Kellie Given

It’s been a whirlwind few years for Sam Fender. Creating a loyal fanbase with his political indie rock, the 27-year-old has quickly become one of UK’s most exciting new acts. With his love for noughties pub rock and a keen likeness to Bruce Springsteen and Brandon Flowers, Fender speaks directly to a generation of fed-up and gentrified adolescents and shines a light on important issues that otherwise get pushed aside.

Having earned a Critic’s Choice Award at the 2019 BRIT Awards, supporting Bob Dylan and Neil Young at Hyde Park, seeing his debut album enter the UK charts…

Kellie Given

Jon Batiste has quite the resume. The Louisiana native has been in the biz for more than 17 years and has unsurprisingly made a name for himself as one of the best jazz musicians of his generation. With his passion for community, Batiste believes that people are the heart and soul of all music and aims to spread love through his work to uplift those who need it. From his dabbles in television to his iconic street and subway performances, there isn’t a lot that the star can’t do.

Here’s everything you need to know about Jon Batiste.

He comes from a successful musical family

Kellie Given

Wrapped up in a multicoloured, electropop haze, our very own Lorde has been intriguing since day one. Using the woes of adolescence as her muse, the Auckland native continues to turn the pop world completely on its head with every calculated move she makes. At only 24, Lorde has already secured two Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe nomination, appeared on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and her hit ‘Royals’ is considered one of the best-selling singles of all time. And she’s only just getting started.

As we prepare for the drop of her third studio album Solar Power

Kellie Given

While our industry might be small in comparison, there’s a lot to love about NZ music. Authentic, multicultural, at times humorous, and filled with a ton of love and pride, our sound reflects who we are as Kiwis and truly sets us apart from the rest of the world. In celebration of 21 years of NZ Music Month, here are 21 of our fave things to love about our awesome music scene.

1. We Love A Good Drinking Tune

Kiwis love pubs, it’s no secret. In fact, we love them so much that up until the mid 2000s pub rock was one of our primary…

Kellie Given

The new seven-part docuseries Waiata / Anthems, a follow-up to the 2019 compilation album of the same name, has officially arrived on TVNZ On Demand and it certainly has a lot to teach us. Featuring a deep insight into some of our country’s greatest artists re-recording their songs in te reo Māori, each episode aims to shed a light on NZ heritage and culture by asking familiar musicians to recreate their iconic stories.

With a focus on creating a bilingual music scene here in Aotearoa, the series aims to transform the minds and attitudes of Kiwi’s surrounding te…

Kellie Given

It’s been 25 years since our very own OMC released their first and last album How Bizarre, and while the record produced a string of singles, most notable is the eponymous smash hit. A nonsensical musical mixed bag, ‘How Bizarre’ took the world by storm. Its fusion of Polynesian pop, dance and hip hop, mixed with the eccentric cool of Pauly Fuemana, instantly became a hit and helped break NZ into a bustling international music market.

But no one, not even NZ music impresario Simon Grigg who helped bring the track to life, could have guessed it would…

Kellie Given

When he wasn’t working as a postman in Airdrie, Scotland, 27-year-old Nathan Evans was perfecting his songwriting and uploading covers to social media in the hopes that soon enough he’d be living out his dream in becoming a successful musician. But it wasn’t until someone asked the Scotsman to cover a sea shanty: an ancient form of work song familiar with men on sailing ships, that that dream actually came to life.

In that blink-of-an-eye-casualness we often see with internet fame, Evans became a star overnight. All thanks to his sea shanties. His rendition of the NZ 19…

Kellie Given

Girl power, in all it’s fantastic glory, has been rumbling under the foundations of the pop world for decades. As more and more female artists rewrite the very narrative that’s been set to destroy them, the archaic and misogynistic tropes we constantly see in the music world slowly begin to fade as they make room for an equal and inclusive aerosphere. From breaking moulds to speaking up and fighting for change, women in pop are no longer afraid to hold anything back and they’re no longer apologising for their strength, aptitude and courage, but instead commemorating it.


Kellie Given

For all its worth, the British hip hop scene has always remained somewhat of a mystery. If you didn’t actually live in the United Kingdom or you didn’t consider yourself an underground muso, you’d have no idea that a world beyond America’s reigning hip hop industry ever existed. Sure, the occasional hits from the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah and Drake’s few dabbles helped land British hip hop a spot on the charts; but for the most part the genre has never weaved its way into the mainstream. Of course, until now.

Enter the new generation of…

Kellie Given

Caught somewhere between a technicolour vision and a dancefloor rave, you’ll find Glass Animals. The English psychedelic band have quickly become one of the world’s best indie counterparts, earning a string of accolades including a spot on the Mercury Prize shortlist for their sophomore album How to Be a Human Being. Currently, their hit ‘Heat Waves’ (from latest album Dreamland) is number 40 on the Global Spotify Chart, number one on the NZ Hot Single Chart and it’s even been remixed into a TikTok sea shanty, which actually, frontman Dave Bayley admits is so much better than the…

UMUSIC NZ Updates, stories, quizzes, videos and articles about all your favourite artists.

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