Apple Music has put four breaking Kiwi artists on the world stage

Last week Apple Music made something pretty damn special happen. 

In support of NZ Music Month, four breaking Kiwi artists that scored the attention of Apple Music’s local editors, were invited to spend a week inside Auckland’s Roundhead Studios. 

Bobandii, BAYNK, Nika and Tapz were asked to write and record a single each. 

They had the studio, producers, engineers and each other, to help bring their ideas to life.

And then boom, just one week after the four artists had walked out of the studio doors, the tracks are now available to stream on Apple Music and iTunes.

Not here to fuck spiders, aye, Apple Music.

Nika. Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY

NIKA - 'REAL FAKE LOVE'

Olivia Nott, the youngest sister of Nelson’s famous Broods fam, came out with her solo-artist project 'Nika' at the end of last year. 

Since then, she’s been blowing up the George FM playlist with her features on Baynk’s ‘What You Need’ and Sachi’s latest single ‘Shelter.’

Spending a week at Roundhead allowed Nika to create her first standalone single. 


Titled ‘Real Fake Love,’ this is a song about growing up and moving on from lost love (or lust?) 

But more importantly, it’s a song we can see girls letting loose to in the shower, on the dance floor, in the car, at the gym… 

We’ve got a banger on our hands Nika. And we love it.  


BAYNK - 'SOMEONE'


 
George FM regular Jock Nowell-Usticke, aka Baynk, has pulled out an experimental instrumental titled ‘Someone’, based around the emotion of missing someone. There’s some big feels in this tune.

‘Someone’ kicks off at 1-beat-per-minute, then gets faster and faster, “to replicate the feeling of remembering someone and your heart racing up.”

Baynk. Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY

Baynk’s highlight of the whole experience? “Having Neil Finn listening over your shoulder whilst making beats.”

Roundhead is incredible, most beautiful studio I've ever been in. Props to New Zealand and the Finns.

BOBANDII - 'NAZARITE'

Silas McClintock, aka Bobandii, was also humbled by his time with Neil Finn. 

“On the Monday he came up to me at the end of the day, gave me a big hug, and told me watching me and the boys jam was inspiring.” 

Crazy, there are no words.


Having teamed up with London-based music promoters Platoon, Bobandii featured on Apple Music’s home page earlier this year, with his debut mixtape Of The Forest.

The up-and-coming hip hop connoisseur has drawn comparisons to both Chance the Rapper and Bon Iver in the past. In this new track ‘Nazarite’, there’s almost a Drake vibe in his opening vocals.  

Ain’t it funny how often we try to draw likeness to others when discussing musicians?

 

To be fair, Bobandii is undoubtedly a standout on his own, melding genres and making beats different to anything else we’ve heard.

‘Nazarite’ takes you on a journey. Starting off soft, slow and tender…

But, Bobandii is renowned for never being able to sit still, both in person and in his thoughts. About two thirds through, the track takes a polarising turn, when heavy synths and a mad catchy baseline come into play.

Bobandii having a good ol haha at Roundhead Studios. Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY


The lyrics tell the story of Samson, a tortured biblical figure from the Book of Judges, in the Old Testament. 

The whole idea was that it was metaphorical. Samson being the musician, and Delilah (Samson’s evil temptress) being material wealth that comes with fame.


Deeper than the fucking ocean, Silas.

Along with his beautiful supporting female vocalist Caitlin Palmer, he bought a live band with him to Roundhead. Sebastian Soto, a big player in the Grow Room collective jumped on the synths, John Murray hit the drums, Michael Howell on the guitar, and your boy Olli Jones was slapping the bass.

If you’ve ever seen Bobandii live, you’ll recognise Olli Jones as Silas' DJ. 

And if you haven’t seen Bo live, you oughta, because it’s a god damn awakening. 

Infact, Bobandii is playing next Wednesday at a NZ Musician’s Magazine gig at Wine Cellar from 9pm.


On a side note, we’re big fans of ‘Nazarite’s artwork, painted on canvas by Diva Ford, a recent ELAM graduate and incredibly talented artist, who listened to the draft of ‘Nazarite’ last week and came up with this. 

TAPZ - 'SHADOWS'

The final of the four, and the first to receive Apple Music’s coveted ‘Artist of the Week’ title is Tapz, the Zimbabwe-born Wellington-based rapper.  

Tapz. Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY

His tune ‘Shadows’ is made to amp up a crowd. 

Essentially, it’s that gritty molly rap that makes you want to go fuck shit up…

Or alternatively, excel at whatever you’re doing; be it dinner, that assignment, or that big night out with the boys (or girls)… cause you a bad-ass and you’re gonna slay whatever you put your mind to.  

Yep. ‘Shadows’ really packs a punch. The heavy 808’s make you feel empowered.

Who doesn’t like feeling like a bad-ass mother fucker, not to be messed with? 

And no matter how vanilla you think you are, if you roll down your car window, dial up the volume, and really let yourself feel ‘Shadows’, you’ll feel badass. Trust us you’ll feel it. 

Tapz and Bobandii vibing. Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY

However, from what we’ve gathered, that’s not exactly the direction Tapz was going for in his lyrics.. 

While staying in an L.A. hotel, Tapz allegedly experienced a spooky lucid dream where he encountered a paranormal entity.

So, as the title alludes, he’s singing about the ‘Shadows.’     

The beat was born while Tapz was distracting himself from a horror film and listening to Kanye West. 

It’s the Conjuring 2 meets 808s (and Heartbreak) and Tapz.


Those are Tapz own words, and they sum up the tune perfectly. 

We can see this one slotting into Jay Bulletproof Night’s show very smoothly. 

Four massive songs. Nika, Baynk, Bobandii, Tapz, love your work. 

Huge props to iTunes and Apple Music for supporting our local up-and-comers, and giving them a global platform to share their music. 

We’re looking forward to hearing more from all four of these prodigies.  

Photo credit: STEVE DYKES PHOTOGRAPHY


The audio up top is from Lew and Ro's cover of Earshot on Sunday's at George FM. Ordinarily you can catch Lew and Ro every Sunday from 8-10am on Chillsville.