Tag Archives: New Zealand

SFS | Amy Shark

Australian singer, Amy Shark has had a massive 2017; she’s toured with the likes of Vance Joy and Bleachers, headlined a string of international shows and won several awards including Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist at the Arias. This year, Amy will grace Laneway Festival and Flochella before heading to Austin for SXSW in March. Also, she just hung out with Diplo in LA.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words…
Loud, sunny and boozy.

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up:
Future, The Smith Street Band, FKA Twigs.

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?
I just love festivals in general; it’s such a different show. I love intimate shows coz I get to really talk about my songs and really get close to the people…. but festivals, they’re like a big party! And I just love jumping around; it’s usually a bigger stage so I can jump around a lot. It’s a good time; especially if you’re on in the day or in the afternoon – It’s a really beautiful light and it’s a nice sort of feel.

Is your festival performance quite different to other live performances?
Yeah it is actually. Obviously the songs stay the same.. but just the way I go about a festival is very different to an intimate sort of show.

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?
I really like Feels from Calvin Harris, I think that’s such a banger song! It’s got a real cool sitting by the pool vibe.

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?
Adore is usually a pretty big song. Actually, Blood Brothers is pretty energetic. A lot of people sort of know Weekends now; it’s got a real sort of fun vibe. I dunno, I kinda love my whole EP… so I could keep going if you want… but I’ll probably just end up saying all the songs!

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?
I have a Pump Up playlist I play before every show, the top 3 right now are:
Go Flex – Post Malone
Don’t Kill my Vibe – Sigrid
Man of the Year – ScHoolBoy Q

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
I love so many Destiny’s Child songs… and I love really old School RnB like Ja Rule. I love Teenage Dirtbag… then there’s a really slow sappy song that’s on Con Air – “How do I live without you….” I bust that out every now and then during soundcheck – so that one’s a really, don’t tell anyone type of track! It’s really embarrassing!

What’s your social media of choice?
Instagram

Who do you follow?
Kendall Jenner
Joel Little
Lorde
Drake

What’s your go-to festival outfit?
I usually just wear my bra and underwear….. just joking, that’s what everyone else wears.
Maybe a pair of black jeans, they’re usually torn to shreds. Maybe some converse sneakers and just a t-shirt. I keep it pretty simple. If it’s really hot, maybe a singlet… show off a bit of my arm; you know, get the guns out.

WORD ASSOCIATION:
Music – Mine
Festival – Fun
Camping – Hard
Fashion – Awesome
Roadie – Always

This year marks 8 years of Laneway Festival in New Zealand and the second year in its dream location of Albert Park precinct. This boutique inner-city festival boasts a line-up showcasing some of the best new international talent. With four individual stages and an abundance of grass, shade and great music, Laneway Festival is set to be one of greats this summer festival season.

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 | London Grammar

They say good things come to those who wait and Kiwi fans of London Grammar were certainly kept in anticipation on Saturday night.  

Nearly half an hour later than scheduled, London Grammar graced the stage of Auckland’s Spark Arena and fans were awarded for their loyalty.  Over 5,000 were eagerly waiting to see London Grammar’s first ever New Zealand performance and they weren’t disappointed.

Starting with a minimalistic performance of Rooting for you, Hannah’s unique and mellisonant voice resonated throughout the arena.  Performing songs from both their albums, die-hard fans sang along to every song while the majority of the crowd bellowed to their chart-topping singles; Hey Now and Strong.

The subtle lighting and colour washes, their humble approach, and the emotion on their faces made it a mesmerising performance to watch.  This was further complemented by their unique ability to make the arena performance feel intimate.

My only gripe; after spending hours vocal training at local Karaoke bars, practising for my time to sing-along to their cover of Bitter Sweet Symphony, I was disappointed to hear it wasn’t part of their hour-long set.  Still, London Grammar gave a fantastic performance and I hope we see them on shores again.

Check out all the photographs from their performance here.

heard | On the road with the HuaweiP10NZ

I have a phone that is over four years old, it’s not an artifact obviously, but it’s pretty darn close. I don’t have fancy features like finger print scanning, lightning speed charge, mobile pay, hand gesture controls, 4K recording and more. In truth, I don’t fancy these features, but don’t get me wrong, all the extras add to the user experience and I’m sure it will add to mine. But the thing I am looking for, the thing that will sway me into handing over my money is a phone with a great camera and image capturing capabilities. And here is where the new Huawei P10 comes in.

I’ve been captured, given a device and released. Now with a new phone that posses extraordinary hardware and software features, I am left wondering what I should do with it. How do I feel with all this power in my hands? Like this…

A representation of Sin-Mae with advanced technology – via GIPHY

 

I managed to take a few pictures with the wide aperture features, beauty mode and manual focus. I was impressed to find the manual/pro controls, tracking features and voice command. Below are some pictures I took with the phone.

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Wide Aperature Enabled – f 1.4

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Wide Aperature Enabled – f 2

Many people may like the Wide Aperture Feature, by enabling it you bring up a scroll bar of f 0.95 ~ f 16. I did notice that the the phone did confuse some of the foreground image as the background and blurred parts of it. It happened on the lowest aperture and the highest, I am unsure whether that is a software issue but I think with some practice I will see less of it happening.

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Wide Aperture Enabled – f 0.95

I found any number below a f 2 on the wide aperture feature to be harsh and artificial looking in some pictures. Some objects in focus may have gaps and an outline of clear background then a harsh edging of blur.

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I noticed this happening even on the Huawei P10 Plus used at the official launch. This was on selfie mode layered with Bokeh effect, but once again, I need more practice with it.

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Portrait Mode – Artistic Effect Disabled

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Portrait Mode – Artistic Effect Enabled

There is this funky quick button on portrait mode that makes photos a little more dramatic. Above I tested it on sand to see how the artistic effect plays on the image.

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Wide Aperture Enabled – f 0.95

While using the lowest aperture I found that some angles gave me more of a naturalistic picture. Places with a lot going on in the background makes it harder for the software to blur properly. So far I find the feature works really well with closeups and a single leading line away from the subject.

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Pro Mode – manual focus (length)  3.95 , 1/200, f 2.2

You can’t go wrong with the pro feature, this is great for anyone who knows a bit of photography and wants a bit more control. There is no artificial blurring or wide aperture effect in this feature, well I couldn’t find one yet. But the lowest aperture on the hardware is f 2.2, good enough for most occasions and in my opinion better than any applied blur effect.

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Standard Picture Taking Mode – Auto, f 2.2

If you just want something that is a point a shoot but has great capabilities when it comes to low light situations, then this phone can easily do that. I find pictures taken with the Huawei P10 give me clean crispy images which I can easily edit without loosing a lot of quality on apps like Snap Seed.

This is only a quick review into the images I’ve captured so far. To fully test out the capabilities, I’ll be taking it with me on a roadtrip from Auckland to Wellington in the next few days.  Follow us on Instagram to see what I get up to!

 

 

heard | Thomas Oliver – new album + tour!

Our favourite Wellingtonian, singer-songwriter, Thomas Oliver, releases his debut album this Friday.  

Titled, Floating in the Darkness, the album includes his Silver-Scroll award-winning hit “If I Move to Mars” as well as his single, “Shine like the Sun”.

Thomas will be on the road next month where he’ll be joined by a full band (including Sam Notman, Ed Zuccollo, Johnny Lawrence, Bella Trotter) before finishing off with a string of solo shows.

WITH BAND

Fri 5 May – Auckland, Tuning Fork

Sat 6 May – Leigh, Sawmill

Fri 12 May – Christchurch, Blue Smoke

Sat 13 May – Wellington, San Fran

SOLO

Wed 24 May – Takaka, Mussel Inn

Fri 26 May – Queenstown, Sherwood

Sat 27 May – Invercargill, Repertory House

Sun 28 May – Dunedin, Pequeno Lounge Bar

Buy tickets herePre-order the album here

**We featured Thomas as part of our humans of mac+mae series – read his story.

DocEdge 16 | Monterey

Lisa Burd | Feature Film

Directed by Lisa Burd, Monterey follows Kiwis Paul and Mira as they open their dream café in Grey Lynn. The couple want to create a café different to the array of minimalist eateries populating Auckland, instead providing something cosy and familiar. The first step is finding a chef, and this comes in the form of Samoan Jacob, or J as they refer to him. J makes this doco, hands down. He is funny, charming and dedicated to his job, grateful to be given the opportunity to work as a head chef despite having no formal training whatsoever. As Paul and Mira both point out, J is what Monterey is all about – he is the heart and soul of the homely cafe.

Added to the mix is J’s brother, Tausaga, or Ti, fresh out of prison for armed robbery. Not long after his arrival, J’s cousin Aosoli joins the team. The three Samoan’s work smoothly together, always remaining calm and keeping the kitchen fun and lighthearted with the laid-back, cheeky humour common of the Pacific Island community. They are “the three core” of the business, as Paul calls them.

Monterey is best in its examination of these three men’s lives and relationship with each other. The doc becomes about much more than food – rather, it focusses on the people brought together by food. J, Ti and Soli are proud of their Samoan culture and heritage, and appreciate their positions at Monterey and the ability to provide for their families. J talks about the poor upbringing he had and how his children are able to enjoy simple things he did not, such as having shoes and lunch to take to school each day. The men are content and happy with their lives, striking a chord in the viewer as one thinks of the many dissatisfied New Zealanders who have come from far more privileged backgrounds.

The harmony in the Monterey kitchen is suddenly disrupted with the arrival of British chef Dan. Realising that money is tight, Paul decides to try something new and add a dinner menu to the cafe, making it slightly more up-market. Now with Dan as head chef, J, Ti and Soli are forced to reconsider their positions at Monterey. The new kitchen dynamic is interesting to watch – Dan is a nice guy, and a skilled chef who is essentially just doing his job – but we are attached to the Samoan family by this point and it is hard to see them grow disheartened.

The lowering in moral leads Paul and Mira to reconsider their decision and redefine the heart of the business. Is it about making money, is it about the vibe, is it about family? The documentary’s resolution is poignant and leaves one considering the role of cafes in New Zealand, the position of cafe staff and our country’s Samoan community. In all, a well-formed documentary that provides an interesting insight into New Zealand’s unique culture and makes for an enjoyable watch.

 

The 11th DocEdge Festival takes place in Wellington 4-15 May and Auckland 18-29 May – www.docedge.nz

NZICF 16 | 5 mins with Alice Brine

Take a ride on the observational freight-train that is life inside the brain of Alice Brine; she’s got a real ‘Beautiful Mind’ vibe going on – except instead of maths, there’s just a lot of really elaborate ideas.  We had five, actually let’s be realistic and say ten minutes with Brine ahead of comedy festival run for 2016.

Describe your show in three words starting with a vowel…  

 I’m spinning yarns

What’s the inspiration behind your show? 

Me and my brain. I’m here to tell funny stories about situations we’ve all been in. It’s just that I’m stupid enough to talk about them in front of an audience. I overthink and I just go hard.  I tell stories and sometimes I talk about a subject but then I do a loop around later and mention that subject again. People love that. It’s called doing a call back. I’ve learnt how to do call backs and I can’t get enough of them. I also riff. No matter how well thought out my show is, every show will be different because I can’t help but go off on the occasional huge tangent. I want to be honest and funny, luckily I have a habit of finding myself in ridiculously funny situations so there’s plenty of material to cover off. 

What are your top 3 festival picks? 

1) Home- girl Laura Daniel +All of the Billy T Nominees

2) Daniel John Smith 

3) Local Acts! Without the local acts, the internationals wouldn’t be here.

Tell us about your most memorable time on stage…

I realised that I was most at home doing off the cuff +storytelling the night I did my first Monologue at SNORT at Basement Theatre in the 2015 Festival. I had always wanted to just trust my gut and go into riffing/off-the cuff but was too scared as it’s basically the opposite of how traditional stand-up comedy works. In a SNORT monologue, an audience member just yells out a topic and the comedian has to totally come up with all of their material off that word (a nightmare thought for a lot of people but basically my dream come true.) I got the word ‘Death Star’ and it was the best 5 minutes I had ever done in stand up, to that point.  I had previously always stayed to script which was fine but very structured compared to the style of stand up that I do now. I thought it was impossible to do a riff/storytelling style of stand up but after that first monologue I realised my best work came off the top of my head and I worked to find a way to get the best of both worlds into my style of comedy. I now do a mix of funny stories that are prepared earlier and then also allow myself to just go out there with nothing and just riff it out. It’s always the best stuff that comes out of the tangents. (This makes me want to reassure anyone coming to my show that I am not planning on making it all up on the spot!) (Just some of it) 

Word Association:

Comedy – Yellow. Everything is always yellow. Ross Noble and Amy Schemer and Billy Connolly.

Fashion – Expensive. Haters’ gunna hate. I love my bodycon dresses with Nike Dunk Sky Highs. Love ripped jeans and a leather jacket. Juliet Brine. Rebecca Gibb. If I ever get rich I gotta hire a stylist pronto. If anyone wants to send me their fashion stuff to plug please do. I love clothes. Size 10. Size 7 shoes. 

New Zealand – Mum. My mum is amazing. 

Sheep- New Zealand. Whoever wrote these questions ended up accidentally doing word association with themselves. 

Selfie – Game is strong. 

Dating – Such a 90’s word. Should not be used as a word unless you’re Rachel from the hit TV series, Friends. 

And finally, describe the last meal you ate.

I’m currently drinking a cold instant coffee. I had some kind of cereal for breakfast but its 2.30pm and this cold coffee is the only thing near me. I microwaved a soup about an hour ago but never went back to the kitchen to get it. I think it is still in the office microwave. Unless someone threw it out. There is probably about to be an email that goes around asking about whose soup was left in the microwave. I just got distracted doing work and answering these questions. The last meal I ate hasn’t been eaten yet but it will be re-microwaved soup. I’m going to legit go and eat it now.

ALICE BRINE performs BRAINSTORM Tues 26 – Sat 30 April at Wellington’s BATS Theatre and Tues 10 – Sat 14 May at Auckland’s Basement Studio, as part of the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co. from 22 April – 15 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to comedyfestival.co.nz.