May 2007 was the seventh New Zealand Music Month, an industry supported event geared to promote awareness of New Zealand Music. I can remember right back to when we had the first NZMM, all of the hype was there and it seemed that every person with a voice was behind it. But can the same be said today?
There is one area I can safely say I'm an expert on. That is, the effect the NZMM has on muzic.net.nz during the month of May. Let's throw in some figures:
|Pageviews (compared to March/April 2007)||+47%|
|Visitors (compared to March/April 2007)||+24%|
|Gigs listed for May 2007||533|
|Gigs per month (May 2006 - April 2007)||519|
The interesting thing to note here is that our website traffic (visitors) showed a considerable increase, as did the amount of information people were looking at (pageviews). Based on this, we can say that there is still a heightened interest in New Zealand Music during NZMM.
However, when you look at our other performance measurement, the number of gigs listed on our gig guide, it appears that little changes here.
But is looking at the number of gigs on our gig guide a good measurement? We only list live music events. We update our listings continuously from a wide range of sources. We do this every month of the year, not just in May. It's consistent and concise. While these results are probably not what people would expect, I did notice a severe lack of live gigs here in Palmy during May. It seemed like any other month. Lame. Orientation has a much better turn-out. In fact, 10000 times better. Where have all the gigs gone?
Some other interesting information was that there were only 31 releases made by NZ artists during May, a figure that to me seems fairly average, if not low. The only conclusion I can draw here is that people are beginning to think the same way I have for some time - release something during NZMM and get lost amongst the noise. Unless you have the luxury of a huge marketing budget, anyway.
So is NZMM still worth it? My answer is "Yes"! It still appears to be successful in growing public interest in New Zealand Music. The industry backing is still there. We've got wonderful people like Mikhal Norriss in charge of promoting NZMM. However, if you are going to use it as a time to promote your music, you need to be smart in your approach...
My Advice To Musicians For NZMM '08
1) Get as much FREE promotion during NZMM as you can. Get yourself on every NZ Music website out there! And don't forget the traditional print publications!
2) Gig. But don't go it alone, put on a massive show with other musicians. Use the words "New Zealand Music Month" to promote your show. Do whatever you can to ensure people will come along to see you!
3) If you're going to release something, make sure you have all your media contacts sorted. Many publications do NZMM features, getting the details of your releases included in there is huge and it won't cost you a bean (well except for providing them with a review copy!)
4) Don't sit back and do nothing. Doing nothing at all is hardly going to benefit you, is it?
If you want to know more about NZMM, check out our feature, which includes information on NZMM and links to other official sources.
This editorial was prepared by Adam Jones, Manager of muzic.net.nz. All views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of muzic.net.nz.
Hollie Smith is the name on everyone's lips. Staking her reputation on the strength of standout collaborations & with the likes of TrinityRoots, Fat Freddy's Drop, Don McGlashan & One Million Dollars, she has turned heads with her deep, rich & soulful singing & songwriting, which has drawn praise from all who have had the pleasure of hearing her perform.
'E.P.' represents the first official recordings of her own music & provides the perfect platform for Hollie to demonstrate her huge musical talent. Written & arranged by Hollie from start to finish, 'E.P.' features an impressive line-up of local musicians, including Rio Hemopo & Warryn Maxwell [TrinityRoots], Dallas Tamaira [Fat Freddy's Drop], Jeremy Toy [OpenSouls], Chris Yeabsley [Twinset] & Nick Gaffaney [Anika Moa Band].
Hollie's wide range of musical influences are evident throughout as she combines elements of soul, jazz, reggae & r&b in a distinctive manner that vividly illustrates her considerable talents. The most exciting aspect of 'E.P.' though is undoubtedly Hollie's wonderfully emotive & affecting voice, which soars, dips & jags it's way through these five slices of beautiful music.
Whatever style she embraces, Hollie creates an intriguing mix of sensual, melodic & earthy songs filled with depth, passion & power. With 'E.P.' she has delivered one of the most soulful & emotive releases of the year. Absolutely essential.
The recording of Lucid3’s new album, Dawn Planes, has been a radically different process for the long-standing independent artists. For the first time they used an outside producer, award-winning David Long (Lord Of The Rings, Dave Dobbyn, Fur Patrol) and have worked with major label EMI, freeing them from the burden of business.
The songs on Dawn Planes were written between New Plymouth and Europe, where Victoria has spent time in the last two years.
“I did so much touring/travelling around New Zealand and some parts of Europe during the time I was writing the songs on Dawn Planes. The contrasts of the various places are revealed in the diversity of the songs. The title track, ‘Dawn Planes’, was triggered after I accidentally left my dictaphone in my guitar case and recorded the eerie sound of engines rising as we left Wellington airport at dawn. ‘This soldier’ is an anthem written after being stranded for some days in China,” she says.
The songs are in keeping with her characteristic writing style, but she has made use of more traditional song-writing tools. Marcus and Derek’s rhythm section and contribution to the music put the distinctively Lucid 3 stamp on the tracks. Before the band went into the studio, they worked with Dave Dobbyn who shared his celebrated skills in song arrangement with the trio.
Lucid3 has worked together for eight years, and maintained a fervent musical integrity. Victoria Girling-Butcher (songwriter, guitars, keys), Marcus Lawson (six string/bass guitars, keys) Derek Metivier (drums/producer) — joined forces in Auckland in 1999. They gelled instantly and their first musical collaborations produced immediate aesthetic rewards. On a business level the trio maintained an independent spirit and musically they stayed singularly focused on producing quality music.
Unveiled on the band’s own label Lupin Music in mid-2002, their debut album Running Down The Keys (produced by Derek Metivier), earned the band an extensive fan-base nationwide. Success was thanks to impressive live shows, word-of-mouth, b-net radio and music videos. Exactly two years later Lucid3 released All Moments Leading To This, reaching No.2 on the nationwide Independent Music Chart and Heat-seekers chart. In addition, the single ‘AM Radio’ won Best Indie Video at the fourth annual Juice TV Awards and was voted No.1 single by RipItUp readers in their annual poll.
They’ve slotted in comfortably alongside international acts at WOMAD festivals and supported UB40 and Jimmy Cliff. When Victoria opened a show for James Blunt at his Auckland show recently, he was so impressed he doubled her fee. Lucid 3 has toured New Zealand extensively with the likes of Dave Dobbyn, Goodshirt, and Brooke Fraser.