletter, please contact us. To be included in the Tuesday newsletter, submissions must be made the Thursday prior. See you next week!
For EDM inclusion, please contact:
Antonia Aimer // 818 E:
NZ Music Month HQ:
Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa NZ Music Month is run by the NZ Music Commission, with support from APRA AMCOS, Creative New Zealand, Independent Music NZ, Māori Music Industry Coalition, MusicHelps, the Music Managers Forum Aotearoa, Music Producers Guild NZ Aotearoa, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ, Save Our Venues, SOUNZ and Te Māngai Pāho. The purpose of Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa NZ Music Month to celebrate music from Aotearoa and the people who make it.
Te Marama Puoro o Aotearoa | NZ Music Month 2023: COMMUNITY + COLLABORATION