Music From New Zealand You Should Know

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By Shotbro with contributions from Safia

New Zealand is far away; traveling here from the U.S .means you arrive on a different day. That isolation has always had the obvious negative effects, but rather than sit around and complain about it, early New Zealanders just “gave everything a go.” New Zealand was settled by both European and Pacific people who travelled here on boats mostly before they even knew where “here” was, pretty much just to see if they could.

That ethos is still a part of the fabric of New Zealand culture, and is probably one of the main reasons that New Zealanders can hold their own on any world stage. In the music scene, that manifests itself in a way that creates an organic, collaborative, and unique scene. International metal heavyweights team up with local symphony orchestras , Dub darlings collaborate with U.K Soulbirds, and the guy who was the guitarist in everyone’s favorite reggae band was also an elf, and then moved to New York to work on a comedy with HBO.

New Zealanders love to shine on any stage, and though making waves internationally hasn’t always been easy, being hampered by our isolation is starting to become less of a roadblock. New Zealand music is starting to get consistent representation at SXSW, more acts are starting to get noticed and signed by labels state-side, and one of our own recently topped the Billboard charts (albeit with a little help from a few Australians).

Here’s some music from New Zealand that you should know about. Check it out, get familiar, and keep an eye out for NZ.

Click “next page” or hit shift+right to read on and listen to the music…

  • James

    David Dallas definitely deserves to be on this list.

  • Sam

    Yea David Dallas is a must.

    And @Peace (Homebrew’s less known younger brother) is some of the best music you will isten to.

  • Dooz

    Mt. Eden’s work with QuESt was awesome.

    No doubt David Dallas should be up here though.

  • Jimi Mataio

    Loui The Zu is not only a great rapper/musician, hes also a lovely, genuine guy and his music is next level!

  • Cinlay

    David Dallas should be included for sure, one of our most talented musicians of late. This list is slightly lacking on the electronic side. No mention of Shapeshifter who have had tracks released by the world’s biggest DnB label, Hospital Records, not to mention sold out shows throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Some Dub/Reggae acts definitely deserve a mention although I do realise that these guys aren’t in the P&P genre(s) niche, i.e Katchafire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds and Kora. Great list for the most part.

  • mike

    fuck, I was at googa mooga festival in NYC, had no idea who unknown mortal orchestra was, and skipped their performance. woulda been pretty sick

  • nichol

    bro david dallas and homebrew needs to be up there!

    alsio david dallas has made it big here in new york…0.0.cnfoEtSvSeA


  • Tim

    The Checks Candyman Shimmer video is off the hook –

  • Sam

    Shapeshifter is big and has one of the most unique live shows in the world!

  • BusStopHuslte

    Definitely agree about David Dallas. He’s been building some significant buzz stateside.

  • goombah

    Mainstream much? Not a single surprise here. It’s like reading the list from the VNZMA’s. NZ has so much more to offer than this list of bland, beige, watered down barbecue music. Disappointing, but not surprising.

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  • Dan Scott

    oh please, share your list of indy nobodies that you think deserve to be on the world stage… fuck’n hipster.

  • Dan Scott

    home brew is number 2 on the list

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