Another year, another NZ Music Month, as they (no one ever) say.
I was talking to my boyfriend Zach today about how NZ Music Month year by year has constantly been more neglected. I remember it being a huge thing when I was a kid to which Zach pointed out “that’s largely because of C4, which doesn’t exist anymore” and he is exactly right. Ever since the disappearance of C4, we’ve seen a slip in the amount of hype and promo for our formerly beloved NZ Music Month.
They had that Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa exhibition at Auckland Museum which I guess kind of counts, but that started in October of last year, so I guess no. I hardly see any cool music month t-shirts out on the streets anymore. As a kid I remember seeing them everywhere, NZ Music Month tees were as big as the Huffer tees that we commonly see everywhere now. Mr Vintage used to be a huge thing in the same eras too but has also gradually slipped in popularity – I blame it on that one time they got Erin Simpson to do an ‘artist’ colab. That was their absolute downfall.
I remember coming home from school every day and turning on my TV to watch either C4 or Juice TV. I loved music TV as a kid, and I probably would still love it now if it still existed (I refuse to acknowledge The Edge TV). I would come home and remember the Top 40 countdowns and the countless amount of times they played I Got by Fast Crew*. That was my upbringing. I’ve loved NZ music with an absolute passion, more than any other genre (I know it’s not a genre, but I class it as one because I tend to listen to music by NZ artists more than any other music) my entire life, and it was a huge part of my childhood and upbringing.
*Sorry to interrupt, but can we just talk about how every single artist filmed their music videos at the Britomart train station? Fast Crew did it. Atlas did it. Dei Hamo did it. There’s probably more too. Anyway, continue reading.
My favourite NZ Music Month memory, is dragging my dad down to Sounds (RIP) one Sunday afternoon because I wanted to buy the Adeaze single featuring Aaradhna called Getting Stronger. My dad was trying to drag me out of the store but I was mesmerised and didn’t want to stop browsing. We spent so much time in there that we got back to the car just as they were about to tow it. That’s how much I love NZ music. I’ve been in love with record stores ever since.
My point here is that I miss music TV. I miss hearing loads and loads of NZ music constantly. I miss the cool tees and the branded shoulder bags. I miss hearing I Got by Fast Crew playing every day as I walked into my house after school. I miss Ulive and Ulate, one of my fondest high school memories and the very shows that introduced me to incredible comedians who were only up and coming at the time like Rose Matafeo, Eli Matthewson, Guy Montgomery, Joseph Moore, and Tim Batt, who are all now NZ comedy legends. God, music TV was so good and niche. It was bad but it was also so so good, and very under appreciated in my humble opinion.
I hope music TV comes back into fashion some day – but in the meantime, enjoy 31 of my favourite tracks by kiwi artists to mark 31 days of NZ Music Month by clicking here.