The theme for New Zealand Music Month 2018 is "Discover New" and there's plenty of ways to explore creative new sounds across a wide range of genres.
The entire month of May is dedicated to celebrating and promoting local artists and bands, in a dedicated campaign run by the NZ Music Commission, with the support of APRA AMCOS, Independent Music NZ, the Music Managers Forum, NZ On Air, and Recorded Music NZ.
NZ Music Month event co-ordinator Rodney Fisher says the New Zealand music scene has long been producing world-class songwriting and live shows.
"NZ Music Month is a great chance to discover the next big thing at home before the rest of the world does," he says. "By going to live shows, supporting venues, buying the artist’s merch, and adding their tunes to your playlists, you can become an active supporter of cool new music."
NZ Music Commission’s chief executive Cath Andersen, says there has been no shortage of incredible achievements by artists, both at home and abroad, in the past year.
"In the new streaming environment, people can hear New Zealand music whether they are in Levin or Louisiana. Online platforms mean we have more opportunity to discover music of all kinds and genres from across Aotearoa than ever before.”
Whether you are a fan of country, bass music, indie rock, pop, techno, hiphop, folk, blues, EDM, alt (or all of the above!) there are live shows for you to go and see across the country this May.
Featuring a diverse range of New Zealand artists, from those who are conquering on the world stage to people playing their first live gigs, there is a show for everyone this month.
The official website – nzmusicmonth.co.nz – hosts a gig guide which is growing daily and features news of what is going on around the nation.
A few selected highlights of what else is happening this May include:
- Whittaker’s have a special project with new artist Being. – featuring her new track ‘Fold Into The Sea’ – where you can watch her new single being pressed as an actual record you can play - and eat.
- Going Live will see local artists performing live on the NZ Music Month Facebook page from eight locations around New Zealand. With a mix of emerging artists, ages and styles in places like New Plymouth, Nelson and Hawkes Bay, Going Live will stream at 2pm every Tuesday and Friday throughout May.
- Radio stations are getting behind NZ Music Month this year with NZ Music promotions across a number of nationwide commercial networks, as well as smaller commercial and independent stations. You’re likely to hear plenty of big new NZ songs on the airwaves throughout May, including the latest hits from Sons of Zion, Robinson, Drax Project, Kings, Theia, Nomad, Six60, Tomorrow People, Stan Walker, Villainy, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and plenty more.
- And up in the air, there will be Air New Zealand inflight music specials on all long haul flights with NZ Music Month artist picks, artists profiles, sessions from Roundhead Studios, artist curated playlists and The Best of The Pitch, their NZ music series hosted by Charlotte Ryan. Across New Zealand, you’ll be hearing all local music on domestic routes for the month, from boarding to landing.
- The Music Commission’s Musicians Mentoring in Schools Programme has a bumper crop of artists taking their expertise around the country - over twenty schools across New Zealand will have NZ musicians coming to work with their students, including Julia Deans, Possum Plows (Openside), Anna Coddington, Jed Parsons, Jane de Jong (Ruby Frost), Troy Kingi, Natalia Sheppard (Tali), Tommy Nee and Shayne Carter.
- Libraries across the country will again be a hub of community events with performances and activities, including The Nook & Cranny Festival hosting 40+ artists and bands, hidden in the nooks and crannies of the Dunedin Public Library.
- Wellington Museum will host the Aotearoa music history exhibition Burning Up Years throughout May with Friday night concerts by NZ music legends such as King Kapisi – playing his debut album 'Savage Thoughts' in it’s entirety with players from the original band - and Billy TK reforming Powerhouse. Retro: 70s to 00s is a new photography exhibition at the Ellen Melville Hall featuring images from the extensive archive of Murray Cammick.
- On the big screen, the Head Like A Hole feature length documentary ‘Swagger of Thieves’ will be playing in selected theatres across the country, opening on May 17. In the cinema at Ngā Taonga in Wellington, you can catch nine newly digitised episodes of the classic local television show Radio With Pictures, alongside a host of NZ music content including documentaries When The Haka Became Boogie, Skeptics: Sheen of Gold and The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.
- The NZ Music Month merch store is now live, selling the long-sleeved tee featuring designs from the Target Demo Graphic competition, and a return of the classic target tee in this year’s forest green colour. All the profits from sales of t-shirts contributes towards the costs of NZ Music Month each year.