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Pop CultureJune 1, 2018

May NZ music round-up: Villette, SWIDT, Jacinda Ardern & more


The day after the end of New Zealand Music Month, Max Tetlow rounds-up of some of the best things to happen in New Zealand music in May.

Villette’s VR video for ‘Money’

Villette’s Drip Crimson project proved she wasn’t here for just a few hits – her stellar lyrics and self-production across the album put us all on notice. Then, last month, she treated us to her first single since Drip Crimson, ‘Money’, a homage to exotic dancers. The female empowerment anthem wasn’t your normal music video release but a 360 virtual reality experience. Filmed in LA, Villette worked with a crew who have helped the likes of Rihanna, Bjork and Cirque du Soleil to produce the immersive video.

At its premiere in a studio in Ponsonby visitors had the opportunity to be the first to view ‘Money’ with the full sensory experience. Now you can immerse yourself in the experience as Villette takes control in a music video like no other.

Read our profile of Villette here.

SWIDT celebrate Music Month with fellow MCs in ‘Off The Top’ video

SWIDT’s electrifying 2017 rolled into 2018 as the release of ‘Conquer’ from their STONEYHUNGA: The Bootleg EP made the rounds and they flexed their Tui awards in the one-take video.

New video ‘Off The Top’ lives up to their high standards. Filmed in an unknown warehouse, the three MCs are joined by MELOWDOWNZ, Diggy Dupe and JessB who each lay down a verse. New Zealand hip-hop mainstay David Dallas even makes a cameo watching from the sidelines.

JessB’s ‘Set It Off’ video is packed with familiar faces

JessB’s past few months have been eventful, to say the least, with music videos, all female shows, and the release of her debut EP, Bloom. After ‘Take It Down’, she’s back with a new cameo-filled video directed by Connie Cash.

Rewinding the clock to her past Silver Fern aspirations, JessB and her squad roll deep as they take on the Northern Mystics. MP Chloe Swarbrick counts score, actor/director/writer/jack-of-all-trades Madeleine Sami takes the role of coach and Suzanne Paul dons the whistle as a referee.

Read an analysis of all the cameos in JessB’s video here.

Jacinda Arden celebrates her favourite homegrown music

Of all people, PM Jacinda Arden might have caused the biggest stir of New Zealand Music Month. Her all-Kiwi playlist – featuring the likes of Bailey Wiley, Broods, Lorde and Aldous Harding – piqued the interest of lots of us, particularly Paula Bennett.

It’s no secret Ardern had been known to hit the decks as a DJ from time-to-time before taking on the Beehive. And her playlist captures an eclectic mix of New Zealand artists of past and present.

Matthew Young gets candid on Fruit

Last month we heard Matthew Young’s single ‘Fix Me Up’ before the announcement of his Fruit EP, featuring previously released singles ‘Hey’, ‘Collect’, ‘For You – Low Life’, and Kate Bush cover ‘Running Up That Hill’.

Days before the release, he opened up to the public in a bio where he revealed his struggles with mental illness. His first project in nearly two years is no disappointment as ‘Fruit’ captures every emotion from love to lust to heartache through a hazy infusion of R&B and pop.

His quickly sold-out Auckland show just got upgraded to a bigger venue, and additional five shows across New Zealand and Australia will round-out Young’s first headlining tour.

Read our profile of Matthew Young here.

The Adults recruit Estere and JessB for Sudanese inspired ‘Bloodlines’

The Adults is spearheaded by Jon Toogood (y’know, from Shihad) and features everyone from Tiki Taane to Ladi6. New single ‘Bloodlines’ is inspired by the Sudanese music ‘Aghani Al-Banat’ (which translates to ‘girls music’), a percussion-based genre where women celebrate their marriage through dance. In contrast to The Adults’ first, guitar-based album, ‘Bloodlines’ blends together hip-hop, electronic and pop elements with traditional Sudanese music, bringing in JessB and Estere on vocals.

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