News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Young Aucklander Breaks US Charts

Young Aucklander Breaks US Charts

Auckland born singer Ella Yelich O’Connor has broken into the American Billboard Chart despite doing next to no State-side promotion. The sixteen-year-old who goes by the name Lorde became a national sensation in late…

Talented Conductor Directs New Jersey Summer Concerts

Talented Conductor Directs New Jersey Summer Concerts

Wellington-born Gemma New, assistant conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO), is directing three free-admission summer concerts at Mercer County Park, New Jersey. New has been conducting since the age of 15….

Night to Remember at Melbourne Jazz Club

Night to Remember at Melbourne Jazz Club

New Zealand-born pianist and composer, Steve Barry, named Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year at last month’s Bell Awards, performed as a trio with Tom Botting on bass and Tim Firth on drums…

Royal Favourite Sings Lullabies for Newborn

Royal Favourite Sings Lullabies for Newborn

At 26, New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has been a favourite of the Royal Family for over a decade, so when Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who was commissioned to write some new…

Wigmore Gets Candid About Stars and Songwriting

Wigmore Gets Candid About Stars and Songwriting

Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Aucklander Gin Wigmore, 27, who is currently on tour in the United States, says she is usually “quite cool and collected” around other stars, but was a little less so…

Moon’s Got High-Concept Britpop Down

Moon’s Got High-Concept Britpop Down

Wellington-born Willy Moon, 24, who recently played New York’s Gramercy Theatre made the New York Magazine’s Jody Rosen “suspicious at first.” “When a press release hails a weedy young London-based New…

Lots of Impish Relations and More Aluna Than Aretha

Lots of Impish Relations and More Aluna Than Aretha

Takapuna singer-songwriter Lorde, 16, “is about to make a big splash beyond blog-land,” according to The Guardian’s daily column “New Band”.  “Think Lily meets Lana, only cuter and more cutting,” reviewer…

Aaradhna Signs with Winehouse Label Republic Records

Aaradhna Signs with Winehouse Label Republic Records

It has been a monumental year for Porirua-raised R&B singer Aaradhna Jayantilal Patel – better known by her stage name Aaradhna. The recording artist has secured an American record deal and won…

Naked and Famous ‘Have Winning Formula’

Naked and Famous ‘Have Winning Formula’

New Zealand techno-pop quintet The Naked and Famous have a winning formula, says Tom Lanham, writing in the San Francisco Examiner. But it took a while for others to comprehend, Lanham writes. “I had…

Central Otago Violinist Named Principal in Leipzig

Central Otago Violinist Named Principal in Leipzig

Alexandra-born violinist Jenny Banks has been named principal second violin of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany, one of the oldest and largest civic orchestras in the world. University of Otago Music Department senior…

Billboard Awards for Somebody That I Used to Know

Billboard Awards for Somebody That I Used to Know

Hamilton-born singer Kimbra, 23, has received more accolades, winning four categories at the Las Vegas Billboard Music Awards for the duet, “Somebody That I Used to Know”, that she sang with Australian, Gotye….

Popstrangers Not to Be Missed, Says NME

Popstrangers Not to Be Missed, Says NME

New Zealand’s Popstrangers are winning some high praise in the UK. In fact, NME’s Lisa Wright rates them one of ‘5 new band’s you can’t miss’ in her rundown on the 2013 Liverpool Sound…

Saxophonist Has More Fire Than Most

Saxophonist Has More Fire Than Most

Jazz musician, Aucklander Nathan Haines’ latest album The Poet’s Embrace, is “full of muscular playing and emotional bite,” according to Financial Times reviewer Mike Hobart. “Haines has more focus and fire than most who…

Ladyhawke Slips on Armani for Indie Cover

Ladyhawke Slips on Armani for Indie Cover

“Her songs like ‘Paris is Burning’ or ‘My Delirium’ are well-known all over the world, but hardly anyone knows her real name,” according to Austrian-based magazine, Indie – The Independent Style Magazine. “We…

She’s About to Be a Very Big Deal

She’s About to Be a Very Big Deal

“Listen to … Lorde, aka Ella Yelich O’Connor, a 16-year-old from … because she’s about to be a very big deal,” claims US website BuzzFeed. “Her voice is incredible – something like a…

Willie Moon Shows ‘Wit’ and ‘Invention’ on Debut Album

Willie Moon Shows ‘Wit’ and ‘Invention’ on Debut Album

Kiwi 50’s revivalist singer Willie Moon’s debut album, Here’s Willy Moon, shows ‘wit’ and ‘invention’, according to The Observer. Described by the same paper in 2011 as ‘one to watch’, Moon combines ‘rootsy rock…

Veils Frontman Has Accomplished a Cool Rarity

Veils Frontman Has Accomplished a Cool Rarity

Lead singer and songwriter for London-based band The Veils, New Zealander Finn Andrews, 29, has “accomplished something rare and cool, namely a guitar-based record that transcends easy categorization,” according to Vancouver online news…

Hayley Westenra ‘Thrilled’ to be Back in Taiwan

Hayley Westenra ‘Thrilled’ to be Back in Taiwan

New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has told the Taipei Times that she is thrilled to be in Taiwan again and is looking forward to her performances. The 25-year-old pop and classical singer, on her seventh…

Fandango is Bigger and Bigger Music

Fandango is Bigger and Bigger Music

Can the Phoenix Foundation’s latest album Fandango match the five stars of their last release, Buffalo, The Guardian asks in their “Album Stream” column. “Five albums into their career, and the Phoenix Foundation…

US Talkshow Appearances

US Talkshow Appearances

“Our next guest has been compared to everyone from Amy Winehouse to Pink. Here to perform from her new CD, Gravel and Wine. All the way from New Zealand, please welcome Gin Wigmore …”…

Up the charts

Up the charts

“After penning tracks for acts including Christina Aguilera and Adam Lambert, New Zealand pop singer/songwriter Ginny Blackmore draws her first Billboard chart ink as an artist, with her debut single “Bones” entering Adult Pop…

Win on Strings at Windsor

Win on Strings at Windsor

A violinist from New Zealand, Benjamin Baker, 23, has won the Windsor Festival International Strings Competition (WFISC), held in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, beating off finalists Marisol Lee from…

All in One

All in One

“As much 50s rockabilly as dubstep devotee, there is no middle ground with the unique Mr Moon,” Gregor Hollerin writes for The Extra. New Zealand-born Moon’s debut album – Here’s Willy Moon…

Making a Splash

Making a Splash

Sixteen-year-old Takapuna Grammar student Ella Yelich-O’Connor, who goes by the stage name Lorde, is included in the “March 2013 playlist: Sweat” on news site RYOT. “Cerebral, self-evaluative and weaving in and…

On the Path to Self-sufficiency

On the Path to Self-sufficiency

Lead singer of Echo Park-based band NO Bradley Hanan Carter was just one of 2500 bands performing in Austin at this year’s SXSW festival hoping to snare the attention of approximately…

Making Music in Two Worlds

Making Music in Two Worlds

“Being a native of Auckland, singer-songwriter Simon Spire has had a foot in the door of two places since his transition to New York City,” The Aquarian Weekly’s Alessandra Donnelly writes….

Vinyl at Length

Vinyl at Length

New Zealand sextet The Phoenix Foundation feature in the Guardian’s ‘New Music’ section this week, “return with a bittersweet first taster of their 80-minute long new album, Fandango.” “‘Damn the zeitgeist,…

Neilson Gets ‘Better and Better’

Neilson Gets ‘Better and Better’

New Zealander Ruban Neilson’s playing and song writing just gets ‘better and better’, according to The Observer. Reviewing his group’s latest CD. Unknown Mortal Orchestra II, The Observer’s Kitty Empire praises the bands songs…

Making Melody in Bollywood

Making Melody in Bollywood

New Zealand musician and composer Mikey McCleary lives in Mumbai where he made his first brief impression with a commercial for Coca-Cola. McCleary, 44, also writes scores for Bollywood films. While new-age Hindi film…

Harmony in China

Harmony in China

World-renowned harmonica player New Zealander Brendan Power, 56, whose music can be heard in the 2008 film Atonement, has been touring China this month. Based in Britain for the past 20…

Debut Accomplished and Unexpected

Debut Accomplished and Unexpected

Auckland band Popstrangers have released their debut album Antipodes, an “accomplished and ambitious” record, according to London-based online music magazine musicOMH. “Throughout the album, Popstrangers never leave you feeling comfortable. Just when you think…

Commentaries on Nationality

Commentaries on Nationality

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson, formerly of The Mint Chicks, attributes his former anonymity and general fame-shyness to, in part, being from New Zealand. Emerging on the scene via an obscure Bandcamp profile in…

Outside of the Box

Outside of the Box

“The Ruby Suns is akin to other New Zealand bands in that its music doesn’t fit comfortably inside an established genre of music outside of pop,” according to Tom Murphy of Denver…

Busting into Song

Busting into Song

She’s only 26, but New Zealander Gin Wigmore has already acted alongside Daniel Craig and recorded in Frank Sinatra’s studio. You may already have heard the first single, a bawdy barrelhouse stomp called Man…

Glowing Gold at Grammys

Glowing Gold at Grammys

New Zealand pop star Kimbra, 22, has won two Grammy Awards for record of the year and best pop duo/group with Australian musician Gotye. “Somebody That I Used To Know” was…

Mythologising Mayhem

Mythologising Mayhem

New Zealand band Unknown Mortal Orchestra is currently on tour – promoting their latest album II – in Europe before heading to the United States. Band member Oregon-based Ruben Neilsen, 32, formerly of…

Yes He Can

Yes He Can

Mosgiel man Dean O’Brien, 34, a former radio presenter, has topped the United Kingdom iTunes children’s chart this week with, The Yes I Can Club, an album created to make children feel…

Looking Back As If Beggars

Looking Back As If Beggars

Wellington band The Garbage & the Flowers originally released Eyes Rind as if Beggars in 1997, but these songs were recorded earlier in the decade, Wire reviewer Frances Morgan writes….

Candid For Nikon Ad

Candid For Nikon Ad

New Zealand singing star Kimbra sings Nina Simone’s “Plain Gold Ring” in this first in a Nikon-sponsored series of “Women In Music”-themed “Candid Covers.” “I was aware of Nina Simone as a kid growing…

Rider Requests

Rider Requests

Ladyhawke wants sandwich ingredients on her rider, thanks, and some socks. Speaking to the Irish Times’ Tony Clayton-Lea, ahead of a recent Dublin show, Ladyhawke said that on her “fantasy rider”, she’d have a…

Best of Both Hemispheres

Best of Both Hemispheres

Wellington-born composer Lyell Cresswell has lived in Edinburgh since the early 1980s writing regularly for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO). “His latest piece for them, a triple concerto premiered here with the Swiss Piano…

Yeah, Shuffle This

Yeah, Shuffle This

New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Willy Moon’s song ‘Yeah Yeah’ has secured prime placement: usage in Apple’s latest iPod Shuffle and Nano ad campaign. The coveted spotlight results in Moon’s first Billboard chart ink, as the…

Loving What He Does

Loving What He Does

With his signature laid-back New Zealand-accented rambles often breaking into unintelligible hysterics and high-pitched impersonations, 39-year-old BBC 1 radio DJ-come-presenter-come-live-DJ-come-producer-come-general-music-guru Zane Lowe has attracted skepticism from those who find it hard…

Big Name from a Small Place

Big Name from a Small Place

“Growing up in a small country on the other side of the world, a young girl named Kimbra Lee Johnson did what she said almost every New Zealander does – dream big,” Michael Bialas…

Pleased to Meet Him

Pleased to Meet Him

“Flying Nun is as synonymous with indie rock in New Zealand as Chemikal Underground is in Glasgow or Creation Records is in London,” John Everhart writes in a web exclusive for American magazine Under the…

Making the Right Moves

Making the Right Moves

Now a veteran globe-trotting performer at the ripe old age of 22, Kimbra seems to be making all the right moves, Bill Locey writes for the Ventura County Star. “Lurkers, assorted geeks a gawkin’ and editors…

Possums Take Tennessee

Possums Take Tennessee

New Zealand string band the Johnny Possum Band will perform at the Music on the Square festival in downtown Jonesborough, Tennessee on 28 September. Kingsport Times-News describes the band: “The roots of bluegrass music may lie…

Hitting ‘Em With Enthusiasm

Hitting ‘Em With Enthusiasm

“Kimbra throws every angle of modern fem-pop at the wall with such ball-lightning enthusiasm that all of it sticks,” the Guardian’s Mark Beaumont writes in a review of the New Zealand singer’s London performance at…

In Transit Amongst Spies

In Transit Amongst Spies

Auckland singer Gin Wigmore, 26, stars alongside James Bond star Daniel Craig in a new interactive television and digital ad campaign for Heineken and the latest 007 film, Skyfall. Wigmore wrote the ad’s theme song…

Actually Rocking The Bowery

Actually Rocking The Bowery

“ gorgeous, sweeping power ballad ‘Cellophane,’ had it been released 25 years ago, would have moved entire rooms to slow dance, and I’ve got to assume only unfamiliarity held Bowery Ballroom’s crowd back,” Katherine…

Cry Over This

Cry Over This

Crowded House song Together Alone is what British music blogger Paul Sinclair wants played at his funeral. Sinclair chose the track as part of the Guardian series ‘Six Songs of Me’. “The…

These Kids are Feeling Good

These Kids are Feeling Good

A song written by The Flight of the Conchords to raise money for medical research for children, soared straight to No. 1 on iTunes within 90 minutes of release. Their song, Feel Inside (and…

Brilliantly Immature

Brilliantly Immature

“Bounding along without a care in the world, this New Zealand band are aptly named,” the Guardian’s Michael Cragg posts in the website’s ‘New Music’ section. “If the joyously carefree and brilliantly immature Baby…

Soundtrack to Youth

Soundtrack to Youth

New Zealander Luke Yeoward, frontman of Melbourne-based band the King Cannons, talks to The Sydney Morning Herald about the inspiration for the group’s debut album, which was released in June. Drawing on…

Real Presence in NY

Real Presence in NY

“ is one of the sharpest writers and arrangers in his field, and while the music is airy by design – because that’s what indie-pop is – Milne’s arrangements have…

Ten Bands You Should Know

Ten Bands You Should Know

“If your knowledge of New Zealand’s music scene doesn’t extend beyond Flying Nun Records and Flight of the Conchords, then rejoice — there’s a shitload of excellent local music just waiting to be discovered,”…