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NewTracks New Artist: Aacacia

NewTracks New Artist: Aacacia

‘Maybe one day’ sings sultry pop newcomer Aacacia – that name a short stretch from the one she’s had since birth – itself a forever reminder of her childhood on the sunny shores of Aotearoa’s largest lake. Acacia Walker has a richly layered voice that’s stand out enough to catch the ears of some of our best current pop exponents on Instagram, and more recently NZ On Air, who have included her debut single Bend on their NewTracks compilation this September.

What’s your given name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My full name is Acacia Elan Walker and I mostly grew up in Taupo. I play guitar, while trying to get my head around a keyboard!

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I performed kapa haka in school for about 6 years and learnt a lot of vocally challenging songs through practice and rehearsals. I learnt to sing with intense emotion, so I definitely think I’ve transferred that into my own songs. 

Any other previous (or current) projects might we know you from?

I featured on a Lee Mvtthews track last year, and just my debut single at the moment! The start of many more 🙂 

What’s the background story of how Aacacia came to be? Who else is directly involved?

I’ve always loved singing, and found a real passion for writing once I took the leap to pursue music. I’ve been working towards becoming a musician for about three years now, and since then have managed to find a really awesome team. It all started with uploading a cover of Catching Feelings by Drax Project ft. Six60 on Instagram which then lead to performing at RnV with Drax. Things really evolved from there, and I’ve been lucky enough to get a lot of writing done with such talented people. I’d say Neil MacLeod, Marlon and Drax have really helped me bring out my character in the songs we make. 

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting to now?

I think I’ve become a lot more open-minded since I started making music. Queen has been such an inspiration for me lately, as he always tried new things and experimented to drive innovation of music! 

How did you come up with the project name Aacacia?

Well Acacia is my real name, and the extra A was added because Acacia was taken. The extra letter has definitely grown on me! 

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date? (i.e. best gig / support slot / airplay etc )

I would say performing at Six60 Saturdays in Lower Hutt with Drax Project.  Was such a big show (20,000), with musicians I really admire. I’ll never forget that!

What makes Bend stand out for you as a single?

I think it has to be the subtle chord changes that happen throughout the song, keeping it interesting. But ultimately, I think the melodies really drive the song!

What is the story behind Bend?

We’re all a product of our own experiences, and this song is centred around the idea of drowning out negative experiences through more exciting ones, such as the nightlife. 

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

I love the silent chorus towards the end! As it really gives the audience a moment with a stripped back version of the hook.  

Who did you write/produce the single with and where?

I wrote this song with Neil McLeod, who also produced it. He’s such a talented guy! We work really well together. 

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

It’s really there to catch a vibe, with a sense of realisation for a current or past point in their lives, as I think most people can relate to this in a way. 

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

I think the strength of the melody and lyrics are big for me, and just how I feel when I listen to it. 

Are here any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

There’s definitely more songs in the pipelines, and a feature or two. That’s all I’ll say!

Can you please tell us three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

I would say Falling in Love by LA Women, Turning Blue by Indyah and Revolution by Mali-koa (a Kiwi living overseas) 🙂 

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I really love Tiny Desk Concert, artist spotlight stories and sodajerker on songwriting!

 

New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.

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