VOL 005 LINEUP
SATURDAY 9TH DECEMBER 2017
SATURDAY 9TH DECEMBER 2017
SATURDAY 26 AUGUST @ REC
SATURDAY 29 JULY @ REC.akl.nz
You might know Bianca Paulus as the queen of the much respected Ammo-Nation crew, or the lead vocalist of world music group Weird Together.
At these early stages of her musical journey she has already performed her track ‘Get By’ with Raiza Biza on the rooftop of the Auckland Museum during their Volume exhibition, and opened for Six60 with Weird Together at Villa Maria in front of 10,000 people.
She’s one of the most sassy and creatively energetic woman on the scene, which coupled with her deep sexy voice is a recipe for greatness. Word to producers is it’s open season on sending beats her way!
Cop a view on her song "Get By" with Raiza Biza below.
Rich James reigns from the notorious kingdom of Kelston where he pursued all different aspects of creativity. His background features professional photography and punk and hardcore bands, which has clearly been a major influence on his personal and musical style.
Rich is part of the Small Fortunes crew that includes Bryan Anderson, Jinzo, Lukas, Hustle Profits, Nic and Dharmarat...
"Dharmarat engineers most of his music, Jinzo's been making beats better. I also rap with my brothers Kame, HXRMAN, TXMBS, Shoshi, Bvnde and Kil6 as NNB, we do this shit for LVNTZ. Also the homies out in SLO:WAVE and the KOME BOYS from out south deserve mentions. Oh and Blaze from AmmoNation and I used to get high in the alleyway before school when we were kids and it's still love. Can't ever forget that shit".
Musically Rich articulates his feelings over samples and ever darkening beats. He has just dropped is second solo EP and a group project with the SF crew. The momentum is up at the moment after locking a bunch of Auckland shows and releasing 3 music vids.
Jay-Z is listed as a major inspiration for Rich - in particular how he has dominated so many aspects of his life and made them work together. However as a person Rich himself is equally inspiring – working day to day with young people who are transitioning from government care to independence. Recpect.
NXVA reigns from Capetown South Africa. He moved to NZ at 16, growing up with a mother who always had music playing in the house. This instilled in him an urge to create the vibrations himself.
That move has lead him to an array of releases on Soundcloud which was noticed by boss-man rap curator Raiza Biza who enlisted him as the newest member to the mafia crew that is AmmoNation.
Recording from his bedroom, NXVA (in my opinion) is the southern hemisphere's answer to Kendrick Lamar. With an unreleased debut EP that is set to shift the paradigm of the NZ music game. Merci Motel can not wait to showcase what he has in store for the world.
NXVA is planning on dropping his EP in the 3rd quarter of this year and with his influences ranging from Isaiah Rashad, PND and Smino right rough to GoldLink, Travis Scott, Sonder & Sylvan Lacue - you won't even begin to imagine what to expect.
- A supernova is a star that is in the process of blowing up. Come appreciate the process.
Picture a purple lit, smoke filled dungeon with some KRK’s and a microphone. Thats where the magic happens - under the influence of the big man ChubbyFly & King Tay who have had Rokske’s back since day dot.
Rokske Tha G is a smooth cat whose music pays tribute to the glory days of early 2000’s R&B while maintaining a 2017 edge. A flavour that’s undeniable in his recently released debut mixtape that’s put him working alongside some of NZ music’s heavyweights.
We asked Rokske about his outlook on the NZ hip hop scene -
“I really appreciate the whole new era of hip hop to be completely honest”.
He made it clear that the real future, energy and power as always stands with the new generation, and while it’s good to pay respects to the older cats and their timeless work it’s important to let hip hop evolve as it will and remove creative restrictions.
You won’t meet a man with more passion, energy and belief than the one-man rapper-producer behind the title Imagine This.
Preaching an infusion of grime, two-step, garage and DnB from the J5 and Dela Soul period. And infusing that with “a mix of raw emotion with bass music” as he puts it.
He’s put in over a decade of work and has fully committed to his passion of music. Working DJ slots and jumping on shows to keep the dream alive is something we all can respect.
Following up his release of his 2016 album, Imagine This is set to release a new project later this year, some vids, and features alongside a couple yet-to-be-named international artists.
One thing that stands out about our man Imagine This is his positive vibrant nature. He has a mad respect for Kiwi artists and is always down for a collab. We got anyone’s back who spreads the love at all times and this man can’t be faulted. Bless up brother!
We met Nic a couple years ago after he returned from LA where he was battle spitting cyphers. Clearly Eminem left his mark on him.
“mum was a g and bought him the explicit version of the Eminem Show”
His gritty lofi music style is a result of many hours producing and writing bars in solitude and you won’t hear anything that hasn’t been sat on for a minute to ensure it’s A grade.
With two projects set to drop this year and a handful of video’s on their way we asked Nic his thoughts on releasing music independently in 2017. What we got was confirmation that he also thinks Soundcloud is no longer what it was and video’s are the key due to humanities apparent lack of a half decent attention span. Gotta say we agree…
Hailing from the streets of South Auckland, "SidHunnid" has come onto the scene and has made a bit of noise with his lyrical prowess and impeccable story telling in his music.
In the day and age of "mumble rap", "SidHunnid" has been able to solidify and differentiate himself from the crowd through his belief in the revival of conscious rap while still being able to incorporate the new wave.
With the release of his debut E.P close, "Sid Hunnid" is next up.
SATURDAY 3 JUNE @ REC.akl.nz
Two identical twin rappers from Zimbabwe. Nuff said right?
Wrong. There's a lot more to it than that. Shingi & Muche Murare are the full package. They produce, song-write, sing / rap, mix and master all their own songs from start to finish.
Making up one third of the DIED in '69 rat-pack; they were the magic behind the audio engineering on the debut DIED in '69 EP that was released late last year. The single of lead single "New Wave" hit well over 110K plays on Spotify.
Although well known for hard hitting bass lines and heavily distorted 808's, the twins actually have a very dynamic sound which stretches to beautiful and melodic compositions. Influenced by the likes Kanye West/ Kid Cudi/ Wiz Khalifa but then chewed up and spat out in a way only they know how.
2017 marks the year they release their first industry-wide debut EP, so before they do that and bring a whirlwind of noise to our shores, this is your opportunity to come see these grom's tear up the Rec stage.
No one rocks leather on bare skin like Mzwétwo. The kids got a classic subtle swag and genuine passionate demeanour.
He has artist written all over him and it’s hard not to respect his approach to music, style and creativity.
Best described as an infusion of hip hop and rocknroll Mzwétwo’s music speaks for itself. It’s original, powerful and raw. His live show cuts through with precision and unique energy.
Eye’s have been on Mzwétwo for a minute now. Back in 2012 under the name Loui The Zu, he was nominated for the Music Awards Critic’s Choice Prize. Then in 2013 he put out his first EP under his own name that caught the discerning ear of reputable music blogs such as Pigeons & Planes and Yours Truly.
We asked him a couple questions ahead of the Merci Motel show to catch some insight into the world of Mzwétwo.
Yo bro, so start at the beginning, where are you from?
I'm from Zimbabwe, Africa. Moved as a refugee when I was 13. I live in Auckland.
What got you into music?
When I was in primary school, I was part of an assembly performance for the Mayor. He came back the next week and gave me a scholarship to this dance and acting school. That was the snow ball effect into me getting into performing.
What have you done this far in your music journey?
Currently I'm signed to American Label Honua Music. It's a small team but my 3 other label mates are all Grammy nominated and produced Justin Biebers song Company and a whole bunch of shit.
What instruments / gear / software do you use to create your sound?
I play the piano so a lot of my ideas start there. Then I collaborate and use whatever to flesh it out.
What is the process you go through when creating music?
There's only one constant in my process: living life to my hearts conviction. As long as I do that I'm able to see inspiration.
What other artistic / creative outlets do you enjoy?
I'm super into visual and stage design.
Who do you work with regularly?
I mostly work with my American team and my Gallantino brothers Young Tapz, Otis and Jermaine.
Who are a couple international artists you really appreciate?
I really like Jimi Hendrix, Kanye West and Miguel. One reason why I like these three acts, is because they pour so much passion into their live shows. (I know Jimi is dead) This is something I also take very seriously; making my live performance an experience for every member of the audience.
Jaedon Leaf is quite the phenomenon and like all the most beautiful things in this world; very few are even aware of his presence.
His artist name is his real name as his music is an extension and reflection of himself.
Jaedon plays Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums and produces comfortably on all production softwares such as Ableton, Fruity Loops, Logic Pro & Pro Tools. It doesn't stop there either, Jaedon is a singer & song-writer so he carries all his music from the very first step right to final stages of mixing and mastering.
For the past few years Jaedon has been on a self-discovery journey alongside his girl, travelling to South East Asia to feed and care for orphans. His latest EP he released last year caught some attention as Jaedon put 100% of the proceeds from it to the orphanage he was caring for - not only is his music beautiful but so is his mind, heart and soul.
While simultaneously producing for himself and for his long-time friend em.ee.zee, this year Jaedon aims to establish himself a sustainable music career and take his insane talents from his hard drive to the globe.
It is our honour to be the first to showcase him to New Zealand.
Lukas is some ways the classic 20 year old who digs Kanye, Travis Scott, Drake and Dilla. I mean don’t we all.
Contrasting to that however is his experimental musical style. You could say it’s based somewhere within hip hop / trap but then it ventures off deeper into herbal haze of vibrations that’s far harder to put into words. Maybe that’s because growing up he played drums and guitar and listened exclusively to punk rock and metal.
Regardless every aspect of his waking thought revolves around music.
Born in Napier, then living in Nelson, Auckland, Wellington and now settling for the moment in Hamilton where he makes beats in a separate bedroom at his flat using old mattresses for soundproofing.
Lukas has just released a EP, literally this week, called Space Academy that you need to check out. Also our favourite jam from his is by far ‘Motions’ ft. Lunar – cop an earful of that below.
Felix is the THYRD artist on our MM VOL 002 line-up to hail from Zimbabwe. (Get it lol). Moving to Christchurch at age 11, then Chile, Wellington and now finally Auckland as of July 2016 to study audio engineering and music production.
He was the right kid to give a guitar at age 13. It was the spark that led him to write and release a folk and soul album ‘The Age of Uncertainty’ a couple years ago. The EP was picked up by NZ Musician Magazine which landed him an opening slot for Estére in Wellington.
Felix has switched up his game since then, bringing in more electronic production to his sound. It is some form of mixture between R&B, pop, trap, soul, dance, electro and spoken word. Clearly you should just listen to it because it wasn’t made to be categorised.
On to the real good stuff - November last year; Felix dropped his debut single and video entitled ‘I Was Never Good At Love’ which went on to get attention from Afropunk, MTV, Mai FM, AUD’$’s and NZ Musician Magazine.
Finally this month, May 2017, he has released his second single ‘G H O S T S’ which has been premiered by Aussie blog Off The Clef. Give that shit a listen below!
Here’s a few insights in his own words about his musical process and view’s on the NZ music scene as it stands in 2017…
What instruments / gear / software do you use to create your sound?
I use acoustic guitar, my voice, a MINILAB mkII midi keyboard, Logic Pro X and a condenser microphone. My set up is minimal yet effective and I usually work from home if I’m not at the university studios.
What is the process you do to create music?
My workflow is a series of spontaneous bursts of energy. I’ll usually have a melody in my head, record it in Logic Pro X, produce a beat, write lyrics, finalise a demo, re-record the whole track and make a release plan.
What other artistic / creative outlets do you enjoy?
I write reflexive poetry, I love watching film, I also enjoy street photography and making album art.
What is your opinion of the NZ music scene?
I think the scene is very cliquey. If you’re an outsider with no connections it’s hard to break through. People here don’t like what they don’t understand. NZ blogs are constantly writing pieces about the same artists and if there's a new artist, you can rest assured they are backed by a major label or indie collective. I’ve just found it easier to build relationships with media outlets and artists outside of the country.
How do you think we could improve the NZ music scene?
We could have more platforms like Merci Motel for artists who a story to tell but don’t have a platform. Radio stations should be breaking artists not because they are fronted by a major or indie and they put numbers on the board - instead by the merit of the musicality, innovation and creativity.
T Bailey is another artist who has experienced more than a few walks of life.
When your folks are in the military you can’t expect to stay anywhere for long and that’s what happened.
Born in Chicago, then living in Illinois, Mississipi, Indiana and eventually California you might be thinking this dude isn’t a Kiwi. Well nah, he isn’t exactly, but he has spent a lot of time here including the entirely of 2017 which more than qualifies in our eyes.
Here in NZ T. Bailey has connected with some of our NZ’s most respected rappers Raiza Biza, with whoom T has recently dropped a track entitled ‘Found A Way’.
Check out a range of tracks from T. Bailey on his soundcloud including his official mixtape ‘The Journey’ he released back in 2013.
Lord$eez (pronounced Lord Seez) is something NZ hasn't really prepared themselves for. A young passionate rapper originally from Embalenhle, South Africa.
Reigning out of Avondale he has created a bit of a cult-like following for himself on Soundcloud, after releasing his first mixtape "$eezy $criptures". Made up of aggressive raps that depict how Lord$eez grew up seeing the world and life growing up in the rough hoods of SA.
Heavy beats, heavy profanity, crazy adlibs and a lack of respect for those who turned their backs on him; make a great combination for his insane stage presence before riot-induced crowds.
With only 3 real friends it's easy to understand LordSeez's mentality and way of thinking, a very us against the world style.
With influences scaling from Young thug, Kanye west, Lil Wayne, Lil peep, Lil Tracy and Syringe he has developed an unapologetic and undeniably raw sound that feels like has become the way of the future for his generation.
From the NZ scene Lord$eez rates undercover artists such LordKoolay, Kawanie,& mobb. With the exception of his favourite NZ artist - KVKA from the Stay Savage clan.
"I feel like the other NZ artists are all connected then there's Lord$eez, I'm not really connected with anyone, I just chill at home, write and if I feel like I really like it I just record and release then go back home. I don't go to some place where other NZ artists that are popping hang out or anything close to that, so obviously I haven't been to any shows either" - Lord$eez.
Well now is the time.. We have Lord$eez playing 3 bangers in order to introduce the scene to his style.
SATURDAY 22 APRIL @ REC.akl.nz
LAKES began on a Thursday. Some songs were made, some videos released. But all the while an idea formed. An idea that this could be something bigger, something so grandiose it would cause an ear drum to weep upon the entry of a single dulcet tone.
Enter ‘The Magic Band’. A group of lost musicians destined by fate to intertwine their prowess, charisma, X-factor and mystique into an unforgettable 8 piece super-group of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop, electronica, rock and pop.
There were many mishaps along the way, friendships were tested, vitamin D levels were depleted, daily recommended doses of red bull were exceeded. But it was all for a purpose, a common goal, the formation of...LAKES & The Magic Band.
dharmarat is a rapper/producer from the most southern part of Auckland.
The kid has the whole process down to an art form - he produces, writes, raps, mixes and masters all himself. That kind of control gives him his own sound, his own swing and his own attitude.
Self proclaimed to be 'the hardest working man in every room', his vast discography speaks for itself. With such a wide range of sounds, it's scientifically proven that if you don't dig one song by him you will DEFINITELY like the next.
Bobandii, an up and coming hip-hop producer & rapper, hailing from Warkworth, dropped his debut mix tape; Of The Forest in January, 2017.
His first single, ‘Queen Bee’ gained international attention, with London Music Distribution Company, Platoon, reaching out to the 22-year-old. This resulted in Apple Music profiling Bobandii as a “New Artist”, and featuring the mix tape on their front page in February this year.
Bobandii (real name Silas) has been on the grind, making beats for a few years now. In 2015, he went on tour around the country with Auckland rapper LVJ. Silas has also played support for Randa in the past. However, he hasn’t had an official release himself, until now.
The ‘Of The Forest’ mix tape covers an enormous range of themes; swinging from small town life, to tall poppy syndrome in AKL, to big feels like love, rejection, anger and loss. When making music, Silas says he draws inspiration from producers like Mr. Carmack, Taku, and wordsmiths such as Kendrick and J. Cole.
If you haven't had the pleasure of watching Bobandii on stage before, we can tell you the man commands a presence. Get a taste for his music in the video below, and then come check him out at Rec on April 22.
Mo Muse came to NZ from Somalia and started off his music career in Dunedin where he has a cult-like following and support base.
We rate him as NZ's own Oddisee and recently, Mo Muse relocated to the big smoke in Auckland city to further develop his music career and establish himself as a hip-hop heavyweight within our industry.
Eloquent lyricism coupled with soulful smoky jazzy hip-hop gives him a modern sound with a hip-hop purists appeal.
Sometimes it's not about partying and turning up, sometimes it's simply about expressing emotions and thoughts through music.
Slide on through to REC to witness Mo Muse's debut Auckland Show since relocating here.