Category Archives: music

been | Laneway Festival 2019

Another scorching Auckland Anniversary day and another Laneway Festival done and dusted. The fashion, the food and of course the music was on point on the day and so was the weather! Apparently there was a heatwave on the way! And it was their tenth birthday at the sold out festival, sweet way to celebrate and throw a party!

Having only recognised three of the acts in the 20 plus lineup we found some new favorites on the day! Gallivanting from stage to stage trying to at least catch a few of the songs was definitely a workout! Luckily we had access to the Friends & Family section so we avoided queues and mingled with fashion royalty, sipping on ciders.

Bene, images by Jess Gleeson

Arriving at around 3.30pm we were just in time for Aucklander Bene at the Thunderdome Stage. Delivering a sweet, chilled out set. Although there were some sound issues, the whole street was completely packed out!

Jorja Smith came through with the goods at the Rotunda Stage. Playing hits from her gorgeous Lost & Found album with her band and finishing off with the garage infused track On My Mind!

Jorja Smith, images by Jess Gleeson

Masego was one of the highlights on the day! Unfortunately slight clash on the schedule with Courtney Barnett which meant we only caught the first bit of her set! Great energy from what we saw and would love to have stayed a bit longer to catch the whole thing. Masego though was brilliant! Saxophonist, singer and rapper he was amazing to watch on stage!

Courtney Barnett, Florence & The Machine, images by Jess Gleeson

Headliner Florence & The Machine played at the first ever Laneway Festival here in Auckland. It seemed fitting that they returned on the festival’s 10th anniversary to as headliner. Florence Welch is always a delight to watch, commanding so much presence although she tells us on stage she is very shy. Transforming into a sprint queen that darts across the stage almost levitating in places to later appearing on the side among the crowd for a surprise performance. Definitely a great way to finish off the night.

Florence & The Machine, images by Jess Gleeson

We were guttered we missed out on Mitski, DJDS, Lontalius and many more but such is a music festival. Here’s hoping they return back to good old Aotearoa for more summer festiveness.

SFS | 5 mins with DJ Corysco

Brazilian native, DJ Coyrsco’s selections have been described as deeply funky and never cheesy. The globetrotting DJ has honed his skills all over the world; starting first in Los Angeles where his passion for skateboarding came along with the curiosity of the soundtracks. After a brief stint at home in Rio, he moved to Paris before further adding to his musical repertoire and touring Europe where he became a familiar name across clubs in Copenhagen, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Firenze, Roma, Brussels and other cities. His desire to explore the world eventually lead him to New Zealand where you can still find him spinning his favourite selections around Auckland. Come February, you can experience him live at SPLORE.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words…
Camping, Rain & Mud Swimming

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up:
Hendrix, Fela Kuti, Beastie Boys

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?
It’s my first ever here in New Zealand, so everything will be new.

In your humble opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?
Dj Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – “Summertime” (Always!)

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?
Haddaway – “What is Love”

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?
I still have never used Spotify.

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
Arrested Development – Everyday People

What’s your social media of choice?
Orkut. (Popular only in Brasil)

Who do you follow and where?
I only follow two people on Instagram; my mom and my brother.

What’s your go-to festival outfit?
Same that Roger Daltrey wore at Woodstock

Word association:
Music – Bless
Festival – Union
Camping – Never did it.
Fashion – Skateboarding rules it.

Follow DJ Corysco on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Situated in a beguiling bay on the shores of Tapapakanga Regional Park, Splore is an annual, boutique and arts festival like no other. Described as New Zealand’s greatest dress up party, this three-day entertainment extravaganza promises a good time, good vibes, and hot showers! Better yet, this magical music festival is just a short drive from Auckland city.

Splore 2019 takes place 21-24 February. Buy your tickets here.

 

been | Here Lies Love

If you love live musical performances, then this is a show for you.

The life of Imelda Marcos is narrated through the operandi of music, thanks to the writing genius of David Byrne and Norman Cook (aka.Fatboy Slim).  Directed by Sophie Roberts and with musical direction by Robin Kelly.

The anticipation upon arrival was palpable, and the energy high, as one looked around the lofty quarters of the Rangatira stage, to see a sprinkling of ‘who’s-who’ in NZ TV, Music & Theatre.

The disco themed concept was evident and most welcomely embraced, from the slick and sequin clad 5-pieced band, to the elaborate and glistening staircase, which reflected the luminescent costumes of the show’s star divas.

Ethereal lighting and a gospel-inspired backdrop fall upon songstress Ria Hall, as she opens the stage with powerful and intoxicating vocals, followed by equally as alluring performances by: Villette Dasha, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Colleen Davis and Sarah Nessia.

The suave and polished band deserve a notable mention, with their acoustically flawless rendition of a concept most unusual,  keeping the heady disco rhythm shaking, to the very end ….  A standout for me in particular,  was the percussionist Antonio Karam, whose vivacity and mad musical ability had not only myself, mesmerized.

Conveying the remarkable rise (and subsequent fall) of such a politically controversial icon was never going to be an easy task.  Yet this unexpected collaboration from influential and allying artists (Byrne & Cook) combined with the stage and musical talent of our very own, individually successful artists –  ‘Here lies love’  is a production of great expectation and certain delivery.

By the end of the show, you will be literally dancing in your seats!

Here Lies Love is now showing over these following dates:
November 22 – December 08th
Rangatira @ Q

 

 

 

been | Imagine Dragons – Spark Arena

I must confess, I’m not too familiar with Imagine Dragons so wasn’t sure what to expect when they played to a sold-out crowd at Spark Arena on Monday night.

First up, was Australian Indie-Rock group The Temper Trap who have graced our shores before in support of Coldplay many years ago. Warming up the crowd and giving us a terrific set that covered their last few albums – most notably their iconic closing song, Sweet Disposition which seems to be on everyone’s playlist still, nine years after it’s release.

After a change of set which saw a few massive LED screens positioned over the stage, the crowd was ready for Imagine Dragons. The band arrived on stage to massive applause. I immediately noticed lead singer Dan Reynolds was in “Activewear” which is something I don’t expect from a pop-rock band from Las Vegas but hey maybe that’s the rock’n’roll thing to do nowadays.

Opening up with I don’t know why and transitioning into Believer I realised why he was in “Activewear”. Reynolds is the ultimate performer with vocals to match his physicality. He pretty much ran the perimeter of the stage, did some very low squats and high knee runs, muscles glistening with sweat, all while singing.

If you aren’t a fan of Imagine Dragons you would have definitely have heard their music somewhere. It seems to be the number one music choice for contestants who sing on The Voice, American Idol or some other generic singing competition that we all secretly enjoy watching.

The show had a few touching moments, with Reynolds and band dedicating Forever Young (originally by Alphaville, not the Beyonce/Jay-Z version) to the recent school shooting in America and Reynolds talking about managing his depression and anxiety with professional help. Forever Young wasn’t the only cover that night as they also did a beautiful re-imagination of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.   Towards the end of the show, the band relocated to the opposite end of the main stage to treat the audience in the back to a more intimate performance which was beautiful.

Peppered throughout the night were confetti shooting out of canons, massive white balloons bouncing around the arena (hello Coldplay 2008), and abstract video imaging on the big LED screens. The band definitely put on a massive performance and they were feeding off of the crowd’s energy; giving us an amazing show.

The band finished off their set on the main stage with their hit Radioactive, incorporating large perspex drums that all members of the band used to great effect. I think most people left the arena that night either feeling very impressed or turned on (or both).

I may not have been a fan heading into the show, but I definitely am now.

Did I mention Reynolds had his shirt off?!

been | Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour

Last night, Spark Arena hosted Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour, with special guest Kehlani.

It was clear to see how this was Kehlani’s third visit in 6 months; New Zealand is definitely not bored of Kehlani and it didn’t look like they would be anytime soon. With her fair share of fans in the audience, she was greeted with raucous rapture. Singing her chart topping tracks, she entertained the crowd her Distraction, CRZY, and Good Life.

With her enigmatic stage presence, she hypnotised the crowd with her sultry voice and sexy moves. It was perhaps her cover of Into You (Fabolous ft. Tmia) that was the most memorable, she performed with such finesse, I preferred her version to the original.

For 23 year old artist , Kehlani performed like a stage veteran, giving us a memorable performance. She also addressed her devoted LGBTQ fans; telling them not to change who they are and to be proud. A fitting message considering this week’s news stories. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw her back here again within the next six months.

Now onto the headliner for the night.

Halsey had a plan for her Kiwi fans last night; it was to make sure everyone was having a great time. A plan she executed meticulously.

Halsey graced the stage as a silhouette hiding behind a great white sheet. As soon as she began singing the first verse of Eyes Closed, the sheet was pulled down and she commanded the stage.

Donning a sparkly spandex leotard, accessorised with a headpiece that can only be described as a glittered thin, translucent balaclava, she performed her next three singles with finesse. Amidst her set, she performed a piano version of Closer (by the Chainsmokers). Towards the end of her set, she surprised the crowd, by jumping off stage and walking the perimeter of the arena floor.

Her show and performance was nothing short of electric. She had iridescent visuals, accompanied with lighting, flames and CO2 cannons; and as the crescendo of the show, confetti bombs to end a memorable performance.

Halsey’s true talent as a vocal artist was showcased at the concert. Her vocal range was diverse and unique. Her stage presence is also unique. At point one of the show, Halsey and her dancer jumped into a shallow water pit, kicking water in the crowd, whilst visually stunning, may not have been enjoyed by the security team in front of the stage. Her story telling skills gave context to the chart topping hits she performed.

Despite being 23, Halsey performed put on a show like those with 20 years of performing experience. For Helsey’s first performance in New Zealand, she’s left the crowd wanting more and will be sure to sell out her next tour here.

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interviewed | On the couch with Constantinople

For nearly twenty years the ensemble Constantinople have explored musical diversity through the lens of ‘East meets West’, an ever changing melting pot, much like the city after which they are named.

We sat on the couch with Kiya Tabassian and Ablaye Cissoko backstage at WOMAD NZ.

Read our review and check out photographs from WOMAD NZ 2018.

interviewed | Troublemaker Andrew Papas

Trying to break away from a boy band image can be daunting, particularly when you were part of a double-platinum group that has toured internationally and opened for the likes of Jason Derulo and Mariah Carey. However, Andrew Papas has done just that and succeeded.

A former member of Titanium (NZ’s second boy band), Andrew called it quits in 2015 and set out on his own journey to become a solo artist. A year later, he released his debut single, ‘Burn it Down’. Setting the bar high, the single, produced by Vince Harder, charted well in NZ but also gained traction in across the ditch; reaching 18th position in the Australian Viral Chart on Spotify.

Andrew had a near impossible task to follow up with another successful single – one he’s accomplished with his latest hit, ‘Troublemaker’. A truly nostalgic track for anyone who grew up listening to 80’s greats, Troublemaker is a fun, 80’s pop single, filled hooks and infectious beats. It debuted at No. 2 in the New Zealand Heatseekers Charts and also reached No. 2 in the NZ Viral Charts on Spotify.

We caught up with Andrew before the release of the Troublemaker video; a fun, feel-good 3 minutes. Watch it here.

What was the inspiration for your latest single?
The idea for Troublemaker was to write a fun song about losing yourself in the moment and having fun. It’s based on a boy-meets-girl scenario where I’m trying to convince her to live in the moment and not think about the potential consequences we have to face tomorrow… could maaaaybe be an experience of my own?

When was the last time you forgot your responsibilities and just lived in the moment? What did you do?
I like to plan my days so I find it really hard to just forget everything and let loose but recently I went to Europe and my first stop was Milan. Had no idea where I was and had no plans to do anything as it was only for the night. Ended up walking the streets until the early hours of the morning getting lost. Randomly stumbled across the best carbonara and gelato I had ever tasted in my entire life. Usually, I would have made myself a strict itinerary to follow minute-by-minute but this time I just followed the streets and where the people were. There’s something really awesome about not being able to understand anyone around you, kind of forces you to focus on other things that you would usually look past.

How did you meet Josh and Djeisan?
We met after my managers set up our first studio session together but going in I already knew of both their work and they knew of mine. They’re both really great guys and I feel really honoured to now be working with them.

Are there plans to collaborate with others on any of the tracks?
We have so many awesome New Zealand artists it would be hard to choose. I’d love to collaborate on a track with Kings though. I think he’s really talented. And also Theia. She’s got such a unique voice and I love her writing style.

Is there a full album already in the works? When will that be coming out?
Nothing confirmed yet but that’s the next step. At the moment it’s just writing, writing, writing. The more songs I can churn out the better odds of writing a bunch of hits.

What has the transition been like from boy band member to solo artist?
At first, it was kinda lonely traveling or recording in the studio or even on set for a music video. Not all bad though because now if I get an idea of what I want to write about or what I want my video to look like, for example, I don’t have to check if everyone else likes my idea, I can just do it.

For those who have never heard of you before, how would you describe your sound?
It’ definitely pop but, I’m not afraid to really hit a high note in full voice. Troublemaker specifically has a bit of an 80s vibe to it, which we kinda just stumbled across.

What song would best describe the story of your life?
Feeling Good, the version by Michael Bublé. I love that song. I’m pretty fortunate to have experienced a lot of awesome opportunities cant help but “feel good” about my life and where I’m at, at the moment. I also just love all those classic jazz songs. They seem to really move me in a way some other songs just don’t.

Will you be going out on the road this year?
It’s early days so I’m just getting my set together and getting everything in line. I have a few ideas on where I want to be this year but you’ll have to keep an eye on my social media for the announcements.

Finally, what’s next for you?
More writing, touring and eventually word domination Haha! I want to be the best I can be and to make a name for myself internationally so I can tour the world.

Find ‘Troublemaker’ on SPOTIFY and ITUNES.