| K I W I M U S I C
S T O R Y
Top NZ acts push aside world's best
By AMANDA WARREN
and rise of Kiwi music has almost everyone humming a homegrown
tune – and industry leaders are working hard to keep it that
first time, four of the top five albums on the New Zealand record
charts last week were Kiwi acts.
New Zealand music maintain its grip on the nation, or is the
latest line-up of crowd-pullers just an exceptionally talented
aberration? Industry officials say they are working hard to
drum up school- level interest, impose radio quotas, and generally
fly the flag of Kiwi music in a bid to make sure it stays in
acts Hayley Westenra and Bic Runga sat at No 1 and 2 in last
week's New Zealand record charts. Third place was taken by British
band Coldplay, while New Zealand hip-hop artist Mareko and pop
band Elemeno P were fourth and fifth.
50 chart, which dates back to 1975, is based on a formula combining
radio station airplay and retail sales.
Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) chief executive
Terence O'Neill-Joyce called last week a "wake-up call" for
New Zealand's national identity, especially given that Kiwi
music makes up only 11 per cent of national record sales.
a week to celebrate New Zealand music; a week where our own
have shouldered aside the best of international acts. It's something
everyone in New Zealand should be proud of," he said.
believed that with Government support the current New Zealand
music fad could not only be maintained, but strengthened.
mentoring programme has successful New Zealand artists working
in schools to spark interest in music production.
on Air is focusing its budget on plugging Kiwi music into commercial
radio air waves – and doing pretty well, it says.
music manager Brendan Smyth said record sales went up when Kiwi
music was played on commercial radio.
for New Zealand music, referred to in the industry as "voluntary
targets", are set to surpass the 14.5 per cent level set for
2003. The music industry code of practice was introduced in
March last year with the aim of reaching 20 per cent local content
said the latest June quarter figures had New Zealand acts commanding
about 17 per cent of the air waves.
He put the
success down to the co-operation of radio stations, the investment
of record labels in fledgling talent, and "a lot of time, effort,
and money".The industry was working hard to ensure enough new
talent was coming through to push the figures even higher.
ways to make sure that there is enough good product coming through
for radio to play," Mr Smyth said.
more New Zealand music on commercial radio today than at any
time in the past eight years. Mr Smyth said the amount of commercial
playtime had risen exponentially since "the dark days of 1.8
per cent in 1995".
record sales are also up, and multi-platinum albums (15,000
New Zealand sales) are now common.
to Keith S.