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Pop CultureMarch 16, 2017

Watch: Mike Chunn on why New Zealand songs need saving

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New Zealand needs to celebrate its songwriting to ensure great songs get written here, says Play It Strange CEO Mike Chunn.

Songwriting has stormed through the school gates and is now drawing in many year 13 students who want to fire up their imaginations and write songs. They may have done this before and are maintaining their creativity on a wider plane. Or they may have been stalwarts of the school’s creative writing programme and see songwriting as a new adventure. Or they may have been writing scores for string trios and jazz combos to play and see songwriting as a new adventure. Or they may be passersby who have become aware of the singer/songwriters that are emerging from the songwriting competitions of Play It Strange and who are now moving out into the world. (Who are those graduates? Have a scroll through our Play It Strange alumni page.)

Songwriting is becoming a force within the school environment where the unique language of songs and lyrics take us on journeys and the mysterious fabric of music embeds those plots in our hearts and minds.

To celebrate songwriting becoming a subject we wanted to remind people of why it’s important to save our songs. We need to hear songs and keep them ‘alive’ in our day to day. Songs of place and people that tell us we are unique even if it’s the simple connection of being excited and enthralled at the same time when we hear those special ones – they that become social anthems.

A song like ‘Why Does Love Do This To Me’ by The Exponents means so much to so many people in so many ways. We need to keep finding ways to encourage our songwriters to keep creating the songs which speak to and for us. And that’s what Play It Strange is all about: saving our songs.

So we went with Ric Salizzo who aimed his lenses at Jordan Luck in a lane in Auckland city not so long ago and asked him to beat that glorious song out for the passersby. And then Ric and his crew went out wide and captured all walks of life singing the hooks that fill that song.

Check out the video. Save Our Songs!

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