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.
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: