What a year it’s been for Kiwi music! Although, in our humble opinion, we feel as though we’re always smashing the scene, this year especially has been great for our music industry. New artists have been springing up left, right and centre and not only gaining recognition nationwide but internationally as well. We couldn’t be prouder of our mighty team and to prove it here are 10 of the best moments from Kiwi music this year.

 

Six60 selling out Western Springs for the second year

Dunedin band Six60 have been an undeniable force right out of the gate and this year hasn’t showed them slowing down in the slightest. On top of embarking on a world tour, earning 62.6 million streams on Spotify, winning 3 Tui at the VNZMAs (one of which being Highest Selling Artist) and having their latest album dominate the NZ charts, the band have sold out their headlining Western Springs stadium tour for a second year in a row. Phew, talk about a pretty good year.

 

BENEE winning her first 4 Tui at the VNZMAs

Our favourite little superstar BENEE cleaned up at this year’s VNZMAs, winning 4 Tui including ‘Single of the Year’ for her hit ‘Soaked,’ ‘Best Solo Artist,’ ‘Best Pop Artist’ and ‘Breakthrough Artist.’ And each win provided an even better acceptance speech that truly highlighted the star’s adorable personality. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store!

 

MELODOWNZ collaborating with Denzel Curry

In a HUGE career step, Auckland hip-hop artist MELODOWNZ dropped the highly anticipated track ‘No Mercy’ with American rapper Denzel Curry. Recorded on his trip to L.A., the two spit fire about the demons they’ve fought and the resilience they’ve built up to fight against dark times. “Working with Denzel was a trip,” says MELOWDOWNZ to Sniffers.  “I’ve been a fan of him for a minute, so chopping it up in the studio was crazy. He brings a very unique and special energy to the room. It was an honour being able to witness that.”

 

Drax Project dropping their debut album

It’s been a pretty busy year for Wellingtonians Drax Project too. Earlier this year the band released a remix of their hit ‘Woke Up Late’ with no other than Hailee Steinfeld, releasing a new music video for it as well that featured Youtube star Liza Koshy. They then preceded to drop ‘All This Time’ and the Six60 collab ‘Catching Feelings’ before blessing us all with their debut self-titled album. They picked up the ‘International Achievement’ Tui at the VNZMAs, started a competition to find a fan to join them onstage at R&V and oh, they casually joined Christina Aguilera on tour too.

 

SACHI dropping an EP and going on tour

EDM funny men SACHI continue to bring the party wherever they go and 2019 has certainly been a whole lot of fun. From touring around the world to announcing a few national summer gigs, releasing their EP ‘Nights With Ruby,’ interviewing Americans and just always providing the laughs, we’re thankful for the duo this year and all that they’ve achieved.

 

eleven7four getting selected for Laneway lineup

Auckland twins eleven7four have been busy rising to the top as well. Their debut EP 1174 dropped earlier this year and it was full of hits, including fan favourite ‘We Met In France.’ They added a few live performances to their belts and even became a confirmed act for 2020’s Laneway festival. These guys are smashing it, and it’s only just the beginning.

 

Niko Walters joining Stan Walker on tour

The younger brother of Six60 frontman Matiu Walters has definitely been proving his worth by stepping out of his brother’s shadow and smashing it on his own. This year he dropped 5 tracks that we just can’t get enough of and he joined Stan Walker for his NZ tour which is kind of a big deal. He’s been announced as the opening act for Ella Mai’s NZ show in January next year and he’s joining his brother for the massive Western Springs show in Feb. Talk about a rising star!

 

Jon Lemmon’s ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ being remixed by Netsky

Dancemaker Jon Lemmon’s smash hit ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ happened to fall into Belgian DJ Netsky’s lap and the producer remixed it at one of his live shows. But as if that wasn’t cool enough, the two then released a studio version of the track AND Jon joined Netsky to perform the hit at Netsky’s Auckland show earlier this year. THEN the tune was played in the official video for the massive EDM festival Tomorrowland. We think we need to sit down, that’s just too much to handle.

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I was having a particularly bad day a few months ago when my phone started going off like crazy with all these notifications. @netskyofficial had just dropped a remix of my track at one of his live sets. I’d never even heard it before! Talk about instant vibe change. Suddenly my shitty day was feeling pretty great. I sent him a DM being like "yo, wtf is this amazing remix?! btw hi i'm jon nice to meet you haha thank you for playing my track" Fast forward a couple weeks later and I was on stage with him performing it to thousands of people. Today it's finally out and we're all feeling pretty stoked about it! Link in bio! If you're interested in how this all happened in the first place… turns out the remix was a bootleg of a bootleg. Netsky was looking for new music to put in his sets while he was in NZ, and someone (thank u @dcherrry) gave him a folder with 300+ new tracks. Somewhere in there was an edit @t1r__ had made of my track. I'd never heard the edit before. But apparently Netsky loved it, so he took it and added his own production to it. Then he dropped it at his gig at Auckland Sky Tower without telling me or T beforehand. A nice lil surprise! After that we all got in touch and remade the track using proper remix stems. Cause up till that point it'd just been a shitty chopped up mp3. A copy of a copy of a copy. At first I didn't think Netsky would wanna release it officially, cause you know, I'm a sensitive lil artist boy and sometimes I get self conscious and think nobody will like my art, haha. Wahhhh. But here we are now. 🤷‍♂️ ☺️ Yay. And with all of that said… if you in Auckland tonight, come to @impalanightclub and celebrate with me and T as we drop the track live. I'm on at midnight xx . #betterworkstories #netsky #remix #dancemusic #edm #futurebass . 📸 @dcherrry & @radlab_

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Broods re-emerging with Don’t Feed The Pop Monster

After a successful few years, sibling duo Broods moved to L.A. to follow up on some solo projects. Georgia tackled the male dominated industry and created The Venus Project, an EP that’s entirely ruled and created by women, and Caleb created the pop-electro Fizzy Milk. But the two finally joined forces again and dropped Don’t Feed The Pop Monster earlier this year and it became their most honest, talented and perfectly crafted piece of work. Drawing on past struggles they had encountered in the music industry and creative roadblocks, both siblings came back stronger than ever and created something truly magical.

 

SWIDT dropping the controversial ‘Bunga’

The first drop since their 2018 EP The Most Electrifying, Onehunga hip-hop group SWIDT returned to the scene just recently to release ‘Bunga,’ a controversial, straight-to-the-point track that addresses Polynesian life in NZ. The track, which isn’t available on streaming platforms, is accompanied with a music video that visually portrays the struggles the song speaks about with actor Chris Alosio lip syncing the group’s lyrics. Not only was it an impactful re-entrance (followed closely by the release of ‘Preacher Man‘) but it significantly boosted the group as being seriously talented artists.

 

Bring on 2020! We could be a little bias, but we feel like NZ is going to smash it again next year.

 

Check out some more tunes from awesome local talent here:

By Kellie Given

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