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Friday, 22 March 2019 06:00 pm

Tunes of I making most of NZ Music Month

IN TUNE: Tunes of I band members, from left, Conway Jeune, Byn Van Vilet, Jules Blewman, Makura Tomoana and Mudz Chadwick.

TUNES OF I are throwing themselves into New Zealand Music Month after emerging as one of the country’s most promising groups in 2012.

The Wellington-based group is opening for New Zealand reggae band 1814 this Saturday at The James Caberet and will also perform a free gig at the Southern Cross on May 24.

Such gigs have opened up for Tunes of I since their second place at the 2012 New Zealand Battle of the Bands and winning the Emerging Artist Award at the 2012 Te Waiata Maori Music Awards.

After receiving the Maori award, the band performed on the main stage, to the surprise of guitarist and lead singer Conway Jeune.

“That was the buzziest experience. Just actually walking in there and seeing out the back the mixing desk and all of the cameras,” Jeune says.

“We thought we would be playing a little stage.”

The band is funded entirely on profits from gigs because they are not yet eligible for NZOnAir grants.

They have met some of the 22 different criteria, but not enough to get funding.

The criteria they have achieved include a nationwide tour, more than 1000 fans on facebook, and more than 2000 plays for an online video.

They have just returned from the nationwide tour.

“Where we’re at right now it’s kinda hard to get funding,” says drummer Mudz Chadwick.

The band formed while all the members where at Massey University Jazz School, with bassist/backup vocalist Makura Tomoana and guitarist Jules Blewman joining last year. Other members of the band are Bryn Van Vilet on saxophone and Michael Costeloe on trumpet.

The band members are all still studying at Massey University, with the exception of Tomoana, who is resuming his studies this year.

The band says it is hard to identify the exact genre that they fall into, but when pressed they classify themselves as a Dub Soul band, with jazz influences.

Although the band have finished recording their first EP, it is still in the mixing stage and is due for release later this year.According to Chadwick, it is hard to pinpoint who the band is influenced by when all the members take inspiration from different musicians.

They hope to release a single before the EP.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student covering the Newtown area of the Wellington region.
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