Now represented by Saiko Management (Lorde, Mt Eden, Thomston), Tom Lark (real name "Shannon Fowler") I think will finally get the traction he deserves. His songs are fun, hooky, but not clichéd. A bit like a more available UMO. "Something To Tell You" is a Tom Lark classic. With such a superb production job, I assumed it had been a big-bucks effort, but in fact it is another of his self-produced bedroom efforts, combined with some great mixing by Eric Dubowsky. The track is very radio friendly, and man I do love that break! As for the video? A wonderful French '60s retro movie vibe. Can't help thinking Tom sort of belongs in that era somehow. Directed/edited by Sam Kristofski with photography by Kieran Fowler, art direction by Brant Fraser, and produced by Dan Higgins. This is a masterful song/video combo, therefore it makes the NZMusic4U Honour Roll. Not the first time Tom Lark as been up there. The new EP has been released and is a free download the link below. Lucky us. Thanks Tom!
Tom Lark - Something To Tell You
I am not qualified to comment authoritatively on hip-hop, but I would like to recognize something I enjoy, so I'll have a go. He's been on this blog before, for good reason. Onehunga's Spycc is one of the most satisfying MCs to listen to in NZ today. A superb choice of beats, and honest rhymes with depth. The delivery reminds me sometimes of Kanye West, and maybe Kendrick Lamar at his most straightforward. But Mr Latu is his own, and one of those I think is "most likely to". It's a crowded space, and difficult to cut through, but everything I have heard so far indicates there is the ability and drive to make it. To be honest, he has soared to greater heights on other tracks, but "Bad Habit" is posted on this blog for a reason. It is worthy of being noticed. Visually? It's a simple, effective video, doesn't look cheap, and rounds the offering out nicely. The video was directed by Danny Aumua, produced by One Island Films with photography by Tj Perea. Editing was by Danny Aumua and TamaGotchi (who also produced the track). You can download "Bad Habit" for free at the link below. And go "like" him on Facebook to stay in touch with developments. If you would like to know more, I have included a Martyn Pepperell interview as well (he's picked up the Kendrick Lamar link as well).
Spycc - Bad Habit
"Suddenly things have changed". Not really. Elvis is clearly not completely dead. Mzwetwo channels the King in one of the stand-out singles of the year, confirming both his ability, and his "likely to" status. Mzwetwo says the video "deals with themes of love, purity, and frustration". Umm. I like it. The partnership with Sza Hands remains fruitful. Limited resources, but no sign of it. Such a great video/song combo. You can stay in touch with Mzwetwo at the link below...and look out for the "Gallantino 2" EP. And if you like Sza Hands' work, go to the FB page.
MZWETWO - SUDDENLY
From 2013's "Summer" album, this video rendition of "Flashbacks" seems well in character. A moody, jazz-infused ode with horns and woodwind from the massively-talented K*Saba, the song further enhances Raiza Biza's commercial appeal. Smooth production job from choiceVaughan. There aren't many who have the potential to cross over from the beats/hip-hop audience into a more mainstream appeal, but Raiza Biza has many tracks that could do just that. The video was directed by Paul Innes and features talented young actress, model and artist, Theodora Allison. You can download the "Summer" album for free at the link below. (or maybe pay the artist if you are able to!). I have been a Raiza Biza fan for a couple of years now. He doesn't disappoint.
Raiza Biza - Flashbacks (Official Music Video)