Passport Playlist is the perfect place to discover new artists. After all, it can be hard to discover music from different countries. Whether they’ve found international success or are only a small-town name, Passport Playlist is the best place to discover the next worldwide superstar.
When you think of New Zealand, your first thought likely isn’t a bustling music scene. You’d be surprised, though! Cities like Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch have an eclectic group of musicians. The Māori, New Zealand’s Native people, are known for their traditional music. You might be familiar with the haka (dance) or waiata (song) which both come from the Māori! With such history, it’s no surprise that New Zealand has some incredible musicians. Without any further ado, let’s dive in!
If you’ve heard of BENEE before, it’s likely due to her worldwide smash hit ‘Supalonely’ with Gus Dapperton. The single went #1 in both The Netherlands and Mexico. In her home country of New Zealand, the single peaked at #2 and was certified 2x platinum. Now 21, BENEE was only 19 when she recorded the song. ‘Supalonely’ went viral on TikTok in 2020. The song resonated with many people and its relatability to the COVID-19 pandemic. BENEE, who is from Auckland, New Zealand, was scheduled to head out across North America with Remi Wolf in 2020. Unfortunately, the tour was canceled due to safety concerns brought on by the pandemic. Despite the setback, her debut album Hey u x was still released on November 13, 2020.
Songs we recommend: ‘Glitter,’ ‘Plain’ feat. Lily Allen & Flo Milli, and C U
Five-piece SIX60 was formed in Duedin, New Zealand in 2008. The band combines rock, reggae, funk, pop, and traditional Kiwi sounds to create a unique style. The band even uses traditional Māori instruments such as Pūtātara and Pūkāe (stone and long trumpets), Bone Kōauao (Bone Flute), and Karanga Weka (Stone Flute) in their music. SIX60 is one of the most well-known artists in New Zealand. This is for several reasons. First of all, they were the first band to play a concert on TikTok in February 2021. Also, they were the first band to play to a large crowd during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides these two feats, SIX60 is also known as one of the biggest touring bands in the world. They have played stadium shows across New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, as well as selected shows in North America. Their debut album, SIX60 (1. The Gold Album), was released in 2011. The record went #1 in New Zealand and was eventually declared 7x platinum. SIX60 (2. The Colours Album) was the band’s second release and just as successful. It also went #1 and was declared 5x platinum. Their most recent record, 2019’s SIX60, was their Epic Records debut. To date, the band has surpassed 200 million global streams and 1 million sales and counting.
Songs we recommend: ‘All She Wrote,’ ‘Sundown,’ ‘Long Gone.’
Solo artist Muroki was originally born in Coromandel, New Zealand, but was raised in Raglan, New Zealand. With the help of a blind guitar teacher, Muroki learned how to play the instrument at eight years old. His sound blends styles from across the world. Traditional Māori sounds and styles from Kenya, where Muroki descends from, are clear in his music. This unique sound is what drew fellow New Zealander BENEE to him. She has been an enormous influence on Muroki’s popularity. The pair bonded over lockdown and Muroki accompanied her on her sold-out New Zealand arena tour. Muroki was also the first signee of her new record label, Olive Records. She even introduced his music to the legend, Elton John, as a guest on his radio show. The 19-year-old singer is only getting started with plans for more new music before 2021 is over.
Songs we recommend: ‘Wavy,’ ‘For Better or Worse,’ ‘Open Up.’
Phoebe Rings are as new as it gets when it comes to New Zealand music. The band’s lead singer is Crystal Choi on vocals, Wurlitzer, organ, and synthesizers (we’re impressed!). She is joined by Benjamin Locke on electric bass, Alex Freer on drums & percussion, and Simeon Kavanaugh-Vincent on guitar. The band’s debut single ‘Cheshire’ was released in September 2020. This was followed by the track ‘Spissky’ in July 2021. Their most recent release, the self-titled EP featuring both ‘Cheshire’ and ‘Spissky,’ was released on August 13, 2021. Despite the fact that the band could only ship to New Zealand due to COVID restrictions, they sold out of cassette tapes on their Bandcamp. The band is already gaining traction in New Zealand, and we hope to see their worldwide success boom soon.
Songs we recommend: ‘Cheshire,’ ‘Lazy Universe,’ ‘January Blues.’
We can’t wait to see what all these artists have in store next! Have you heard of these artists before? Who’s your favorite? Let us know! Send us a tweet at @TheHoneyPOP or leave a comment on our Facebook.
Featured Image Source: THP Graphics Team