Getting onto NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation with your very first song ever released is rather remarkable. It sure helps if the aforementioned summery feel-good song was recorded and produced by none other than Tiki Taane, and if the song happens to altruistically support a charity well worth supporting, as is the case with young songwriter Analise Twemlow‘s debut Made in New Zealand…
Analise Twemlow. I’m from Christchurch and just recently turned 17. I sing, play guitar predominantly and can also play piano and ukulele.
I’ve been attending the School of Music at Hagley College this year and it has changed my life. It’s a specialist school that starts in Year 12 and my music and theory teachers, along with the vocal coach, have been really supportive of me wanting to follow a music career. They have persuaded me to continue with my passion.
I do perform with a band of other young people called The Lunatics. We play gigs even now and again but because we all live in five different cities it’s not the easiest to rehearse, practice and play. We’ve probably done a dozen or so performances around NZ.
I’ve always loved music and Mum says I’ve sung forever, but I was never able to concentrate on lessons. (I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was seven.) So I never really have had any ‘formal’ singing training, and I taught myself how to play guitar. When I was about nine my mum noticed that when I sang I didn’t have any tics – I have Tourette Syndrome and tend to tic 24/7 – because the adrenaline I get from performing overrides the need to tic.
At about 14 I finally was able to focus on teaching myself guitar and from there the singing and playing just clicked and now I can’t imagine life without music in it. My mum is my greatest supporter and because I’m under 18 she’s also my manager.
I wrote my first song when I’d just turned 14. I’d never done any songwriting or music classes before and I thought it all had to rhyme, so wrote it like that. Then I just started writing what I wanted to say and it’s just evolved organically as I’ve aged and matured. I’ve had a few life experiences that I can write about now, which I’m grateful for because it makes songwriting a lot more interesting.
Performing at the Isaac Theatre Royal in 2019 was definitely a highlight. That was part of a fundraising gig that Tiki Taane and Hollie Smith headlined at. I played with The Lunatics then did a solo set.
It just happened in a conversation with my mum. We were talking about Covid-19 and how NZ was amazing for leading the world in its approach to combating it. I’d said I was proud to be a New Zealander and she said something like that sounds like great inspiration for a song. I love NZ sounded a bit too cheesy for a song name; Made in New Zealand just sounded better. I’ve got it tattooed in my arm now.
Because my mum wanted to use it as a fundraiser for the Tourettes Association NZ! Because of Covid the charity, which my mum set up and runs, wasn’t able to fundraise and so hasn’t made any money this year. She thought it was a good pop song that could be radio-friendly, so I’ve released it for that reason and all royalties and proceeds are going directly to the Tourette’s Association.
Basically that I’m proud of NZ and to be a kiwi. It is a song that celebrates New Zealanders, how as a country and as individuals we’re always up to take on a challenge – whether that’s Covid 19, on a sports field, taking on the music world or making Oscar-winning movies. Our country is pretty amazing really and we need to celebrate that. So MiNZ is dedicated to everyone but particularly to those living in Christchurch who have overcome earthquakes, the mosque shooting then covid.
I love the bridge – the lyrics and the change of tempo.
I wrote the lyrics one afternoon and put a simple guitar track to it. Mum got in touch with Tiki Taane and told him about her fundraising idea and he said ‘yes’ to getting on board. So I went into his home studio with him for two days and he came up with ideas for the music, recorded, produced and mixed it for me! I loved working with Tiki because he just laughs with me at my tics – even when I’m insulting him.
One of the best things about working on the single was the music video and getting Dr Ashley Bloomfield to appear in the video. He’s awesome and we couldn’t believe it when he said yes to being in the video.
That New Zealand is a community and we are all family. We work best when we help each other. And that’s pretty awesome, because after all that we’ve been through we all deserve peace and love.
This is my first single release so it’s hard to say but I have a heap of other songs that I’ve written and a few stand out as potential singles. I only let other people hear my songs if I’m happy with them and if they like them, then I’ll work on them to perfect them. That’s how I’ll pick what I release next.
I have a song that I’ll be releasing that is more indicative of my music style. While I wrote MiNZ it’s not my usual vibe. My next single, 2am is more representative of my writing. There’s a short acoustic version of it on my website at the moment. I’m saving up to get into the studio to finish it and I hope to get it released early in the new year.
Because I love these songs and artists I’d put them on a playlist with MiNZ: In The Air by L.A.B, Sunday Morning by Mitch James, and Glitter by Benee.
I’m always watching Vevo on YouTube because I can do short stints at watching stuff, but I generally can’t concentrate long enough to read anything. Maybe when I’m older my concentration will improve too.
We made the video with an amazingly talented director of photography Luca Turner. He’s originally from Christchurch but lives in Auckland now. He was so awesome to work with – super relaxed but super professional at the same time. I think because he is also young, he’s 20, it helped because he made it fun and easy. I get bored really easily and hate doing the same thing for too long, so Mum was amazed that I worked a 12-hour day without complaining!
Go and support the Tourettes Association by watching the video or listen to the single on Spotify or buy it on iTunes – every little bit helps generate an income for it.