NZ Music Month – News and Upcoming Events

NZ Music Month 2021 | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa launched with a bang on Saturday, May 1st, with tours, releases, events and more – all across the country. Here’s what you need to know…

  • NZ Music MonthCommemorate NZ Music Month 2021 | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa by picking up a shirt, with a brand new design available in white, alongside the classic black and orange tees. All shirts are available from the August Avenue website and the collector’s edition tees are on sale at JB HiFi. All proceeds from shirt sales go towards MusicHelps, a charity aiding local musicians and crew in Aotearoa.
  • Christchurch indie-folk darlings There’s A Tuesday kicked off NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa on Friday when they joined John Campbell on TVNZ Breakfast. Performing Dandelions off their debut EP Dance With Me Before We Cry, There’s A Tuesday emerged from the Smokefree Rockquest and are a perfect example that success can be found in high school competitions. You can catch the feature here.
  • TVNZ OnDemand have premiered their 2021 installment of Waiata Anthems with all episodes viewable online. This brand new series features MELODOWNZ, Drax Project, Logan Bell (Katchafire), Bic Runga, Annie Crummer, Hollie Smith and Don McGlashan translating some of their biggest tracks into te reo Māori. Check out all seven episodes on TVNZ On Demand now.
  • Benee
    Benee, photo by Rachel Webb

    Pop-darling Benee has announced a quartet of shows with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) in Wellington and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) in Auckland. Accompanied by a 66-piece orchestra in each city, Benee is set to deliver her chart-topping hits including Glitter and Supalonely to an audience, putting a classical spin on her widely-known discography.

  • Qobuz, the recently launched high resolution music streaming and downloading platform, has teamed up with RNZ’s Charlotte Ryan to produce a special NZ Music Month playlist. Hosted on Qobuz’s homepage for the month of May, the playlist shines a light on Kiwi artists – both established and emerging.
  • The New Zealand Film Commission have a fantastic range of Kiwi music documentaries and films available to stream or buy through their On Demand platform. Titles include Herbs – Songs of Freedom, The Chills: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps, Shihad: Beautiful Machine, Daffodils and many more.
  • SIX60

    After making history with Eden Park’s first ever concert with over 50,000 in attendance, Six60 are presenting their documentary ‘Till The Lights Go Out’ with a free screening in Auckland’s Aotea Square this Thursday 6th May.

  • The Art of the Record exhibition is showing this week at Auckland’s Monster Valley. Curated by the New Zealand Music Commission, the exhibition features album artwork from the last 21 years, including Fat Freddy’s Drop, Lawrence Arabia and Fur Patrol gracing the walls. It’s free for all, so head along and check it out in Auckland until Saturday, before the exhibition hits the road to Wellington.
  • YAMI Sound Summit is back in Wanaka for its 6th year. This upcoming weekend industry professionals from around the country will be giving lectures and workshops on everything from DJing, songwriting and how to make money from your music. It’s sure to be a jam-packed weekend of insight and knowledge, and will be rounded off by performances from Troy Kingi and PDigsss.
  • Toitu Otago Settlers Museum will be commencing their lunchtime concert series with Tall Folk this Saturday 8th May at midday. Carrying on throughout the month, schedule this series into your Saturday plans down in the south.
  • Auckland City of Music are creating a buzz in the heart of Auckland’s CBD by taking over the See.Do.Auckland space at Britomart Station. Everything from a NZ music merch store to a historical walking tour of Auckland’s most iconic venues will be going down at Britomart through May. Head down on Wednesdays for a singalong to celebrate Waiata Anthems alongside Māori cultural rōpū Hiwa, hear SUSO Emerging Artists sweetening up the sounds for rush hours mid-week, and catch Auckland’s student radio station 95bFM DJs behind the decks every Thursday – and so much more!
  • The Phoenix Summit has quickly become a staple for sharing knowledge and inspiration amongst creatives down at Wynyard Pavilion. This Wednesday 5th May, the Phoenix Summit will be presenting their special NZ Music Month edition of the series, featuring award-winning designer Ben Dalgelish, who has produced shows for Travis Scott and Post Malone, and in 2019 was awarded the Knight of Illumination award for his work on the latter. Also speaking is Cary Caldwell, who spent 17 years at SXSW before returning to Christchurch to take helm of 212 Music Group. Now he’s in the midst of working on multiple South Island tours and you can hear about all the nitty gritty of what goes into touring and staging international events. A bonus live performance will be fronted by Cassie Henderson who released her single Burns Brighter in December.
  • Wellington Museum is unveiling their new  Sonic Explorers series  in the Captain’s Cabin. Taking audiences into the world of experimental soundscapes, each Thursday in May a new duo will show off their craftsmanship, starting with Ruby Solly and Allistair Fraser.
  • Sitting atop Wellington’s botanical garden is the Space Place museum, educating all on our stars and solar systems. The team at Space Place have hand-picked musicians to perform every Sunday for this one-off unique experience. The festivities will be starting May 9th, headlined by Trinity Root’s founder Riki Gooch. Book your tickets here for this magical experience.
  • The Independent Music NZ Going Local seminar series starts this week in Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch. The yearly series sees speakers from IMNZ, APRA AMCOS , NZ Music Commission, NZ On Air, Recorded Music NZ,  and many more to give their insight on how to navigate the industry. Although the Christchurch event is sold out, get in quick for the Invercargill and Dunedin dates.
  • Harper Finn
    Harper Finn

    Harper Finn celebrated NZ Music Month early with the release of She Said last Friday. Just in time for his tour with fellow Auckland pop acts LA Women, She Said is a pop ballad crafted of elegant melodies with Finn’s incredible vocals. Coming hot off his breakout single Dance Away These Days, Finn is rising quickly through the ranks as one of pop’s most prominent names in Aotearoa.

  • Mazbou Q (fka Unchained XL) has a huge Friday in store for us with a two-part track and his headline show at Auckland’s Neck of the Woods. Drawing influences from his heavy metal past, Nigerian roots and hip-hop knowledge, Mazbou Q has constantly been one of Auckland’s exciting acts to watch. Describing the forthcoming track as “a powerful story, one that I hope will inspire Black and Indigenous communities to keep pushing against all odds”. Pre-save the track here before grabbing tickets to his show here.
  • Musician and songwriter Amamelia has released her new project WOW! THE 2021 REMIXES with a huge line-up of collaborators including Imugi 이무기, Tei., bb gurl, Dbldbl, and Alexa Casino. Check it out on all major streaming services and read more about it here.
  • Lontalius

    At only 24 years old, Lontalius released his third album Someone Will Be There For You this past Friday. Completely produced by the incredibly talented singer, he describes the album as “the product of coming home from LA and growing up a little, it feels like a turning point of sorts.” Recorded at Auckland’s iconic Stebbings Recording Centre, Someone Will Be There For You is out now on all major streaming services.

  • Iconic DnB outfit Shapeshifter dropped their brand new singles Roxxy and Ritual on Friday, in preparation for their seventh studio album Rituals, set to be released in July. In addition to the two singles, Shapeshifter have also announced two shows in Auckland and Christchurch.
  • Emily Rice has been making music for years now, constantly experimenting and moving within genres. Originally starting in a folk duo, Rice has now moved onto new beginnings. Lead single Red and Blue was a jazz infused pop track written in last year’s lockdown. Now Rice has her third EP AUAHA releasing this Friday with tracks she describes as a mix of chill DnB, R&B and pop. Pre-save the extensive project here.
  • Seven-piece reggae band Tomorrow People have been blessing us with constant grooves for over a decade, and this Friday they add to their extensive catalogue with Don’t Worry Baby.
  • While Meg Theron is relatively new to the local music scene, she’s been turning heads with her ability to blend the pop prowess of songwriting with trap infused hip-hop beats. On Friday, Theron completes her hat-trick of singles for 2021 with Anyone, after previously releasing Self-Care and Stargazing. Pre-save the track for Friday morning here.

Live music is back with a vengeance in 2021, with a whopping line-up of tours this May, with something for everyone to enjoy. From old favourites back on the road to up-and-coming Kiwi artists embarking on some of their first shows, New Zealand has it all this May.

NZ Music Month
The Chills

For the hip-hop fans, Team Dynamite are closing out their nationwide tour this Thursday evening, meanwhile Harper Finn and LA Women kick off their tour in Christchurch and Dunedin this week. Iconic Dunedin-sound band The Chills visit multiple towns this week in preparation for their imminent album Scatterbrain. Marlon Williams rounds out his 27-date nationwide tour with an encore show at Christchurch’s Isaac Royal Theatre, while fans of Aotearoa’s classic reggae sound will enjoy Kiwi Grooves featuring Annie Crummer, Che Fu, Ardijah and more in Rotorua and Palmerston North this week.

Heading out to a gig this week is the perfect way to mark the first week of NZ Music Month | Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa. Click here to see the full list of shows happening around the country this week, with hundreds of shows listed throughout the month.