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Uncover the thriving neighborhood of native artists providing a definite Kiwi sound.

For those who’re a real music lover in addition to an avid traveller, then you definately’re most likely 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 shocked to find the thriving neighborhood of native artists providing a definite Kiwi sound.

New Zealand’s music scene is actually 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 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 the whole lot 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 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: For those who’re searching for an artist who can ship considerate and emotionally resonant pop music that stands out from the group, then Lorde is unquestionably price testing. Her music has been praised for its authenticity and depth, and her lyrics have resonated with followers around the globe who’re searching for one thing extra than simply one other pop banger.

Prime songs to take a look at: “Inexperienced Gentle,” the lead single from Lorde’s second album, “Melodrama.” Different notable songs from Lorde’s discography embrace “Royals,” “Workforce,” and “Legal responsibility.”


Sound:  A uniquely Kiwi mix of rock, R&B, drum and bass with a splash 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 stay reveals. They’re usually one of many first bands folks consider if you ask about notable Kiwi music acts. Regardless of worldwide success and recognition, they nonetheless love taking part in on residence soil in Aotearoa.

The title Six60 comes from their outdated handle in Dunedin, 660 Fort Road.  Their first album was known as Six60, and their most up-to-date 2022 album was known as Fort Road. It appears as if they don’t neglect their roots…

Prime 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: Considered one of NZ’s hottest bands has been round since 1999. Additionally, their monitor file of stay performances is fairly good, having already performed at festivals like Glastonbury, Parklife, Huge Day Out and The Huge 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, offered the couple with two Shapeshifter albums, The System is a Vampire and Stars.

Prime 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 Nineteen Eighties. Their sound and elegance might be described as a mixture of onerous 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 skill to convey a variety of feelings by means of his singing. The band’s music usually explores themes of alienation, angst, and the wrestle to search out which means in a posh and complicated world.

Why see them: For those who’re searching for an artist that delivers hard-hitting, emotionally charged rock music, then Shihad is unquestionably price testing. Their stay reveals are legendary, with the band delivering high-energy performances that go away audiences breathless.

Prime songs to take a look at: One high tune to take a look at is “Dwelling Once more,” a robust ballad that showcases Toogood’s vocal prowess and the band’s skill to craft emotionally resonant songs that talk to the human expertise. Different notable songs from Shihad’s discography embrace “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 embrace 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 high 10, turned New Zealand’s primary promoting single of all time, changing Tiki Taane’s tune under.

Prime tune to take a look at: properly, it must be probably the most profitable ever NZ single, “Within the Air”, though the observe 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 solid of musicians and singers, who come collectively to create distinctive and revolutionary 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 varied musicians concerned.

Why see them: One of many foremost causes to see or take heed to Fly My Pretties is the sheer expertise and variety of the musicians concerned. The group has included a few 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.

Another excuse 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.

Prime songs to take a look at: One high 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 embrace “Sing It Over,” “Fortunate,” and “Turnaround”.

Tiki Taane

Sound:  Experimental Dub and Roots thrown along with acoustic

Why see him:  In addition to being considered one of New Zealand’s most well-known musicians, Tiki Taane’s spectacular CV contains stints as a music producer, stay audio engineer and an intensive record 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.

Prime 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)

Hollie Smith

Sound:  Hovering soul blended with parts of jazz; early Celtic music

Why see her:  Considered one of NZ’s most iconic singer-songwriters (and most well-known feminine artists), Hollie Smith has been giving powerhouse stay performances at prestigious outside festivals around the globe since her award-winning NZ debut as a 16-year-old.

She has additionally toured with Fats Freddy’s Drop (under) and had 4 NZ no 1 albums, in addition to a string of critically acclaimed worldwide reveals.

Prime 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 incredible spontaneous stay performances. They had 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 model is strong “Aotearoa Roots”, the laid again dub/reggae sound from their Maori and Pacific Island backgrounds and tradition.

Prime Tune 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 a few of the iconic NZ bands on this record had been fashioned. Regardless of releasing her debut album Hey U X as late as 2020 (bear 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?

Prime Tune to Examine Out: “Supaloney” that includes Gus Dapperton, or one thing extra present like “Inexperienced Honda”.

Little Bushman

Sound:  Blues-based psychedelic rock

Why see them:  Comprised of members sourced from just a few of New Zealand’s different large title bands, Little Bushman are at their greatest stay – 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.

Prime tune to take a look at:  “Peaceable Man”, “Child”

Ahoribuzz (Aaron Tokona)

Ahoribuzz is a New Zealand musical venture 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 quite a lot of devices, together with guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. He was identified for his virtuosic taking part in model and his skill to seamlessly mix totally different genres and types in his music.

Along with his musical abilities, Tokona was additionally a beloved determine within the New Zealand music neighborhood. He was identified for his heat and pleasant character, his infectious vitality, 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 around the globe. 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): For those who’re searching for an artist who can ship high-energy, genre-bending music that may get you up and dancing, then Ahoribuzz is unquestionably price testing on Youtube or Vimeo. Their stay reveals had been famend for his or her vitality and pleasure, with Tokona and his bandmates delivering electrifying performances that go away audiences wanting extra.

Prime tune to take a look at: One high 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 embrace “Into The Sunshine,” “Turnaround,” and “Burning Love.”

See what units the NZ music scene aside

Among the hottest music genres in New Zealand embrace 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 embrace 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 really distinctive.

Briefly, 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, make sure you try a few of the wonderful music that this nation has to supply!

Expertise the Kiwi music scene stay

Among the best locations to search out New Zealand’s high artists is the wonderful summer time festivals on provide all through the season – try our helpful Final Summer season Competition Information to see our high picks. Which Kiwi artists are your fave? Tell us who we’ve missed out on within the feedback under.

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