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Newsletter Issue #533: 04 Oct 2020

Our newsletters are sent out once a fortnight and are displayed here for archival purposes only. Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web. We recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter for the best results!

In this issue of the Muzic.net.nz newsletter, we have something a little different for you.

Jeramiah Ross, AKA Module, has a few words he would like to share with you all. You can listen to Jeramiah's message here.

Check out the rest of our newsletter below for interviews from Sola Rosa, Madeleine Howard, Vikae, and much, much more.

Sola Rosa is one of Kiwi music’s most evolutionary and enduring acts. With 2020 comes Sola Rosa's next musical chapter with the release of the long player Chasing The Sun. Easily his most collaborative project to date, Chasing The Sun is an expertly crafted collection of the funk, soul and jazz influences that he’s been known for over his 20-plus year career, while further showcasing some of the best established and emerging musicians the world has to offer.

Gaby from Muzic.net.nz recently spoke to Andrew about all things Sola Rosa.

Hello to Andrew Spraggon and Sola Rosa! It’s a real pleasure. Please, tell us a bit about yourself as a band. When did you all connect and come to be what you are now?

Hey, likewise! I guess this is widely known now, but Sola Rosa started as a solo / studio based project which was something I needed to do after playing in bands for many years, but as I began to perform live I realised what a boring show it was to watch - a guy on stage twiddling knobs and faders, so I started to recruit players. It took many years to get a good band cooking, which was around 2005 and the Moves On album. Since then, there has been various band members in the line-up. Sola Rosa is essentially a collaborative project, so it’s a natural process to have a revolving door of different musicians involved in the live show.

Your album was released on September 25th. How exciting! This is a 12-track beast of a record with some winning singles released thus far. The beauty of collaboration is heard here. What words of advice do you have for fellow musicians in regards to ‘the art of collaboration’?

Yeah it's my 7th studio album and 5 years in the making. I’m pretty proud of this one, I put my all into it. I didn’t want to cut corners, I wanted to take my time and end up with an album of tracks I’m 100% happy with. Not that you can ever be 100% happy, that's not really the nature of things as you’re always finding flaws in your own art. I love this quote by Antonio Gaudi "Work is the fruit of cooperation, and the latter is only possible on the basis of love". I feel that kind of sums things up. Music is about cooperation or collaboration with people you love and admire. Sure, you can make music by yourself and that’s all good, but the true beauty comes when hearts and minds come together and resonate. So deep huh!

What are some key messages you like to express in your music? A lot of lyrics of course speak for themselves. However, what thoughts ignite and draw you to the creative process?

Up until recently I don’t get involved in the lyrics. I’ve learned to say when I’m unsure about a lyric, and will try and work with whoever is writing the lyrics to come up with something we’re both happy with, but lyric writing is not my forte. I did write lyrics in bands for many years, but I came to the realisation that I more or less sucked at it. It’s good to acknowledge what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.

If you could change a few things about the music industry in New Zealand, what would they be?

I don't know, I think everyone is suffering on different levels right now and there's a lot of support from the industry, so I wouldn’t like to make any judgements or criticisms.

Lastly, with your life experience so far, what is the best advice you have been given as a person?

I get this question a bit and tbh I can’t recall any piece of advice that was monumental. The best advice I have is my own advice from my own experience. If I were to pass on any piece of wisdom to younger music makers who are getting into music, seriously I would say 'get a contract / agreement for everything and make sure you understand what's in said agreement, have clear conversations with band members and collaborators and get a good lawyer’. On a more positive note I would say ‘be yourself with your music - don't try to be someone else, the music world celebrates uniqueness and diversity’.

Read the full interview here

Website Links

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Official Website
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SoundCloud Page

Album Review: Chasing The Sun

Right from a young age, pop artist Madeleine Howard has been influenced by New Zealand’s talented female musicians. Drawing inspiration from the likes of  Brooke FraserAnika Moa and Bic Runga, Madeleine has worked hard to develop her own unique and undeniably distinctive Kiwi sound.

Muzic.net.nz resident interviewer Chris Chick had the immense privilege to interview Madeleine in regards to her new EP Just Reaching Out, which was released on 28 August 2020 to critical acclaim.

You have just released your debut EP Just Reaching Out, this must be a very exciting time for you, how would you sum up your emotions at this time?

It’s so exciting! I’ve been wanting to release my own music for quite a while now, and these songs have been floating around my head for a long time. So, to have them finally out in the world is such a good feeling.

Can you give all the readers a description to what your new release is about, and what was the driving force behind it?

Just Reaching Out is a collection of personal songs that represent who I was during different stages of my life, from my final years of high school to my days as a student in Dunedin, right up until now.

What would you say to someone who is reading this interview to encourage them to listen to the new EP?

If you love good old Kiwi music then these songs are for you. I’m a huge fan of classic female Kiwi singer songwriters, especially Brooke FraserAnika Moa and  Bic Runga to name a few. Their sound has hugely influenced my own.

What was one positive and one challenging aspect of this project?

A positive aspect of this project has been having the opportunity to work with the team at SOLE Music Academy. They’ve guided me through the process of releasing music and set me up so that I can do it on my own in the future. Whilst having their help, they’ve still given me the space to grow and learn as an artist without dictating what I can and can’t do. A challenging aspect has probably just been doing all of this with Covid going on. We released the first single in May while we were in lock down, and we ended up having to do the EP release shows with level 2 restrictions. But I think people have been turning to the arts for comfort when everything is so uncertain at the moment, so it’s ended up working in my favour.

In regards to the New Zealand music scene, what would you do or encourage to make it bigger and better?

I think as a new artist it can be quite hard to break into the pop industry specifically, there’s so much amazing talent coming out at the moment and the competition is tough. However, NZ is a small country and I think networking and connecting with other musicians is great, we’re all trying to do the same thing so if we can prop each other up then that’s pretty cool.

Going forwards, what can we expect from Madeleine Howard? Any exciting projects in the future?

We’re working on my first ever music video which is so exciting. I definitely want to keep playing shows with my incredible band too. For now though, I’m going to hibernate for a bit and write the next lot of songs for whatever the next project will be, whether that’s an EP or an album, we will see.

Read the full interview here

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Facebook Page
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iTunes Page

Just Reaching Out EP Review

Originally born in Ukraine and seeking refuge in New Zealand post Chernobyl; classically trained musician VïKÆ has done a full 360 dance through the music sphere. Trained as an opera singer, she switched genres when she felt the need to create art that provokes thoughts, is catchy, exciting and fresh.

VïKÆ’s Veronika Bell sat down for a Covid19 friendly chat with Darryl Baser from Muzic.net.nz, to talk about her brand new Finelines EP and upcoming tour with PRINS:

Where have the songs on Finelines come from - the words predominantly?

Hey nice to chat! Thanks so much for having me.

The songs from Finelines come from a poem I scribbled in my songbook somewhere between the hours of 2 and 4am. I have really bad insomnia and there are some memories of mine which often play out as horrendous nightmares. It's the same few dreams recurring and it's very frustrating for me sometimes because I can't wake myself up. It's like... Man I don't wanna see this I know what happens. Normally I lucid dream (it's totally a thing) and the last memory I have of this dream is that (like all dreams where I am trying to wake up) I was trying to find a bathroom. When I did and looked into the mirror, it took me into an exact memory of a moment in time I wished that it hadn't. I saw a young girl: frightened by her circumstance and obsessed with self-sabotage. I woke up with a jolt and wrote down the verses first and the bridge. I was ironically seeing Abby (Abigail Knudson) my producer a few days after that so it seemed fitting to work on this when I went into the studio.

Lyrically it's pretty raw and vulnerable; how does that feel for you, from recording, to playing them live?

It really is. It's probably one of my most honest songs yet. Which is terrifying in itself! Recording it was a really big deal actually. I don't normally cry listening to my own music I feel like that's kind of weirdly narcissistic BUT when I finally listened through the final demo at the end of our studio day... my eyes were just leaking without warning. I couldn't help it. It was like this river of emotions was waiting to flow through me - I just needed to unlock a part of my mind which was harbouring these thoughts and feelings. By doing so it allowed me to start working on tackling some demons that I had repressed and refused to talk about for a very long time. It was like this natural cathartic process.

Now, musically, you've got more chops than a butcher's shop, and you seem comfortable playing piano or guitar... What are you more comfortable writing music on, and why?

Haha woah that's a compliment and a half, thank you! I will always and forever be most comfortable about playing piano when I write a song. It's just what I've grown up with using. I love playing the guitar - don't get me wrong - but it's just not the same sensation as when you sit at the keyboard and press the keys down with your fingers. I started playing the piano before I even had lessons (I was like 3 or 4) and was enamoured with 'the cool buttons' so just comes naturally to me.

You've worked with Abigail on this, how has that been?

I mean she's amazing. I accredit my growth as a musician, vocalist and songwriter entirely to her tutelage. She is kind, compassionate and very honest about her thoughts and feelings about the creative process happening at that time and I think that because of this we work really well together. We do definitely hang out outside of studio time but we also know when it's time to do some serious mahi. Her expertise and knowledge is phenomenal and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to connect and create with her. I am excited for the future!

You're planning to tour the Finelines EP with PRINS, is that looking to happen if the nation stays at Covid level 2?

YES the tour is definitely happening regardless of if we are in level 2 or not. We've worked so hard on this and invested so much it would be a shame. We would rather play to a handful of people than to no one at all. Besides.... everyone needs a bit of entertainment at the moment. We have been so deprived of anything entertainment-wise for over half a year now (it's nuts to think it's been that long) with other parts of the world for longer than that. So, we want to do our best part in spreading joy and excitement to people. I think that's so important right now. That and connection... which music is intrinsically.

What's next for you after touring Finelines?

New music 200%. More shows (Covid permitting) 200%. I'm not going to reveal too much more but all I'll say is you'll have to be following my socials and get on board the Easter-egg train to see what clues I might be leaving for the future. My biggest idol (Taylor Swift) leaves them for her fans all the time so I thought it would be cool to honour that narrative but with my own twist.

Read the full interview here

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Official Website

Facebook Page
Youtube Page
Instagram Page
iTunes Page

Finelines EP Review

No Future? Livestream is 90 minutes of visual and sonic entertainment, hosted on our Facebook and YouTube pages at 8pm NZT, October 9th.

Where did the idea for the No Future? livestream come from?

In the midst of a global pandemic, we wanted to create a festival that imagines different possible futures, which didn't have a completely dystopian end for a world living in great uncertainty. We saw an opportunity for collaboration, bringing together emerging Wellington artists to shape and share the messages of young creatives with a wider audience.

What do you feel sets No Future? apart from the other live streams happening in the world right now?

We would like to think that No Future? establishes a point of difference through taking a thematic approach to the production aspect of the stream - each band is operating from a different narrative/idea of what the future will become, resulting in six quite different aesthetics.

What swayed your choice in charity?

With the spike in domestic violence that occurred over the course of lockdown in New Zealand, we want to reach out our hand and offer those who are struggling the support of our sister nations. We chose to donate to domestic violence charities in Australia and NZ in order to help facilitate happier and healthier futures for our people. All donations received during the livestream will go to charity.

How have you navigated a large scale livestream in the context of the pandemic?

Logistically, trying to navigate COVID with events is a bit of a nightmare however, having the space and time to practice the livestream under level 3 conditions has allowed us to prepare for levels in NZ changing and hopefully still being able to go ahead!

What is the message that you want the audience to take away from No Future?

We want to communicate to our viewers that there is hope to be had for many possible futures and that our actions as a collective working together for the greater good is what will dictate a positive outcome for the masses


On Episode #102 we spoke to guitarist Andrew Thorne. Andrew has worked with a long list of fine artists including Jan Hellriegel, Greg Johnson, Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn and he was the guitarist on Bic Runga’s first hit album Drive. His own bands have included Splitter and the Calico Brothers, he’s played support for international acts like Radiohead, Bryan Adams and Jeff Buckley and he’s currently performing with the touring show 80's X. 

On our latest episode we spoke to Harry Lyon, guitarist and founding member of iconic New Zealand band Hello Sailor.  This week Hello Sailor are re-releasing their 1994 record The Album on vinyl and as a digital release with bonus tracks. We talked about the new release as well as some of the highs and lows of Hello Sailor's adventures in L.A. and Australia. Harry Lyon! Great guy, great chat!

Listen to our episodes on our website, iTunesStitcherSpotifyiHeart Radio Player.FMTuneIn and all other good podcast apps!



New Artist Pages

The following new artist pages have been added to Muzic.net.nz during the past month:

Wax Chattels Banana Mundo
Club Classic James Loan
The Flash Harry’s Pass The Peas
Lester Paspalum
Turkey The Bird Threat.Meet.Protocol
Naircol Neive Strang Music
Empress Silver Surfer
Coin Laundry Bravo Bonez
Pencarrow Keeltys
In The Shallows Mathew King MJK

New Reviews and Interviews

Check out our latest reviews and interviews at the below links:


We also interviewed Kate Owen and Molly Devine this month.

New Photos

Have a look at our latest photo galleries at the below links:

Artist Galleries
Feature Galleries


View all our previous features here

Our next newsletter is going out on Sunday 1 November!

If you are a NZ musician and you would like to promote your music,
we would love to feature you in our 2020 newsletters - you can choose the date which suits you
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