Introducing Ones to Watch Aotearoa

There's a wealth of new music talent simmering in Aotearoa. Ones to Watch is here to show it off. We want to champion the most exciting up-and-coming kiwi artists, and we want to help you find them. Ones to Watch started life as a US-based blog in 2017, with a simple aim: to highlight the best new music to keep your eyes and ears on. Now we're bringing it to New Zealand. We'll be honing in on homegrown talent with international potential, and showcasing them alongside some of the finest emerging artists from across the planet.

For a nation notoriously left off a large portion of world maps, New Zealand has a strong track record of artists cementing our place in the global music sphere. Lorde has topped charts and been heralded as "the future of music" by David Bowie, and BENEE hit peak virality with her personality-stacked pop. Aldous Harding's quiet folk has made a loud splash, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra have blessed the ears of psychedelic rock fans worldwide. Over lockdown 1.0, Jawsh 685 won TikTok when his bedroom-produced Siren Beat became one of the most recognizable snippets of audio on the internet.

Now we're showing off the next round of artists, right here. Welcome. We'll bring you interviews from talent based anywhere from a Coromandel beach to a mountain village in Norway, and also keep you up to date on some of the best local gigs and new releases to get involved in. In fact, we've already started. We've got Navvy talking heartbreak and the Cats musical, and Balu Brigada on making bops with your brother. RIIKI told us about her penchant for penning her mellow tracks in the car, while Wax Mustang discussed kicking off his escalating rap career on the Dunedin house party circuit.

While reading about music is a good start, it is also - to state the obvious - about experiencing live in the sweaty flesh. So we'll be putting on a series of Ones To Watch tours and showcases for you to mosh out at. If you can't make the gigs, no stress, we'll be bringing you a bunch of video interviews and content to keep you entertained on your lunch break.

Why are we doing this? Fair question. There are already a lot of kiwi platforms pumping tunes across radio waves and cyberspace. But more often than not, they tend to be focused on a specific genre or sound. We felt there was space to showcase the brightest new music talent across the board, regardless of how they fit into increasingly blurred genre divisions. It doesn't matter if someone's making surf rock spliced with EDM, or whipping up country trap beats in their backyard. If it's good, we'll shout about it.

It almost goes without saying it's been a tough year for the music industry, but we'll say it anyway. So there's no better time to get stuck into your new music obsession. Find it here.

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