Tag Archives: Australia

humans of mac+mae: MC Bliss

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Something that is very special to me is the craft of hip-hop music.  For me, it’s a creative outlet and a form of expression that I have found, nothing else is like.  I can get ideas and concepts out in a creative way.  In a lot of ways, it’s like self-therapy.

When I have something that’s on my mind that I really want to express it; to be able to do that and tell a story but also combine it with a sonic landscape that evokes emotions of what I’m trying to tell is amazing.

The best feeling on earth is when you first create a song and you hear it back for the first time and it gives you those shivers, those goosebumps or tears, or whatever it is and you know you’ve plucked a chord, you’ve plucked a heartstring.  So hip-hop music, Love ya.

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid - available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid – available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

MC Bliss is one third of Australian hip hop trio, Bliss n Eso.  Since meeting in high school, MCs Bliss and Eso plus DJ Izm have broken records, won ARIA and APRA awards, staged spectacular live shows, and toured internationally.  

This Friday, they release their hugely anticipated sixth album, Off The Grid about overcoming personal struggles and establishing new beginnings – Pre order the album.  They’ve also just announced 4-city NZ Tour – buy tickets.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “Humans of mac+mae”.

humans of mac+mae: Michael Johnson

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This is my library.  

My library is special to me as I grew up being placed in special classes at school after being told that I had learning difficulties and ADD and that I would struggle to learn for the rest of my life.

My library is a reminder of the belief I had to have in myself to follow my dreams and never let anyone tell me who I could and should be. I find it extraordinary that the thing I was told I would never be good at is the thing that inspires me the most in life, as I love to learn from extraordinary people and teach others how to be extraordinary.

It’s a daily reminder to me to keep inspiring people to live an amazing life and never let anyone else tell you who you can be and what you should do with your life.

The Mojo Master and his library

The Mojo Master and his library

Michael Johnson believes that everyone is truly gifted, but most people just never have the tools, confidence, motivation and self-belief to find what makes them come alive and live it daily.  Also known as The Mojo Master, he’s mentored and coached thousands of people including world champion athletes, national sporting teams, executives and business leaders.  His mission is to help millions of people globally to tap into their individual talents and become the masters of their own destiny, leading to more fulfilling, happier and more successful lives.

The Mojo Master is bringing his event The Next Level to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch next month.  Learn the exact steps to create a strong, powerful mindset and gain mental and emotional clarity so you can take control of your success, happiness and future goal.  Click here to buy a ticket.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae”

humans of mac+mae: Anna Laverty

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This is a photograph of my passport.  It’s very important to me because of the freedom it allows me – I can travel freely around the world and come home to a beautiful, rich country where I can wear what I want and say what I want, without fear of persecution.

Having worked under the guidance of multi-award winning producers, Paul Epworth (Adele, Primal Scream, Foster The People) and Ben Hiller (Blur, Elbow, U2), Anna Laverty perfected her art and worked on albums for Florence and The Machine, Depeche Mode and Block Party amongst others before returning to Australia to carve her own niche as a producer.  Since returning, she’s firmly established herself as one of Australia’s finest young producers.

Anna is in New Zealand as part of the Going Global Music Summit.  Going Global is a 3-day summit that brings together world-class panelists from all over the music world.  A must-go for anyone related to the industry, whether you’re an artist, a promoter or a music journalist.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –    http://bit.ly/HoMaM

NZICF 15 | Neel Kolhatkar Truth Be Told

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Said to be one of the brightest prospects in the comedy world, Neel Kolhatkar boasts a CV rivalling many seasoned professionals. With a subscriber base that had previously garnered him millions of hits on his videos, Neel sky-rocked to Internet stardom in 2013 with his viral video, Australia in 2 Minutes.

It was that very same year that I first encountered Neel – I was living in Sydney and I was working at a YouTube festival where he happened to be a part of the line-up. Being the non-video watcher I am, I had no clue who he was or how much I enjoyed his material, until after the fact.

This week, Neel made his New Zealand debut with his latest show, Truth be Told, at the NZ International Comedy Festival. A set that covered the lack of positive role models for ethnic Australians growing up, the ludicrousness of needing drugs to enjoy house music (and clubbing), growing up with one of rap’s finest artists (50 Cent), and being gifted Chingy’s Jackpot album at the age of 10…. by his grandparents.

While his jokes about European DJs lacked originality, his dig at indie music was hilarious.

Neel’s comedic timing and stage presence is beyond his twenty (something) years of age. His confidence and ability to interact and engage with his audience makes him a delight to watch. I can see why audiences around the world (Edinborough, New York, Los Angeles, London) have loved him, and why New Zealand will too.

He has two shows remaining, including tonight. Log out of YouTube and go to Q Theatre where you can see him live.

SFS | Meet Timmy Trumpet

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Timmy Trumpet has a trumpet, through which air is blown and sound comes out whilst music is played in the background.  Just as his name suggests, Timmy is an Australian Trumpet player and DJ who had his big break in Ibiza.  Currently ranked the #3 DJ in Australia, Timmy holds residences at clubs and festivals in throughout Australia.  He’s played with some of the best including Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim and even Stevie Wonder.  Apart from his booming musical career, Trumpet has a fashion label called ‘Wifebeaterz’, runs a night club in Soho, Sydney and even has his own iPhone app that allows users to operate a digital trumpet on their phone.  We chat to him as part of our summer festival series.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words:

Future, Music and Festival.

Which three artists would you choose to headline this dream festival of yours?

Erick Prydz, Deadmau5 and Hardwell.

What are you looking forward to most about playing Future Music Festival in Oz next March?

The feeling I get when I’m performing on stage and the joy it brings to my fans.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

The Stafford Brothers and I used to put our hands in the middle and shout “Play it like it’s your last”. It would amp us up, but these days, I like to meditate for 20 minutes before every set. I’m not a pro at it yet but I highly recommend it to anyway regardless of whether you’re playing at FMF or not.  It is good to have the quiet time before the crazy time.

What sort of beverages do you have on stage while performing?

Usually a bottle of Vodka or Jagermiester. When I’m with the Stafford Brothers, they like to pour alcohol straight out of the bottle into peoples mouths but it usually ends up on your clothes. Jagermiester has ruined my wardrobe

Do you have a particular favourite summer music festival to play at?

Future Music Festival and Goodlife U18’s Festival. Sometimes the U18’s go more nuts than the over 18 events!

What’s your best festival outift?

Snapback, singlet and shoes. Stay away from Thongs. Trust me!

Out of all your songs, which tune is the one that NEVER FAILS?

Sassafras. I wrote it with Chardy a few years ago before the Melbourne sound blew up. It’s amazing to see where it’s gone today. Massive props to the talented Will Sparks who is also playing at FMF.

In your opinion, what’s the best summer anthem of 2013?

The Cedric Gervais remix of Summertime Sadness by Lana del Ray.

What’s your happy place?

I currently average around 7 flights per week so I would have to say being home is where I’m most happy. There’s nothing quite like your own bed!

If you were a superhero, what super power would you have?

I would love to be able to memorise. I read a lot of books and only remember a few points from each of them. Our brains are still so primitive!

What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for all my fans who continually support and follow my music. Without them I couldn’t do what I do today.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Music. I live and breathe it. I wouldn’t sleep at all if it weren’t necessary to our survival. Mum suggests 7hrs sleep a night. I’ve got it down to a solid 5.

Finally, apart from playing FMF 2014 what else do you have planned for 2014?

I’m heading to the US in March to promote my upcoming single “Bleed” with Scndl. Check it out on iTunes or Beatport as it’s coming out soon!

About Future Music Festival 2014:

Returning for its 9th year, Future Music Festival (FMF) is without a doubt one of the biggest music festivals on the Australian calendar.  Touring Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (and as of last year, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), FMF hosts some of the best local and International acts.

With 2014′s massive line-up including Deadmau5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Phoenix, Hardwell, Eric Prydz, Netsky and Cut Copy just to name a few, FMF will prove why it is still King of the Jungle.

Check out their announcement video:

For more information and to buy tickets, check out the Future Music Festival website here.

SFS | Meet Helena, the female boss of Electronica

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A female boss in what’s considered to be a bit of a boys’ club, Helena has seduced dance floors across every continent.  From Europe to Asia and most recently the US of A, Helena’s contagious sets, made up of a sublime musical selection, have secured her as one of Australia’s most prominent female DJs and electronic producers.  She was also the first female artist to be booked on Ultra Music Festival’s main stage in 2013 alongside the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Major Lazer and Disclosure.  In March 2014, Helena will return to Australia to take to the stage at Future Music Festival.  We chat to her as part of our Summer Festival Series.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words:

Music. Sun. Friends.

Which three artists would you choose to headline this dream festival of yours?


Eric Prydz. Steve Angello and Justice

What are you looking forward to most about playing Future Music Festival in Oz come next March?

Apart from the set itself just being involved in the whole tour and getting to hang with so many of the artists I love and admire. Getting to tour around with them all and hopefully get to know them a bit better will be really cool.
I also don’t often get to see many other DJs and acts play, so it will be dope to be able to party a bit too and catch some of the other acts shows.
I can’t wait for Eric Prydz in particular. I’ve been watching some videos of his recent EP/IC shows and they are just incredible.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?


I just need to get into a good headspace, so I normally I’ll chill in the hotel, get some room service, glass of wine, work on my music and playlists and listen to the new tracks I have downloaded to learn them if I have not played them before.

Shower, make up, hair usual girl stuff ! Then I crank up the tunes to get in the party vibe.

What sort of beverages do you have on stage while performing?

On stage I normally have Water, Vodka Lime + Soda and a few shots, I don’t really drink that much at all when I am performing, as I need to be totally on point, but I find a few drinks helps get me more in the party mood and loosens me up to the music and vibe of the club.

Do you have a particular favourite summer music festival to play at?


Well Future Music coming up is one of the best line up’s I have seen for a long time!
I really can’t wait to play there, I have played Future before but it was only at the Sydney show, so be a part of the full tour is unreal, it will be such an experience. 
I think this year in particular there is such a huge buzz around it and they really nailed the line up its so on point. So it’s a real honour to be a part of it.

What’s your best festival outifts?

Flat boots, denim shorts and a tank top can do no wrong  – Along with massive sunnies of course!

Out of all your songs, which tune is the one that NEVER FAILS?

Don’t You Worry Child by SHM was a never fail track. The clubs just seemed to go into a frenzy every time it was dropped
.  It’s not really that cool to drop it now though as it’s been so saturated but a cheeky mash with the acapella sometimes still always does the business.

In your opinion, what’s the best summer anthem of 2013?


Reload – Sebastian Ingrosso + Tommy Trash was a pretty huge track of 2013 for sure! People seem to know it well in every country I play.

What’s your happy place?


In the bath! I find it the only place where I ever really switch off and relax. My last apartment didn’t have a bath and I definitely was not happy about it.

If you were a superhero, what super power would you have?


The power to teleport myself to any part of the world in seconds. I have family and friends on both sides of the world which I don’t get to see that often so would love to just beam myself to different places.

Plus it would make touring life much easier!

What are you thankful for?


I am thankful for a lot of things! An amazing family around me, doing everyday something that I love and the opportunity to tour the world showcasing my sound and music. I feel very blessed, I don’t ever take it for granted.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?


I seem to have a built in alarm that wakes me up at 8.30 every morning without fail, not matter how little sleep I have had. Which is not ideal when you have been playing in a club till 4am. I’m training a lot too. So I drag myself to the gym most mornings.

Finally, apart from playing FMF 2014 what else do you have planned for 2014?


A whole stack of new originals, remix’s and collabs lined up to come out, along with my tours of the States, Europe, Asia and of course a few visits back to my home ground Australia. And some big festivals on the cards.
Working hard, settling into my new life in LA and enjoying life.

About Future Music Festival 2014:

Returning for its 9th year, Future Music Festival (FMF) is without a doubt one of the biggest music festivals on the Australian calendar.  Touring Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (and as of last year, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), FMF hosts some of the best local and International acts.

With 2014’s massive line-up including Deadmau5, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Phoenix, Hardwell, Eric Prydz, Netsky and Cut Copy just to name a few, FMF will prove why it is still King of the Jungle.

Check out their announcement video:

For more information and to buy tickets, check out the Future Music Festival website here.

heard | Summer Festival Series

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With summer around the corner, we’re all gearing up for those outdoor festivals filled with music, friends, new experiences and of course, great memories.

The past few years have seen us spoilt for choice with a plethora of festivals taking place throughout the length and breadth of this country and the one across the ditch, catering to a variety of musical tastes.  This coming summer, it’s no different.

Over the coming months, we’ll be talking to a bunch of artists from different festivals as they gear up to take to the stage in New Zealand or Australia.

We’ll be talking to artists from:

A big thank you Marc Conaco for creating our awesome SFS sign.  Marc is an Auckland-based graphic designer and freelance illustrator.  You can find out more about him and his work at mcthree.co.nz.