by Jemilah Ross-Hayes

2022 NZ Music Month Summit In Summary

by Jemilah Ross-Hayes

2022 NZ Music Month Summit In Summary

The 2022 NZ Music Month Summit was presented by the NZ Music Commission and NZ Music Managers Forum on Saturday May 28, at Auckland harbour-side venue The Tuning Fork. Jemilah Ross-Hayes went along and summarises her impressions of the day.

This year’s NZ Music Month/ Te Marama Puoro O Aotearoa theme was Level Up: Taking Music To The Next Level. The annual Music Month summit’s goal aligned with this statement, aiming to provide artists, musicians and managers with knowledge of different areas of the music industry, with the idea that attendees would leave with a better understanding of how to take their musical careers one step further.

The event is held over a full day, and although well organised, it can be full-on, trying to absorb so much information in one period of time. The complimentary tea and coffee was welcomed, and there were plenty of notepads and pens to frantically scribble down the main take-aways. Having also attended last year’s summit, it was refreshing to see a change in content, similar topics but different nuances that helped keep even it interesting.

2022 nz music month summit by dave simpsonThe first seminar of the day was Level Up Your Artist Tool Kit. This was presented by Lorraine Barry, NZM’s Silke Hartung, Paula Yeoman and Em Theia Walker, with moderator Wairere Iti. This seminar mainly focused on artist bios and other material that artists would need to communicate and promote their music.

The variation among panellists provided a spectrum of different thoughts and insights. The information was clear and easy to grasp, and It was helpful that they presented things in a listed manner as it made the information tangible. “Link, link, link in the body of the email” was a recurring notebook scribble, and somewhere at the bottom of the page, (in capitals), “Easy to extract!” The finishing statement was that it’s the music that counts. If the song is good and presented correctly, that’s the bulk of it. To wrap it up, there are three essentials for an artist toolkit. The media people plead that it gets made as easy as possible.

  • A good bio – clear, concise, simple
  • Selection of high quality photos that portray who the artist is 
  • Music on a streaming platform

2022 nz music month summit by dave simpsonThe day’s second seminar was an update about the harm prevention work of Soundcheck Aotearoa, from Rachel Harrison, Nicky Harrop and Tom Anderson. They talked about the various resources now available on the Soundcheck website. This conversation is always incredibly educational and provides access to tools for people to work towards creating foundations of respect within working relationships.

Fresh full of a tasty lunch break and some vitamin D from stepping outside the Tuning Fork for a moment, the audience was ready for more in the afternoon.

2022 nz music month summit by dave simpsonRadio Programming Demystified was presented by Brynee Wilson, Reagan White, Harrison Pali and Jack Honeybone, with NZ On Air‘s Jeff Newton moderating. Collectively they did a great job breaking down the behind-the-scenes of radio, diving into the different rotations from each station and how they each decide what music goes where. The major take-away from this seminar was the necessity of research to get a song on the radio. The key is finding the radio station that fits the genre of a specific song. If the song is of high production quality and stays engaging throughout, it’s a matter of pitching it to the Music Director of that station and seeing if they like it. 

2022 nz music month summit by dave simpsonThe final seminar of the day was called Next Step, Overseas. This was an engaging panel with Tami Neilson, Oliver Leupolu and Filiva’a James from Shepherds Reign, Craig Pearce, Jonathan Pearce, and Alan Holt with moderator Wairere Iti. Because this was the most extensive panel of the day there was a range of differing perspectives. Although it was full of good advice and great stories, it was also somewhat deflating. Realising that even Tami Neilson runs a tour at a loss was a yikes. As a young emerging artist, it’s hard to imagine having the funds to support an international tour even with funding support. Regardless, there was an uplifting message that it is an investment at the end of the day. Looking at the long term is what’s important.

2022 nz music month summit by dave simpson

NZM’s Jemilah Ross-Hayes is the second person from the left.

One of the best parts of the whole NZ Music Month Summit is the mixer that follows afterwards. A great chance to pester all the lovely knowledgable people with questions and shake hands with new contacts. Everyone’s only seen each other over the internet for the last few years, so it was nice to put faces to names.

For those who didn’t make it along that are curious about the inside info, the event’s live stream is up on the NZ Music Commission Youtube page, and there is always the next one…