Kiwi Music Scene

January 11, 2014 9:33 pm1 commentViews: 30

With the current success of the single Royal by the young Kiwi sensation Lorde you would think that this story was inspired by the songs success. But just before the release of the song my attention was drawn by another great song by a New Zealand band called Naked and Famous.Their song “Young Blood” a cruisy summer type song has been so popular it has been placed as the background music for television advertising. I didn’t know that Naked and Famous were from New Zealand, nor did I know where they were from. So I had to investigate other great New Zealand music has flown under the radar.

As far as New Zealanders collecting information on their own music, blogs talking about the music scene in New Zealand are mainly only concerned with local acts who have remained there. You have to search further afield to find many who are currently permanently stationed in Australia, England and the United States.

Finn Brothers

Finn Brothers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first notable New Zealand groups to hit the music waves were great bands like DragonSplit EnzMi-Sex who made great success in Australia and in the case of Split Enz made their way to Britain and also had success there. All 3 of these groups had outstanding albums which can be listened to from end to end like Dragon’s album O’Zambezi, Mi-Sex with Graffiti Crimes and Space Race, and Split Enz the breeding ground for the Finn brothers Neil and Tim, who went on to be major influences with the international band Crowded House who were based in Melbourne, Australia


English: Photo of the 7 members of the band Fa...

English: Photo of the 7 members of the band Fat Freddy’s Drop in Europe in 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Many a New Zealander had success in the form a solo career in the 80’s after a less successful stint with a band to get their breakthrough. Then many of them transferred their careers and success to Australia, some of them ending up in Australian bands. Artists like Margaret Urlich from Peking Man had a solo success with her song “Escaping”,  Shona Laing famous for her song “I’m Glad I’m not A Kennedy”, Kevin Borich from the La De Das, and forming Kevin Borich Express in Australia. Jenny Morris from the Crocodiles, had succes with her songs “Break in the Weather” and ” She’s Got to Be Loved“, Sharon O’Neill from Chapta and her songs “Maxine” and “Losing You“, and Jon Stevens whose later success was being the frontman of successful Australian 80’s band Noiseworks and a stint as frontman for Australian band INXS after the death of lead singer Michael Hutchence.

The 90’s didn’t see much success for the Kiwi’s but bands like the Datsuns and the Chills, Straightjacket Fits kept the locals happy at home, while bands like Shihad a heavy guitar based band, Evermore and Supergroove spent as much time in Australia as they did in Aotearoa. Also famous was the one hit wonder from OMD called “How Bizarre”  The biggest success was the Finn Brothers with Crowded House.

Since the year 2000 popular and successful bands include electronica group Salmonella Dub, Naked and Famous, Fat Freddys Drop, The Feelers, Shapeshifter, Surf City, I Am Giant based in London, Ladyhawke and Kimbra based in Australia. Also making waves in the music scene have been some of the New Zealand rappers like Scribe, King Kapisi, Deceptikonz and Mareko

So we’ve compiled a list for you of some of our favourites:

The Old Classics

1 Dragon- April Sun In Cuba

2 Six Months In A Leaky Boat- Split Enz

3 Mi- Sex- Computer Games

4 The Swingers- Counting The Beat

5 OMC- How Bizarre


Some new favourites

1 Naked and Famous- Young Blood

2 Lorde- Royal

3 Salmonella Dub- Slide

4 Scribe- Not Many

5 Fat Freddy’s Drop- Wandering Eye

6 I Am Giant- City Limits

7 Shapeshifter- Gravity

8 Avalanche City- Love Love Love

9 Gin Wigmore- Kill Of The Night (this artist rocks)


Like our previous post on the Swedish music scene New Zealand has and always will make some waves


Last but not least let us leave you with a sort of anthem for the young New Zealanders, when they are out and having a good time


Finally here’s a good link to New Zealand’s Hottest 100 of all time

Enhanced by Zemanta
If you like this, why not share it!

1 Comment

  • coolioepicdude

    I never really listened to any Kiwi artist. I would love to try some of their songs. Thanks for the article, as I have learned quite a bit about Kiwi music.

Leave a Reply