Singer/producer Vince Harder is holding a cuppa as I stroll in for the interview. We try to connect the ‘dots' figuring out who we know from our past backgrounds, cackling like a couple of old ladies in a hair salon... well not exactly but you get the drift - the conversation is flowing with no awkward pauses which is good thing especially when approaching an interview as I find out he has a new E.P. ‘Rare Vision' and he's playing tonight currently nursing a sore throat.
"I just have to have heaps of tea right now, I've got honey and tea just heaps of fluids and suck it in" he laughs. "I'm getting into my own music which is really cool, for the last couple of years I've been working on trying to produce and song write my own music, and I guess that's what this E.P.'s all about and being able to put my own hand to it".
The New Zealand R&B/pop recording artist and producer; most well-known for his smash number one hit with P-Money 'Everything', has just released his new single & music video for 'Find Love', however not many people would know he use to dance with Aussie superstar, singer Guy Sebastian. "Oh yeah a while ago" he muses. "Yeah Guy's cool, I auditioned for it years ago. This is straight after I did my intern I was kind of looking for an in-between job. I was looking actually auditioning as a singer and I didn't get the job they had already fulfilled the position, so I decided to audition as a dancer and I got in to that. But earlier this year I ended up going on tour with Guy for a month and sung with him and played guitar, it was cool. Being a recording artist and being in the industry you do a few things and put on a few hats and that's just been me my whole career".
He's been busy over the years, I mean who can forget his coming third in the Aussie X-Factor beating a tonne of Aussies in the process (and probably the odd Kiwi too), headlined and supported countless bands and artists including RnB artist giant Teddy Riley and of course playing the lead role as 'Simba' in the Australian stage production of The Lion King.
"Lion King that was definitely a huge one" says Harder. "I've said this a few times, but that one came as a surprise to be honest because before I did Lion King I was doing a performing arts group called Jireh and back then when you're young and fit you kind of feel like you can do a whole lot of things. So I was just auditioning for everything you know, I was with Jireh everything was just working really well at the time so when I got to the Lion King audition it was kind of like... I don't want to say this in a bad way, but it was a lot easier for me to audition for the Lion King than doing a Jireh show to be honest".
His music is straight RnB Pop but if I think back to his days with P-Money and his hit Everything with its house beat nuances, it's quite different from the smooth pop style Harder is known for. As a producer and singer and without the risk of sounding formulated his tastes are shaped by his environment, it also helps being up to date with latest trends and music.
"I think I'm not being real cliché about it but I think my taste in music is quite eclectic" says Harder. "I get into a lot of different things and I guess just whatever floats my boat at the time, you know because I've got lots of friends who are musicians and they're all awesome and their different styles you know. So I get into everything from Dance to Hip-Hop, Latino to Rock and I just try to be creative in different ways but I'll always go back to RnB because RnB was always my first love".
Harder is a worker, dedicated to his craft and is always present in the industry together alongside his wife, I mean with all this talent something has to give, leading me to think with this colourful musical CV we must be due to see Harder on the world stage cutting it with the best, Harder approaches this with a somewhat more holistic view.
"To be honest I don't really know" he ponders. "The last trip that I had in America I got to work with a really good friend of mine who is also a producer for Black Eyed Peas with Fergie and all these other people, and he's an amazing guy. His name is Prince (Printz) Board and he gave me some really good feedback about my music and he wants to work with me ,which is really cool because he's always been one of those dudes who I've looked up at that level. I grew up learning Black Eyed Pea songs you know, it was just cool getting feedback from someone like him is huge. In terms of going to America I definitely want to do that - I've been looking at hopefully doing something at the end of the year over there so we'll see what happens".
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.