28 Nov 2022

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Arjuna Oakes - Arjuna Oakes Newsletter Interview

24 Mar 2022 // An interview by Shade

Arjuna Oakes is a singer-songwriter and producer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand). Following the release of his debut EP The Watcher in 2019, Arjuna has released 2020’s Recovery Pt. 1 and 2021’s First Nights to widespread acclaim, both of which were followed by last week's long-awaited EP Recovery Pt. 2. Muzic.net.nz caught up with Arjuna about his music, inspiration and NZ music favourites.

How did you become involved in music?

My love for music started at a very young age. I remember singing as soon as I could talk, and started learning the piano when I was 7. Music was always being played around the house and was a big part of my family, so it was impossible not to fall in love with it.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Probably Building an Army from Recovery Pt.2. We recorded the whole EP back in Feb 2020 and I think that song really encapsulates the talent of the band that I play with. Everyone is being so creative and improvising like crazy, it makes me smile remembering recording it.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?


Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

Name UL is an incredible artist on so many fronts. He’s an accomplished rapper, performer and a genius producer, I’m so excited to see where his career takes him.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

I was lucky enough to perform at the Opera House in Wellington opening for Louis Baker, and also as a guest with Nathan Haines at the Wellington Jazz Festival. It's such an amazing venue, one day I’d love to play a headline show there with my full band.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Everyone feels nervous before a gig, I think I’ve learnt to channel those nerves into excitement and it helps to fuel me before a show. Usually the nerves disappear as soon as I’m on stage, I often close my eyes and forget the audience exists.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

Fat Freddy’s Drop, no question about it. I grew up with their music so it would be a dream come true.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Inspiration for writing music is often very random and spontaneous in my case, but it usually comes from something I’ve internalised and has come out naturally over a longer period of time. This could be another piece of music I’ve been listening to a lot, or something that has happened in my life that has found its way into my music. I always try to let the spark of a song come naturally, and then I can put in a lot of time and effort into developing it into a piece of music.


About Arjuna Oakes

Arjuna Oakes is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Currently based in Wellington, despite his young age, Arjuna has already been performing for over 14 years.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Arjuna Oakes


First Nights
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Recovery Pt. 1
Year: 2020
Type: EP
The Watcher
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Turn The Tide
Year: 2017
Type: EP

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