If you’re a true music lover as well as an avid traveller, then you’re probably inclined to check out the local music scene in every new destination you visit. New Zealand may be small, but travelling music buffs shouldn’t be surprised to discover the thriving community of local artists offering a distinct Kiwi sound.
One of the best places to find New Zealand’s top artists is the amazing summer festivals on offer throughout the season – check out our handy Ultimate Summer Festival Guide to see our top picks.
Wondering who’s who in Kiwi music? Here are four top Kiwi acts to see live this summer:
Sound: A uniquely Kiwi blend of rock, R&B, drum and bass with a dash of soul
Why see them: Formed in Dunedin when the members were attending university, Six60 is a firm local favourite known for their legendary live shows. They are often one of the first bands people think of when you ask about notable Kiwi music acts.
Top songs to check out: “Don’t Forget Your Roots”, “Rise Up”
Sound: Experimental Dub and Roots thrown together with acoustic
Why see him: As well as being one of New Zealand’s most well-known musicians, Tiki Taane’s impressive CV includes stints as a music producer, live audio engineer and an extensive list of compilations with other notable Kiwi bands and artists.
Top song to check out: “Always On My Mind” (only the most successful single of all time in NZ!)
Sound: Soaring soul mixed with elements of jazz
Why see her: One of NZ’s most iconic singer-songwriters (and most famous female artists), Hollie Smith has been giving powerhouse live performances at prestigious outdoor festivals around the world since her award-winning NZ debut 10 years ago.
Top song to check out: “Bathe in the River”
Sound: Blues-based psychedelic rock
Why see them: Comprised of members sourced from a few of New Zealand’s other big name bands, Little Bushman are at their best live – they thrive at festivals where they can embrace a love of improvisation and let the music flow.
Top song to check out: “Peaceful Man”, “Baby”