Tag Archives: NZ music

humans of mac+mae: Merv Pinny

Bath Time.  I like this photo because it reminds me why I wrote the song “OB can you hear the children cry”. It is a protest song against war and terrorism. All the suffering the children and the people from these countries have been through, it is hard to imagine. Yet, this dad finds a way to bring some normality into his children’s lives by way of giving them a bath against a backdrop of total destruction.

Some people have found the video “OB can you hear the children cry” upsetting I remember the first time I ever played it to anyone was a group including mothers that were visiting my Studio. Some ended up in tears and I thought I had gone too far, however the song had a message and I was trying to raise emotion to get that message across. I wear a gas mask in these videos, it is a symbol of war and the terror that comes with it whether it is tear gas, or worse chemical warfare. It is designed to make people take notice of “the messenger” and evoke emotions that highlight the message about war that I am trying to convey.

“Wipe Out” my new single is part two of that story and the after effects of someone that grows up in that environment with the anger and frustration that they must have to deal and live with. So the vocal and the lyrics are pretty full on as I try to capture the anger and frustration that they might be feeling.  The video is based on a true story told to me by a once refugee and now new immigrant who reached out to me. He told me the song “OB can you hear the children cry” reminded him of his own life and told me about a dream he had after listening to the song. He had lost his whole family and was feeling isolated and struggling to fit in, he was terrified of the rioting which brought back memories of war and his childhood. He dreamed two dark angels rose up out of the water to help find his lost sister and returned her to him surrounded in fire. I haven’t heard from him for some months but I hope he finds peace and his sister.

I heard many stories after releasing that song however some are too graphic to share. Unfortunately this is the reality we live in today and it is my hope that by bringing more awareness to the effects of war we will be reminded to choose our leaders wisely, in hope to bring peace to our world.

Kiwi rocker, MERVY PINNY has been in the game for a very long time.  Picking up a guitar as early as 10, Merv has evolved his sound over the years.  In the 90s, his single ‘Destiny’ was nominated for a NZ Music Award and won a Waikato Rock Award.

Merv’s latest project takes his musical talent and uses it to address timely world issues of the effects of war, terrorism and refugee immigration on children.  His single, OB Can you hear the children cry was recently named Best Rock Song and Best Rock Video at the Academia Music Awards in Los Angeles.

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”.

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.


Fri 5 May – Auckland, Tuning Fork

Sat 6 May – Leigh, Sawmill

Fri 12 May – Christchurch, Blue Smoke

Sat 13 May – Wellington, San Fran


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.

humans of mac+mae: Thomas Oliver

This is a photo of my ex-girlfriend and me, taken at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards in Auckland recently. Her name is Hayley. This photo is very special to me. Obviously part of why it is special to me is that I’m holding the Silver Scroll, a songwriting award I won that night. But it is particularly special to me because Hayley and I have been apart for almost a year now. It’s been a really hard year and we’ve had periods where we didn’t talk at all, sometimes because we knew it was best, and sometimes because we simply couldn’t manage it. I won the songwriting award for ‘If I Move To Mars’. It’s a really prestigious prize, which is awarded at a big ceremony at Vector Arena.

When Hayley and I were together, we were driving from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay and we decided to try to think of cool ideas for songs. Mars had been in the media a lot at the time, so Hayley suggested, “what about a song about Mars?” We were both fascinated by the concept of populating Mars, so I loved the idea. Being the songwriter, I suggested that the song be, “if I move to Mars, will you come with me?” So the song simply wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for Hayley. Not only that, but she went on to organise a team of people from her work, Weta Workshop, to create the music video for the song, and she essentially ended up being the producer on it, so she was very involved with the whole process behind the song. So when I was informed that I was a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll, I asked Hayley, “will you come with me?” 

When I won the award, I had to make an acceptance speech, and I was so glad to have an opportunity to publicly acknowledge Hayley’s contribution to the song, and to have her there that night was so fitting, and something I cherish. 

This photo is special to me because it represents sharing this achievement together, and, despite all the heartache and hardship we have been through since breaking up, being truly happy in each other’s company, and being at peace in our hearts for just one night. 

Hailing from Wellington, Thomas Oliver is a singer-songwriter who is internationally recognised as one of the leading players of the Weissenborn lap-steel guitar. With millions of views on YouTube, he has developed an international audience from his home base in New Zealand which has seen him play hundreds of shows across New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia.  Oliver’s ability to write stirring lyrics and move between sweet melodic and grunty vocals has also earned him a reputation as a vocalist in Drum & Bass, having collaborated with some of the most respected producers, including Black Sun Empire, Rido and Concord Dawn, and boasting releases on prestigious labels, including Goldie’s own Metalheadz.   He is also the winner of the Silver Scrolls 2016.

His latest single, ‘If I Move To Mars’, is the first release from his album due for release in 2017.

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: Theia

This is one of my favourite and most precious people, the queen and matriarch of my family, my Kui (grandmother).

My granddad took this photo last year, when she took me back to my paternal ancestral home – to where she grew up and where our rich history and culture was born.

I didn’t want to ruin the beauty of the moment by taking a picture, but I’m so glad he did, as there will not be another. These precious memories we shared are something I’ll cherish forever. 

She passed away suddenly a week after her 77th birthday and I have never been so heartbroken. Though it’s been, and still is, a process of learning to carry on in her absence, I can go head high into the future knowing her love and how proud and excited she was of life’s journeys that lay ahead.

She lived the most beautiful life, leaving her legacy of love with everyone whom she met. She loved boundlessly, generously, and passionately and had a laugh and warmth that would linger on long after she’d left.

The last text she sent before her departure is still on my phone and etched in my heart. Reading it makes me both smile and cry. She always wrote the important parts of her messages in capitals, as if to really show their potency and meaning.


Christchurch songstress, Em-Haley Walker has been turning heads since 2015.  Her single, Silver Second, originally released under the moniker Plum created quite a buzz, making her a firm ‘blogosphere’ favourite and an artist to watch.  

Now, with a new stage name, Theia is posed to release her debut EP.  Her EP’s lead single ‘Roam’ is already making waves, clocking over 1 million streams (and counting) on Spotify in only 6 weeks.  Catch Theia at Electric Coastline this summer.

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: Levi Patel

This is the sun rising over Seoul, South Korea. I took this picture while crossing the Han River after my last night in Korea.

I received an unexpected job offer from a Korean company right before my summer break from university in 2012. One month later I was there, where I lived and worked for three months.

I travelled with a field-recording device wherever I went and collected environmental recordings, which I have since used in some of my music. Living in Korea also led to ongoing collaborations with filmmakers. I recently finished work on ‘This Island is Ours’, a feature-length documentary about the Dokdo/Takeshima island ownership dispute with Japan, and I’m currently working with the same director on a short documentary.

This period of time was important to my music career but it was also special due to the way that it changed my view of the world. That was my first experience living somewhere with a culture so different from New Zealand’s. Learning the language and being immersed in such a different world gave me a new perspective coming home and a new appreciation for the diversity of lives that people lead.

The picture was taken while travelling home after my last night out with my Korean friends, the ones I shared the experience with. It was the moment I felt that my time in Korea had come to an end, and a beautiful ending it was.

Auckland-based composer Levi Patel draws inspiration from a variety of sources; his style encompasses minimal piano, vast melodic ambient soundscapes, cinematic soundtrack, and evocative ambient post-rock.  Check out Levi’s latest EP, 5/8, a collaboration with Auckland artist Suren Unka.

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: Kingdon (Kings) Tetinga Chapple-Wilson

I struggled identifying who I was growing up as a kid. My parents split when I was young and I stayed with my mum. I’d lost touch of my Maori heritage and my primary source of MAN or KING energy. It left me feeling out of place, and having identity issues.

Reconnecting with my dad in later years I was able to see the beauty of him, my family and my culture.

My Grandad (on the left) Arnold Maanaki Wilson, was one of the first Maori artists to graduate from Elam Art School. He had a unique and contemporary approach to Maori art and carving and was known as an innovator. He was a visionary and his goal was to bring people together through his art and his presence.

My Dad (on the right) Anthony Wilson, followed in this path, creating various programs to help and support troubled youth at Awataha Marae. He is also a great carver and an innovator in both business and creative thinking.

They are true KINGS in their creative fields.

Best known for his no. 1 single, “Don’t Worry Bout It”, Kingdon  (Kings) Tetinga Chapple-Wilson is a 26-year-old Maori/Samoan hailing from Auckland’s North Shore.  Signed to Warner Music, this multi-talented artist sings, produces and writes his own songs. His latest single, “What We Supposed to Do” is out now.

Hikurangi Jackson from Marae caught up with Kings last month.

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

interviewed | Jason Kerrison

Best known as the front man of Opshop, and one of my personal Kiwi favorites…  Jason Kerrison has enjoyed both commercial and critical success at the top of the NZ Music Scene. This month, he’s back with his first solo effort, #JKEP1.  We caught up with him to find out more about it…

Can you describe the EP in three words?
Eclectic, Stomp, Pop

How different is the music from your previous releases with Opshop?
I felt with Opshop that as much as I loved playing with the guys I was interested in seeing what kind of music I could produce if my style wasn’t prescribed by the dynamic of three other players. So that means playing with some new synth software. Different keys, production program’s etc. Its enabled a more eclectic sound from what would usually have been expected of me.

You’ve got quite a lot on your plate this year from X-Factor to the release of this EP, performing in Singapore to reaching the finals for an International Songwriting competition… what are you looking forward to the most?
I love the travel, and getting to explore the world. I get to hang out with old friends and meeting new people. Very very cool. The experiences on the way are the fairy dust.

What’s your plan for the new EP? Will you be touring the country?
I’m constantly moving around the country or heading overseas. In terms of a tour to support the #JKEP1 specifically I will probably do that in May, NZ Music Month.

And finally, do you have some words to live by?
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

#JKEP1 is available from iTunes now!  Buy it here.

Find Jason online: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | SoundCloud