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Video Premiere: Roonie – My Heart

Video Premiere: Roonie – My Heart

We heart music video premieres! Meet Roonie, previously performing under her real name Michaela Pointon, formerly from Taupo, now Auckland-based. My Heart is the first single and video after rebranding with the new stage name, and it’s set to make a mark as one of the few melancholic songs you can still dance to. The video, created with the help of Christian Tjandrawinata, is all about the symbolic meaning of certain colours, as Roonie explains to Silke Hartung.

How would you describe your music in two sentences or less?

Indie-pop sprinkled with electronic touches. A lyrical focus on love and loneliness, and a melodic focus on catchy hooks!  

You’ve just changed away from your real name as stage name – how come? And what’s the story behind the name Roonie?

I had been thinking about an artist name for a while and it felt like the next right step in my musical journey. I wanted to separate myself from my music and create a distinctive brand/image around it. It was the best push for a new direction. 

Roonie feels like a genuine extension of myself and a name I am fully confident to introduce myself by. I compiled lists of potential names, then did a whole lot of research to see who was already taken. I also enjoy the idea that rune stones (or sometimes rune cards) are used to predict the future. Runes and Roonie both have an element of mystery to them which I think is fun.

How important do you think it is for any artist to create some sort of branding around their name, style and music?

I believe there is a point where the importance of talent ends. Rather, success, whatever this looks like for one relies on being laser focused and determined to achieve goals. I think that the brand, story and image of an artist is what takes you from a cover gig musician in the pub to having a distinctive brand. So I guess it depends on an artist’s goals! Absolutely nothing wrong with playing cover gigs, I just want more for my music. 

How would you describe the musical scene you find yourself in, and which other musicians or bands would you say are part of it?

I’m from Taupo and currently in my second year at the University of Auckland. The music scene here is so vibrant and supportive. Taupo is very supportive too, however, there are heaps of other young people doing music here which I love. There is such a wide range of musicians and I have been grateful to meet so many talented people already. 

What do you find most challenging about music when you look at it not just as an art form but also a profession, and how do you deal with it? 

It’s completely self-driven. I love music more than anything in my life, but am learning to be patient as music is far from an overnight venture. It takes many, many hours of hard work and let-downs. I always make an effort to celebrate the small successes like woo ‘such-an-such’ followed me on Instagram, as small as it may seem. I am so grateful for all of the musical opportunities I have had thus far. I guess embracing the ups and downs of the music world. And always staying humble. I am confident in my music, but never too good to learn something new.

I thoroughly enjoy the marketing and branding side of music. I study communications and media, so I have interest in this area. If I’m doing it particularly well, I guess only time will tell! I have trust in hard-work, failing and learning. 

Your video for My Heart is totally stunning! What creative brief did you give director Christian Tjandwinata about the look and feel of it?

Thank you! I wanted the colours and space we used to reflect being lost and alone in heartache. Deep blues and reds are the main colours I imagine when listening to the song. We definitely collaborated with ideas and Christian created exactly what I envisioned. 

How do you justify the cost involved in such a video if you haven’t been lucky enough to get any funding, especially while still being a student?

I am so grateful to have supportive parents who help me and I also ensure money I earn from gigs is re-invested into my music. I go off the idea that if I have content I can get more gigs, which helps me create more music etc. I haven’t applied for any funding yet but that is one of my goals for 2021!

You’ve been gigging on the same line up alongside Dan Sharp for years now – how is he involved with the recording of My Heart?

Awwww, Dan the Man! I have known Dan since I was about 14. He is one of the most generous humans I know and the most encouraging mentor who has taught and supported me in so many ways I will forever be thankful for. Dan came round in Taupo and we co-wrote My Heart. I then went to his studio in Katikati for a week or so to record some parts of the song, then recorded vocals with him at Parachute Studios here in Auckland. Dan also helped mix the track alongside Thomas Oliver. His production on this track is awesome.

And then there’s Geoff Ong – what did he bring to the table as producer?

Mr. Geoff Ong! He is a fabulous person and incredibly talented. Geoff brought many super colourful and vibrant ideas to the track. In particular, the twinkling arpeggiator at the beginning of the song adds a dimension that centres the song in a beautiful way. Plus, the brilliant drums and rhythm on the track. Geoff really listens to my ideas and references – (Maggie Rogers all the way!) and incorporates them perfectly into the song. I am so excited to continue to work with both Dan and Geoff in the future. 

What’s next for you?

I am so excited for the rest of this year, despite all the craziness so far, haha. I have two more singles lined up ready to be released, so keep an eye/ear for those! Plus I am aiming to have my debut Roonie EP out by summer, followed by an NZ tour. Thank you so much to NZ Musician and everyone who supports me.