Tag Archives: music

interviewed | Rap Sensation Melvin Bailey

The comedy musical Love Me Tinder is coming to Auckland this week. Stephen Sinclair has directed and produced a hilarious perspective on the path of love in the age of Tinder. The show, who is for anyone with a smart phone and an open heart, was a sell-out at the Auckland Live’s International Cabaret Season last year.

Love me Tinder is the story of Zoe and Daren who meet on the ubiquitous dating site. They are compatible in so many ways, but Tinder’s on-going temptations then threatens to tear them apart. The show lets the audience witness the train wreck of a Tinder date going disastrously wrong.

The musical has been rewritten and developed for this year’s show. I chat to local rap sensation Melvin Bailey AKA Kloos, who has created suave and seductive lyrics for Love Me Tinder.

Melvin, who was just fifteen when he started rapping, explained how the script has been adjusted for the second season, and all of the music is now original. He said: “The show is about relationships and how the advancement of technology has affected the ways in which we communicate.”

Melvin is excited about acting alongside Jennifer Austin and Stephen Lunt, who play Zoe and Daren.

When asked how he got into rapping, Melvin said: “I love music and naturally Hip-Hop suited me, I wrote bits of poetry whilst studying at university and thought why not lay those verses down. It was my new year’s resolution for 2015 to make a mixtape, and once I did that, I simply carried on.”

I asked Melvin about his personal experiences with Tinder. He said: “We were encouraged to download the app last year for research purposes but I lasted less than five minutes. I’m more of a walk up to you and chat kind of guy.”

At last year’s Auckland Live International Cabaret Season, Melvin thought it was awesome to partake in the lively vibe in town. This year, he said he’s excited about “being part of the music once again, and having the opportunity to perform at the Comedy Club, which puts everyone at the heart of it all.”

After the show finishes, Melvin is hoping to get tickets to see Drake and celebrate all of the shows hard work. He will then focus on solo projects. He said: “My debut EP has been in the works for some time now, but the finish line is in sight.”

Melvin gets his inspiration form Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino and Lute. He said: “These guys are skilled and force me to go further with my lyrical content. Through their words, they alter my perspective and I’m left with a greater appreciation of life. I hope that one day I can do the same for someone else.”

Melvin’s advice for aspiring rappers is: “Create tracks that you enjoy and be honest in your output.” He gets his inspiration from life, “each day is a blessing, regardless of what happens.”

Love Me Tinder returns to bar Freida Margolis in New Lynn on Sunday 29th and Monday 30th October, then plays at The Classic Comedy Bar on Queen Street from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th November. Book your tickets here.

been | The Legend Of Zelda – Symphony Of The Goddesses

At E3 2011, Jason Michael Paul Productions produced a 4 minute overture to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Zelda franchise. The clip contained footage from the various titles paired with an arrangement of some of the stirringly beautiful themes the series is famous for which, for anyone who’s spent even a moment of their childhood wrapped up in the saga of Link and Zelda, was one hell of a nostalgia trip. Shortly after the event a full concert was announced whose success would eventually lead to the creation of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” to which I had the unique pleasure of seeing on the evening of the 14th of August at Auckland’s Civic theatre.

Multiplay Insomnia60 at NEC – Matthew King/iEventMedia

The show begins with the aforementioned overture, conducted with infectious enthusiasm by award winning Australian conductor Jessica Gethin, and performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with assistance from the haunting Freemason Chorus. The performers are accompanied by the very same footage from the E3 presentation projected upon the back of the stage behind the Chorus.

The closing of the overture precedes an early teary eyed applause from series fans and newcomers alike and is followed by a brief introduction from Jason Michael Paul and a short clip from the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Not the last we see of the legendary game director as he makes a further announcement towards the end of the show, espousing his love for the series and the personal impact it’s had on him. He’s joined by two further clips, one from designer and current director of the Zelda series – Eiji Aonuma (who began his work with the series during the spectacular “Ocarina of Time”) and the renowned video game composer Koji Kondo.

Each piece of music is expertly choreographed to footage of the particular title it’s inspired from. It’s not just promotional footage either: a good deal of the scenes are actual gameplay meaning someone played through and recorded them for the show (I like to imagine Mr Paul did a start to finish “Let’s Play” of all 30 years worth of games for this himself). The masterful pairing with the swelling and pacing of the score suggests the clips were chosen by someone with a love for the series and, while a couple of clips felt like slightly odd choices, the vast majority of footage fit in sublimely and included enough chicken chasing and Master Sword pulling to satisfy everyone.

The pieces include arrangements from many of the greatest games in the series. Act one begins with a composition of the Dragon Roost Island theme from Wind Waker which, as the piece draws to a close, has the orchestra bathed in crimson light while showing Links dramatic battle with Gohma in the caverns. The stage lighting is used to great effect throughout immersing you even further from the vibrant greens of the Plains of Epona during a piece from Breath of the Wild to the deep blue of the Great Sea during Movement III – The Wind Waker.

I could more than happily talk about each piece in detail but, as Miyamoto says himself that “life, just as in the game, is full of surprises” and the surprises of this show really need to be experienced in person. The show will be moving on to Perth on the 24th of August and Singapore on the 26th before returning to Melbourne for two more shows on the 3rd of September. I implore you, if you’re able, crack open some pots and collect as many Rupees as you can to make it to one of these showings. You will not be disappointed.





Visit the Official Website HERE


humans of mac+mae: Arli Liberman

The reason I chose this photo, is that it was a very specific and special moment for me with this incredible person… he’s an artist and a musician that creates this avant garde art.  

His name is Harold Rubin and I had the extreme privilege to be around him a little bit and play with him.  He showed me when I was in the beginning of the exploration of getting to the art of improvisation and just creating the situation through sounds and frequencies just to be.  

Every time I perform with him, it was always this unknown thing and when you’re not sure, when you’re out of your comfort zone, that’s where things all go horribly wrong or horribly great…. And in this moment we’re looking at our bass player up there, Mark Smulian, into one of those improvisational moments  and we’re both really happy that things are going horribly great.  

So, forever grateful for all those amazing lessons of just trusting your instinct and be yourself.

From Israel to New Zealand, Arli Liberman’s background is as interesting as it is diverse.  His music seamlessly brings together sounds of both his Middle Eastern heritage and Western influences.  Arli’s latest album, Allegra, is available now and you can catch Alri on the Wanderlust 108 world tour.

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

humans of mac+mae: Anna Laverty

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

been | Leon Bridges and the Texas Gentlemen – St. James Theatre

If you haven’t heard of Mr Bridges, you’re going to. The 26 year old Texan has been rapidly gaining attention since the release of his debut album, Coming Home, in June last year – and for good reason. ‘The kid,’ as backup singer Brittni Jessie calls him, is not just extremely talented, but refreshingly unique.

Blending raw soul and gospel with doo-wop and urban blues, Bridges’ sound takes you back to a time when music was about just that – music. With a nod to the great African American musicians of the fifties, sixties and seventies, Bridges’ style remains consistently ‘oldschool.’ Each number invokes a sort of nostalgia in the listener, a longing for a different time when things were more authentic. In keeping with the feel of his music, Bridges’ dress and mannerisms herald those of decades past. A single glance at his Instagram confirms this: monochrome photos of Bridges wearing trousers and collared shirts reveal a true dedication to his style and sound.

Ending his world tour in Auckland on January 9th, there’s no surprise that Bridges chose the St James as his venue. The historic building was a perfect match for an artist who has been hailed as a contemporary Sam Cooke or Otis Redding. When they arrived on stage Bridges and his seven-piece band, all immaculately dressed in fine suits, showed the crowd what a real concert should be like. There were no flashy sets, no costume changes and no awe-inspiring light displays. Bridges and The Texas Gentlemen simply played, filling the room with an energy and passion you really needed to be there to understand.

After an introductory song, Bridges proudly announced, in a purposefully Southern accent: “we are from Fort Worth Texas, and we rode in on our horses.” He then proceeded to play the entire Coming Home album, as well as a handful of new numbers. This was a foot-stomping, finger-clicking get-down-and-do-the-twist concert – everywhere you looked, people were dancing. While every song was amazing, there were of course highlights. The upbeat melody Twisting and Grooving, written about Bridges’ grandparents, was an instant mood-setter, as were new songs Let You Down and Mississippi Kisses. Bridges didn’t lose any power by slowing things down, however. The crooning number In My Arms was like something straight out of a 1950s dance party, while the rich, gospel song River was the climax of the show.

Ultimately, Bridges is well-worth going to see. And while he is clearly the star of the show, his band also has to be acknowledged. Without the amazing talents of saxophonist Jeff Dazey, who Bridges professed “has been with me right from the start,” and the flawless backup vocals of Brittni Jesse, the music would have quite a different sound.

A passion for real music is what immediately hits you upon hearing or seeing Leon Bridges and the Texas Gentlemen. Not one to let things go to his head, Bridges waited in the St. James foyer after the concert to take photos with fans and sign posters in an informal meet and greet. Did I meet him? Of course. He was soft-spoken and polite as he signed my poster with a quote from the album’s title song. More than that, he was appreciative. “Nice to meet you man,” he told my boyfriend. “Thank you.” Thank you, Leon, for giving us something to look forward to in the music world.

NZICF15 | piecesandbits by Paul Amos

Piecesandbits is by far one of the most random shows I have ever been to, random in a good way that is with pieces and bits of everything. Paul is one man who plays three characters, Paul, Paul & Bruce.. or what ever he feels like calling himself.

Paul is bit nerdy with hair that needs a bit of trimming and thick rimmed glasses in jeans and a t-shirt. You don’t go to piecesandbits to love the comedy but to fall in love with his character. You learn very quickly that he obsesses over Sultana Bran, Pam’s, collects time and uses it like currency. He likes a bit of ranting, brand marketing, singing, poetry and improv acting. And by the end of the evening you would of heard quite a lot of ranting, brand marketing, songs, poems and seen his ‘okay’ acting.

This was another show held at Q Theatre’s Cellar and this time it was much much cooler (temperature wise) to be in. Upon entering the room we were asked to sit near the front, fearing the possibility of being picked on (cause you can never trust a comedian) we sat in third row. But be warned, attending this show doesn’t mean you are safe from being pelted by OXO cubes (2 x chicken stock, 1 x beef stock to be exact), I caught one and was nearly pelted by two others so bring some eye protection. Apparently Paul is “very, very, very, very, very, very okay” at doing comedy, well that was what it says on www.comedyfestival.co.nz. I agree and disagree with that, first of all yes it is very okay comedy as you don’t go rolling around with laughter, but he exceeds ‘okay’ by keeping us amused throughout his performance. His awkward stage persona is loveable, and his nutty actions and quirky behaviour kept me grinning. Paul has a unique way of making a somewhat rehearsed performance appear as it was all improvised, or was it? If you’re the type who is open, quirky, creative, loves a bit of randomness and this show is for you. It is worth heading along just to hear his random songs, you will be standing by the end of the show singing and rocking along to his tunes.

Piecesandbits is an Auckland only show and is on till Saturday (9 May) in the Cellar at Q Theatre. Don’t miss out book your tickets online here at Q Theatre’s Sessions Page. Click on NZ Comedy Festival’s website here to view Paul Amos’ listing or scroll down to view show details:


WHEN:  7:15 pm Thursday (7th May) – 7:15 pm Saturday (9th May)

WHERE: Cellar, Q Theatre 305 Queen Street, CBD AUCKLAND



Adults   – $18.00

Concession   – $15.00

Group 6+   – $15.00


LIKE his Facebook page Paul The Amos to stay up to date with his work.

heard | #SITG2015 Lineup

Don’t let the current chill stop you from getting into some festie vibes this winter, Splendour in the Grass has just announced their lineup and as usual, it’s looking smashing! Headlining acts include Blur, Florence and the Machine, Mark Ronson, Of Monsters and Men and popular local acts Tame Impala, Peking Duk and Paul Mac. Full lineup below.

The festival runs from the 24th of July right through to the 26th, with tickets going on sale at 9am on Thursday 23rd April. More information at www.splendourinthegrass.com.

As always, we will be praying to the music gods to take pity on us across the ditch and send a few of the bands our way for some sideshows. We know Florence Welch and co love New Zealand, so we’re expecting them to visit. Who would you be keen on seeing?!