Kiwi musicians go global for NZ Music Month
The Going Global music seminar is the final big act in the eleventh annual New Zealand Music Month.
New Zealand Music Commission projects and communications officer Simon Woods says after hundreds of events around the country this month, sales increases are on target this year.
“We have an amazing New Zealand music base, New Zealand Music Month has been embraced by the public – they love it,” he says.
Kiwi musicians also appear to be inspired, judging by the 290 albums they released last year.
Mr Woods says that figure was definitely an increase on previous years but he is unsure if that momentum can be maintained.
“It’s an awful lot of albums, this year I would expect something a little lower.”
He says one of the things that influence the output of albums during a year is the DIY culture of the industry.
Many are produced in artists’ home so it’s impossible to predict the number of new albums to be released.
“Because of this there are various levels of penetration to the public,” says Mr Woods.
The commission’s job is to support local music at all of those levels throughout the year.
“A lot of artists get in touch with us at the beginning of May but we have our eye on the scene 24/7, 365 days a year,” S
Max Watt, (pictured left), manager of The Rockshop, Wellington has a similar approach at a retail level.
“There is definitely more awareness [during May]. As a retailer we actively promote New Zealand music and we see more people in general.
“But we have promotional stuff on already – we don’t go out and advertise a particular special [during Music Month].”
“I think my support of the New Zealand music scene is through the store. My working day is my support,” Max says.
Music fans and a musician had a similar response when asked if the month altered their listening habits.
“It depends on the album that comes out at the time – I don’t buy music just because it’s May. I’ve been to a few reggae gigs this month, Brown Hill and Tomorrow People.”
Musician and guitar salesperson Jason Wilcox hasn’t one anything special for music month.
“Certain people make good money in music. Music Month’s a bit of a coup for the people who get hired to play extra performances.”
For cafe manager Damien Jones, New Zealand music is glad to see Kiwi musicians making money from overseas TV shows. “They get bugger-all money from CD sales.”
This month New Zealand on Air launched a new music funding scheme to produce more singles and music videos.
Mr Woods says he hopes that the new scheme, titled Making Tracks will see a lot more diversity in artists funded.
“New Zealand on Air is not an agency we work with but the scheme won’t hinder the number [of albums released]. It’ll depend on the act and the career path they’re looking for,” he says.
Mr Woods expects it will be at least 12 months before the impact of the change to funding will be known.
Making Tracks replaced older funding schemes run by NZ on Air that were aimed at producing albums and new recordings.