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Manzo - Manzo Newsletter Interview

21 Sep 2017 // An interview by Shade
Manzo is the musical alias of outsider visual artist and frustrated public servant, Alan Hodgetts.
Described as "creating a unique aggregate that is invigorating to listen to", Manzo's new album Outsider was released on 2 September. Entering the NZ Album Charts at #8, and the IMNZ and Heatseeker Charts at #2, Outsider is an album that talks about the frustrations and flaws of our modern world to anybody that understands how it feels to be perceived as different. Alan answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I was brought up in Porirua, in a household full of music. My mum was a concert violinist, and at the age of 10 I taught myself how to play drums along to Beatles songs. I’ve always needed creative outlets, from filming and editing in my 20’s through to being an exhibiting visual artist in my later life. However, my actual involvement in writing and recording music has only been in the last few years.

It’s come about really as a creative spin-off from my visual art. I find music gives me a more popular platform to share my ideas and observations, whilst also providing greater opportunity for creative collaboration. I don’t sing so well, so I need to bring in vocal talent, and this has brought about fabulous new friendships with all the artists that feature on Outsider.

For me, with age has come the realisation that life is way too short, along with the attitude to just ‘give it a go’!

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Like many people, music has been important to me throughout my life. I lived in Birmingham in the UK in the 80's. Working in the inner city through industrial decline, and the bands and music I listened to at that time, definitely influenced tracks on both of my albums. 

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job, etc?

Actually the frustrations of my job in the public service inspire me creatively, so when something drives me crazy I tend to retire to my studio and get it all off my chest!

If you could perform with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

He is not with us anymore, but it would have to be John Lennon. I wonder about what he would be saying about our world  if he was here today. Such fierce intelligence, sometimes caustic, but what a tragic loss to music and the world.


Outsider was released on 2 September 2017. It is Manzo's second studio album and features a range of guest vocalists and musicians from the Wellington region. Bandcamp Link

The Angel on your Shoulder single was released on 4 August 2017. It introduces Anny da Silva Freitas, whose soulful vocal performance embodies the essence of love, loss, emptiness and hope. Bandcamp Link

The A Box of Time single was released on 15 September 2017. It introduces the vocals of Allan Taotua and Frobman in a lively rap bemoaning the frantic nature of our modern world, the things that frustrate and get in the way of us doing what we really want. Bandcamp Link


About Manzo

Manzo is the musical alias of outsider visual artist, songwriter and producer Alan Hodgetts. Alan has never been shy about experimenting, using any medium or channel to communicate his ideas. Music gives him a popular platform to share his observations and social commentary, whilst providing greater opportunity for collaboration.

Originally signed to the Southern Collective label. Manzo is now a self releasing artist under his own label Manzo Music a member of the Music managers Forum NZ & Independent Music NZ.

To date, Manzo has released 3 studio albums, 9 singles and a 4 track EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Manzo


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Beatniks On Toast
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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