In case 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 neighborhood of native artists providing a definite Kiwi sound.
New Zealand’s music scene is really particular and distinctive, and it’s straightforward 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 by way of 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 all the things from indie rock to hip-hop to digital music.
Try 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 along with her debut single “Royals” in 2013. Her music is usually described as various pop or electropop, with a particular sound that blends moody, introspective lyrics with lush, atmospheric instrumentation.
Sound: Lorde’s fashion 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: In case you’re in search of an artist who can ship considerate and emotionally resonant pop music that stands out from the gang, then Lorde is certainly price testing. Her music has been praised for its authenticity and depth, and her lyrics have resonated with followers all over the world who’re in search of one thing extra than simply one other pop banger.
High songs to take a look at: “Inexperienced Mild,” the lead single from Lorde’s second album, “Melodrama.” Different notable songs from Lorde’s discography embody “Royals,” “Crew,” and “Legal responsibility.”
Sound: A uniquely Kiwi mix of rock, R&B, drum and bass with a touch of soul
Why see them: Shaped in Dunedin when the members have been attending college, Six60 is a agency native favorite identified for his or her legendary stay exhibits. They’re usually one of many first bands folks consider once you ask about notable Kiwi music acts. Regardless of worldwide success and recognition, they nonetheless love enjoying on residence soil in Aotearoa.
The title Six60 comes from their previous tackle in Dunedin, 660 Citadel Road. Their first album was known as Six60, and their most up-to-date 2022 album was known as Citadel Road. It appears as if they don’t overlook 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 among NZ’s hottest bands has been round since 1999. Additionally, their monitor report of stay performances is fairly good, having already performed at festivals like Glastonbury, Parklife, Large Day Out and The Large 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 because the late Nineteen Eighties. Their sound and elegance could be described as a mixture of onerous rock, post-grunge, and various metallic, 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 understood for his intense stage presence and his potential to convey a variety of feelings by his singing. The band’s music usually explores themes of alienation, angst, and the battle to search out which means in a posh and complicated world.
Why see them: In case you’re in search of an artist that delivers hard-hitting, emotionally charged rock music, then Shihad is certainly price testing. Their stay exhibits are legendary, with the band delivering high-energy performances that go away audiences breathless.
High songs to take a look at: One prime tune 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 Lots, 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, turned New Zealand’s primary promoting single of all time, changing Tiki Taane’s tune beneath.
High tune to take a look at: properly, it must be probably the most profitable ever NZ single, “Within the Air”, though the comply with up “Why Oh Why” can also be price a hear.
Fly My Pretties
Fly My Pretties is a New Zealand musical collective that was fashioned in 2004. The group consists of a rotating forged of musicians and singers, who come collectively to create distinctive and modern music that blends parts of people, 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 advanced, multi-layered compositions that showcase the skills of the assorted musicians concerned.
Why see them: One of many fundamental causes to see or hearken to Fly My Pretties is the sheer expertise and variety of the musicians concerned. The group has included among 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 understood for pushing the boundaries of conventional musical genres and creating music that’s recent, thrilling, and actually distinctive.
High songs to take a look at: One prime tune to take a look at is “Bag of Cash,” a cool and upbeat monitor that options the soulful vocals of A Lady 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 consists of stints as a music producer, stay audio engineer and an in depth 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 stay sound engineer for Shapeshifter in addition to producing albums for Six60.
High tune to take a look at: “All the time On My Thoughts” (beforehand probably the most profitable single of all time in NZ – see above)
Sound: Hovering soul combined with parts of jazz; early Celtic music
Why see her: One among NZ’s most iconic singer-songwriters (and most well-known feminine artists), Hollie Smith has been giving powerhouse stay performances at prestigious out of doors festivals all over the world 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 no 1 albums, in addition to a string of critically acclaimed worldwide exhibits.
High tune 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 unbelievable spontaneous stay performances. They have been initially a bunch of Wellington musicians who jammed collectively, and nonetheless has members from different NZ bands like The Black seeds and TrinityRoots.
Their fashion is strong “Aotearoa Roots”, the laid again dub/reggae sound from their Maori and Pacific Island backgrounds and tradition.
High Track to take a look at: attempt 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 among the iconic NZ bands on this checklist have been fashioned. Regardless of releasing her debut album Hey U X as late as 2020 (keep in mind that 12 months?), 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 beneath the title Bene, supported Lily Allen in Auckland, lastly turning into BENEE (pronounced Benny). Right here’s a bizarre truth: she almost deserted music to pursue her dream of representing New Zealand at water polo. Who knew?
High Track to Examine 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 a number of of New Zealand’s different huge title bands, Little Bushman are at their finest stay – they thrive at festivals the place they’ll embrace a love of improvisation and let the music movement. Entrance man Warren Maxwell was with Fats Freddy’s Drop till 2006.
High tune to take a look at: “Peaceable Man”, “Child”
Ahoribuzz (Aaron Tokona)
Ahoribuzz is a New Zealand musical undertaking led by Aaron Tokona, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has been a outstanding 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 through the years, together with Weta, Cairo Knife Struggle, and Fly My Pretties.
Tokona was a multi-talented musician who performed quite a lot of devices, together with guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. He was identified for his virtuosic enjoying fashion and his potential to seamlessly mix totally different genres and kinds in his music.
Along with his musical skills, Tokona was additionally a beloved determine within the New Zealand music neighborhood. He was identified for his heat and pleasant persona, his infectious power, and his unwavering dedication to creating nice music.
Sadly, Aaron Tokona handed away in 2021 on the age of 45. His dying was an incredible loss to the New Zealand music scene and to music lovers all over the world. Nevertheless, his legacy lives on by 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 case you’re in search of an artist who can ship high-energy, genre-bending music that can get you up and dancing, then Ahoribuzz is certainly price testing. Their stay exhibits are famend for his or her power and pleasure, with Tokona and his bandmates delivering electrifying performances that go away audiences wanting extra.
High tune to take a look at: One prime tune to take a look at is “Sugar,” a cool and upbeat monitor that showcases the most effective 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 number 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 check out new issues, which has led to some actually groundbreaking music through the years. For instance, the late singer-songwriter Prince Tui Teka fused conventional Maori music with up to date pop, making a sound that was each recent 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 trade, mixing influences from totally different genres and cultures to create one thing actually distinctive.
In brief, the New Zealand music scene is particular as a result of it’s a melting pot of various influences and kinds, all coming collectively to create one thing that’s actually 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 an area or a customer to New Zealand, remember to take a look at among the superb music that this nation has to supply!
Expertise the Kiwi music scene stay
The most effective locations to search out New Zealand’s prime artists is the superb summer time festivals on supply all through the season – take a look at our useful 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.