NZ Artists International News: December 2017

December 5th 2017
There are only a handful of weeks until the year draws to a close, but as 2017 ends it is hard to imagine there has ever been a year before which saw so many New Zealand artists play so many shows around the globe. We look forward to even more New Zealanders taking their music to the world in 2018.

As the end of 2017 approaches, the end of year lists are rolling out and three local artists have been hot contenders for album of the year in the eyes of many reputable critics around the world. Lorde has taken out one of the two top places in some huge publications including #1 in NME and Consequence of Sound and #2 in The Independent and The Rolling Stone for Melodrama, Aldous Harding took the top place on Rough Trade's renowned list and #10 in popular UK music magazine, Mojo for her album Party while Nadia Reid took #2 in Mojo and also featured on the Rough Trade Top 100 for 2017 for her album Preservation. All three appeared on several other lists, including UK site The Skinny's which featured all three artists, giving all three a standing on a chart devised by an online aggregator of all album of the year lists from highly-regarded outlets around the world. At time of writing, Lorde was #3 on this list, Aldous Harding #17 and Nadia Reid #45.

The 2018 Grammy Award nominations were announced late November and we're very proud to see three New Zealand acts among the nominees. These are Lorde who has been nominated for Album of the Year for Melodrama, Opetaia Foa'i has been nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for his work on Disney's Moana soundtrack (which also took away the American Music Award for Best Soundtrack in November!) and Brooke Fraser has been nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for her part in Hillsong Worship's ‘What A Beautiful Name' in which she is the lead vocalist. The 60th Grammy Awards will take place in New York City on January 28th 2018.

Not only are the international media reflecting on the year that's been, they're also looking forward to the year ahead and a lot of those prophecies have included Superorganism, a London-based band largely made up of New Zealanders. Needless to say, with The Rolling Stone US naming them as one of the 10 New Artists You Need To Know, Vevo featuring them on their dscvr 2018 Arists to Watch list, BBC Music named them on their Sound of 2018 list among many other outlets raving about them, the world is holding their breath for big things from Superorganism in 2018. The spike in attention could be attributed to their recent performance on Later... With Jools Holland, making them the fourth New Zealand act to perform on the show this year after Aldous Harding, Lorde and Nadia Reid.

So Below, aka Madeline North, has been plugging away for years on her dark pop and has collaborated with many fellow New Zealanders along the way including Aaron Short (The Naked And Famous) Leroy Clampitt and recently, Sam McCarthy (Boyboy, Kids of 88) and Chelsea Jade on the track ‘Closer'. The song premiered on C-Heads and has since has collected plenty of blog buzz including a listing on Idolator's New Music Friday and being called an "instant pleaser" by Lauren Jefferson at Earmilk. The track also prompted interviews by Art Jefferson at Colorising and Tobias Pugh at Born Music.

Aotearoa hip-hop and R&B has been reaching every corner of the world in recent months and the artists behind it have been making a huge impression wherever they go. Here's a quick update on just some of those movements:
• SWIDT were interviewed on Triple J's Hip Hop Show in Australia by Hau Latukefu
• Bailey Wiley opened for The Internet vocalist SYD as part of Red Bull Sound Select's '30 Days in Chicago'
• Auckland's Troy Samuela produced the track "All of Us" for US hip-hop artist, Talib Kweli, featuring Jay Electronica.
• South Auckland's TY wrote a track for the Adam Saleh of the USA's debut album Chapter II which reached the top of the R&B album charts in both England and Sweden in November.

Auckland is now officially a City of Music. The successful bid, made by Auckland Council in conjunction with Recorded Music NZ and APRA, now makes the city a part of the Creative Cities Network under the cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO. 11 other cities around the world were also inducted in October as Creative Cities in music with 52 other cities around the world being inducted for contributions in other creative fields.

People in all corners of the world cannot seem to stop talking about Fazerdaze. The press for the Auckland act continues to roll in with a profile in Rolling Stone Indonesia, Pass The Aux reviewed her sold out Los Angeles debut, MTV USA named her track ‘Lucky Girl' a certified "Morning Bop", Spincoaster reviewed both of her sold-out Japan shows, and Brooklyn Vegan did a wee write-up of her first ever show in New York City. We look forward to the Fazerdaze frenzy around the world continuing!

Corban Koschak aka This Pale Fire has enjoyed some high-profile premieres in the lead-up to his December album release with popular Australian youth culture site premiering his video for ‘Curse' who called the track "smooth and captivating" and the Huffington Post premiering his track ‘End Of Science', calling it "hecka-good!". His album Alchemy will be released December 1 2017.

• Tiny Ruins was selected as a staff pick in New York magazine, The Paris Review
• P Money-produced track ‘Call On Me' for Starley reached 500 million streams on Spotify
• Wellington band HEX have been confirmed for SXSW 2018 alongside fellow New Zealand acts Marlon Williams, Rob Thorne & Fis, and October
FACT Magazine interviewed New Zealand experimental producer Fis about his new eco-friendly label, Saplings
• Katchafire were highlighted in an Idonesian publication and the Free West Papua Campaign for a show they performed in London in support of the Free West Papua movement.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of tour dates around the world for NZ artists.

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