sound of New Zealand

What is the sound of New Zealand?

We all know about world’s famous British rock, Scottish folk, French opera, and Spanish flamenco. But what about New Zealand? What do we associate New Zealand with? Jazz? Country? Funk? Blues? Ballad? Or maybe pop?

From Jazz to Hip-Hop

New Zealand is a cultural conservation. For many years it has been influenced by different cultures, traditions, immigrants from other regions, and prominent historical moments. New Zealand music is the embodiment of blues, jazz, rock, and hip-hop at the same time. A unique interpretation and fresh breath are something that the country brings to all of the styles. And world’s famous artists are the clear evidence of this. Lorde, Broods, Savage, Kimbra, Split Enz, and Brooke Frazer are from New Zealand too. 


Traditional New Zealand music has started from Maori pre-colonial style. It was a combination of monotonous sounds and repeated melodic tune. But in the early 20th century Maori music got new tone, chords, and instruments due to European inhabitants. Maori music is still well known and respected in the country. Even today a lot of musicians write and perform traditional Maori songs, incorporating them into modern content.

Modern Period in the History of Music

In 2017 it may safely be said that music trends of New Zealand keep up with the times. All styles and genres of music are appreciated here.

There are a lot of world-class ensembles, choirs, and orchestras in the country. Classical music events in New Zealand is a common thing. The fact that they are very popular among local citizens influences the places they are held in – Saint Kentigern College, 4th Wall Theatre, Tua Marina Church, Sacred Heart Basilica, ASB Theatre Marlborough, etc.

Young generation listen to hip-hop, pop, reggae, rock, electronica, and blues. Probably the most famous rock-n-roll hit created by a local citizen was «Lawdy Miss Clawdy» in 1959-1960. It was performed by Johnny Devlin, who was called as «Elvis Presley from New Zealand». Among other popular rock bands from New Zealand are The Feelers, Supergroove, and The Rock and Roll Machine.

The pop music industry is one of the most prosperous in the country. Many of New Zealand pop singers are one of the most internationally-successful in the world. Here we should mention Lorde, who was number one singer in the US music charts, OMC with their single «How Bizarre», and Kimbra with the USA, UK, and Australian number one song «Somebody That I Used to Know».

One of the growing music trends in New Zealand is electronica. For many years this style was the least popular and the least frequent one. But the new generation tries to bring something original to the whole sound of music industry in the country. Electronica in New Zealand is represented by artists who want to find connections between all music styles. If you’re interested in electronica, we can definitely recommend you listening to Concord Dawn, Shapeshifter, and DLT.

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