NewTracks New Artist: Roonie

NewTracks New Artist: Roonie

Taupo-born Michaela Pointon has spent the last year rebranding herself into dreamy pop artist Roonie. Her sound is playful, but the now Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist’s intentions in the music scene are serious. NZ On Air Music included her latest single Alibi on their NewTracks compilation this May.

Where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Hey there! My name is Michaela Pointon (the artist Roonie!) and I’m 21 years old. I grew up in Taupo, but have been living in Auckland for the last four years. I am predominantly a singer and songwriter, but also play guitar and some piano. 

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

Growing up I was lucky enough to have lots of music lessons, especially during my teenage years. This was super helpful to my development as a songwriter, guitarist, and understanding of music. 

What’s the background story of how Roonie came to be? 

I had played music under my personal name, Michaela Pointon, for many years, and I recorded and released a singer-songwriter folk EP under that. I really wanted to develop as an artist and push myself to the next stage. I have always loved pop music and ‘Roonie’ felt like the next right step on my musical journey to becoming a pop artist in a new genre. 

As an artist I’ve gone by Roonie for over a year now. I think changing from my given name to an artist name has been one of the best decisions and (fun) things I’ve done so far. I guess being super confident and believing in my new artist identity was important. I always loved that Brooke Fraser has a daughter called Rooney, and thought this was the coolest!

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

Songwriting has always been my absolute favourite part of music. I love it SO much! I enjoy writing any genre of songs, especially writing sessions with other artists. However, I think there is something that is very satisfying about writing a pop song. My writing has changed in the sense that in a more focused pop style, you have to be very specific and succinct to say exactly what you want. 

2022 is the year of releasing music for Roonie. I have a release plan of multiple singles to be released and then an EP coming in October this year! I’m super excited for you to hear it and for you to dance to it at live shows.

Aside from this release, what’s been the big highlight to date?

Awww I feel like I have had so many awesome moments that have happened, which I am so grateful for. I think being on NZ On Air NewTracks is certainly one of the highlights. Plus hearing my single My Heart on TV3’s show Mean Mums in 2019, and Alibi on 1 News Weather just the other night was pretty cool! 

What makes Alibi stand out for you as a single?

I really love the catchiness of Will Hendersons (my producer) post-chorus dance break in the track, which I think makes the song so fun. We really wanted to write a catchy song that people could be singing along to by the end of the track! 

What’s the story behind Alibi?

Alibi is about releasing feelings of being stuck and taken for granted in a relationship – before then breaking free. The track talks about feelings of being someone’s alibi in a relationship where no one really knows the truth of why or how it is ending. The music video is set in a club because I feel that clubs can have the feeling of a good time, but with undertones of confusion and regret – much like the end of a relationship.

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

I think the single has moments and undertones of satire, like it’s almost humorous to be someone’s relationship alibi. I love the opening lines in the verse, “I’m slowly losing patience with you. This ain’t conversation…” cause that’s kind’a sad but also funny. Like ‘C’mon dude!’ Hahaha. 

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

The insanely talented producer Will Henderson and I co-wrote Alibi over a couple of sessions at Parachute Studios and also Will’s home studio. Chris Chetland from Kog Studios mastered the track and added such warmth and musical goodness to the overall sound. 

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

I hope that people wanna sing and dance along to the end of the song when they listen to it! And that it’s the beginning of people getting to know and connect with Roonie! 

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

I think how long the process of writing a song, to producing, mixing, and mastering, to the visuals, photoshoots, and music videos, to actually releasing the song, you have to be completely confident and certain of the track! As an artist, you’re gonna listen to the song what feels like (a million) times before it’s released, so I feel like that can be a good measure of how strong the song is? Not sure! Still figuring this one out myself, haha! 

Who else is in your team?

I am so grateful to the fabulous Kate Orgias and Paula Yeoman at Lil Sister PR. Plus the wonderful Holly, Cloudy and Dan/s at DRM for always supporting me. Of course, my producer for my EP and singles this year, Will Henderson, and photographer/videographer for the Alibi release Christian Tjandrawinata. 

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

I am currently studying music production at SAE, so hopefully, you’ll see some of my own production work in the future. Otherwise, keep an eye out for my next single coming out on June 17! I’m super excited, eeek! 

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

Have any previous NZOA applications not worked out? Got any advice for others out there?

I feel like the idea of trusting the process and knowing that opportunities will happen when you continue to put the work in – and it’s also the right timing. I’m a big believer in ‘what is meant for you won’t pass you’. Although it might sound a little woo-woo, this helps me when I face disappointment.

The application process is super clear and a great way to meet goals as an emerging artist. 

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

I enjoy listening to a range of music as many artists do I’m sure! I wanna get more into podcasts, so please let me know if anyone has some good suggestions! 

***************Who did you make the video with?

The videographer was Christian Tjandrawinata. Hair and makeup by Rebekah Banks,and the locations were Cassette 9 and MTG RM studios in Auckland. 

Any last words?

Thank you so much to NZ Musician for supporting me, NZ On Air for having Roonie on this month’s NewTracks. Hope you enjoy Alibi and can’t wait to chat with you again in the future!  

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