Dear New Zealand, yesterday I wrote a blog titled “Top 5 Australian Musicians You Need To Hear.” On my list, I included two NZ artists whom I absolutely love. Brooke Fraser and Evermore produce some of the best music your country has to offer, and consequently, when they moved to Australia, we quickly claimed them as ours.
While Australia’s claim of your talent is (clearly) not unusual, I get that it is somewhat annoying for you. I mean, it drives me crazy when Americans tell me Keith Urban is from the US. So, in an effort to make it up to you and pay tribute to the land of The Lord of The Rings, the Haka, and epic music, I’ve put together a list of 5 artists who are actually from New Zealand that the world needs to hear.
Lorde. The melancholy and ethereal vocals of Lorde in “Royals” has made this 18-year-old a global superstar, and her debut album, Pure Heroine has made waves with her new take on pop. She counts Taylor Swift as a best friend, has featured on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and is known in the Twittersphere for the bold and loyal support of her friends. Not only is this girl one of New Zealand’s best, but she is also a global superstar.
Stan Walker. While Stan came to fame as the winner of Australian Idol in 2009, his Maori roots have been fundamental in his music and career. The 24-year-old has released four albums, and of late he has collaborated with Ginny Blackmore in the single, “Holding You.” Performing “Aotearoa” for Maori Language Week 2014, Stan has featured in the film Mt. Zion and has been a judge on New Zealand’s X Factor.
Kimbra. While this lady is perhaps best known for her collaboration with Gotye in his hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Kimbra has made it clear that she alone is a powerful force within the international music scene. Her 2011 debut Vows made the top 5 in both NZ and Australia and even peaked at #14 on the US Billboard 200 Charts. She is a Grammy award winner, an adventurer in the realm on electro, pop and jazz and while she now resides in Australia, is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed artists.
Savage. A rapper who first entered the music charts as a solo act in 2005 with his debut album, Moonshine, Savage has climbed the NZ and Aussie charts on and off for nearly a decade. He has also collaborated with Joel Fletcher, Flight of the Concords and most recently Timmy Trumpet. This dude achieved platinum status in the US with his single, “Swing,” and even had the Pacific Music Award for ‘International Breakthrough’ made in his honor.
Six60. This five piece stepped into the industry boldly, releasing their 2011 self-titled debut on their own label Massive Entertainment. Their determination paid off, and they were rewarded with a #1 album in NZ on the first week of release. With the one album and three EP’s released to date, these boys have yet to crack the international market. Yet if their quadruple platinum debut is anything to go by, it won’t be long before they do.