NZ Artists International News: August 2017

August 2nd 2017
It’s truly the depths of winter here, but there has been lots going on to keep people entertained in New Zealand and abroad!

The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC has just hosted an exhibition of Māori artworks, Tuko Iho | Living Legacy. The nine-day celebration of Māori culture featured an installation of more than 80 pieces of art using wood, bone, stone and flax, handcrafted by students and teachers at New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI). Alongside kapa haka at the Lincoln Memorial and in the Museum, in situ wood carving and tā moko (Māori tattoo), there were performances by three exceptional stars of Māori music - Rob Ruha, Ria Hall, and Tama Waipara. Tuko Iho | Living Legacy travels next to the West Coast, where it will be in Los Angeles late October.

It's been a busy couple of months for Rob Ruha, who not only has been at the Smithsonian and working on his own upcoming album - Rob is the Music Director for the new version of Moana in Te Reo Māori. It's the first Disney Film to be translated into Te Reo Māori, and is scheduled to be released around Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) in mid-September.

Theia has had a huge month since the release of her self-titled debut EP, especially in Asia. The video for her hit single ‘Roam' is in rotation on MTV Asia, Channel [V] Asia and VH1 India (which has a reach of 92 million!). In the print world, she featured on the front cover of The Sun newspaper in Malaysia, was interviewed for the entertainment section of the most widely-read daily newspaper in the Philippines - Inquirer - and the EP release was
highlighted on Billboard Radio China. She's also received additional blog coverage in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, USA and the UK.

All the buzz has delivered results too - her EP went to #7 on iTunes Malaysia (#3 on the Pop chart), #54 on iTunes Indonesia (#28 on the Pop chart) and #97 on the iTunes Japan Pop chart.

In the first week of July, producer Joel Little achieved the amazing feat of having co-written and produced hits for three albums in the Top 15 of the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US all at once. He co-wrote and produced three tracks on American Teen by Khalid (USA) which is currently peaking at #9, including his Billboard Hot 100 hit 'Young Dumb & Broke'; 'Whatever It Takes' from Imagine Dragons (USA) on their album Evolve which peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200; and of course, Lorde's ‘Greenlight' from her #1 album Melodrama.

Following the release of her six-track EP Royal Blue 3000, it was only expected that Laid 6 would see some great coverage around the world. This included an interview with Bandcamp in which Gus Navarro said Ladi's voice ‘soars over' the ‘innovative' music. ‘Guru' proved to be a stand-out track, gaining airplay across Australia including high-rotation on DoubleJ (Triple J's adult-alternative sister station).

The song was also remixed by musician/producer Kariem Riggins who has produced for the likes of Kanye West, Common, J Dilla, The Roots and Erykah Badu as well as performing and recording with Paul McCartney. Australian producer, Plutonic Lab, saw his remix of ‘Guru' reach the Top 10 on popular Australian dance station Kiss FM. These remixes, along with another from NZ producer 10A, earned a spot in Rolling Stone Australia.

The song ‘Royal Blue', which was praised in NPR in May, was also given featured on Cool Hunting - a NYC-based site that has over 200k followers on both Facebook and Instagram and over 380k followers on Twitter - calling it "a sparkly tune that blends pop, psychedelic and dancehall in a way that not only works, but allures with its silkiness".

The positive feedback keeps rolling in for Aldous Harding sophomore album Party. Rolling Stone Australia called her album ‘mesmerising' on their 40 Best Albums of 2017 So Far list. For BBC's 20 Must-Hear Albums of 2017 So Far, Paul Stokes said of Party, "the warmth and beauty that slowly emanates from within the album's core ensures that while it's not an uncomfortable listen, it's a record that always leaves an impression".

She also performed an intimate show as part of the acclaimed NPR Tiny Desk Concert series and was interviewed and photographed for Interview Magazine.

BIGSOUND Festival runs four nights in September across Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, showcasing the next big thing to fans, industry, and national and international tastemakers alike and we're excited that once-again, multiple New Zealand artists have been invited to showcase in 2017. These artists are Bespin, Merk and Yoko-Zuna. Details TBA.


  • Fazerdaze's ‘Take It Slow' was played on Iggy Pop's Friday night show on BBC6, Iggy Confidential.
  • Psychedelic pop outfit Glass Vaults have released their sophomore album The New Happy on Manchester-based record label Melodic.
  • The Anthem' from MELODOWNZ feat. Bailey Wiley made #6 on the Urban Top 20 on KSJS FM in the US, putting it on high rotation on the station.
  • Hamish Kilgour of The Clean will be releasing his forthcoming solo album on Brooklyn-based label, Ba Da Bing Records.
  • Along with Aldous Harding and Lorde, Nadia Reid's album Preservation also featured on Rolling Stone Australia's 40 Best Albums of 2017 So Far list.
  • Chelsea Jade's track ‘Ride or Cry' was featured on Fool's Gold Records' ‘Fool's Gold Weekly' Spotify playlist co-curated by renowned Canadian DJ and producer, A-Track.
  • Trap producer, QUIX, has been added to Falcona's Australia/NZ/Asia booking roster.
CLICK HERE to download a PDF of tour dates around the world for NZ artists.
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