5 acts from New Zealand we’re really digging right now

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we scour the depths of Australia and New Zealand to bring you some raw talent as part of our Needle In The Hay vinyl competition.

Our neighbours across the ditch have produced some incredible music over time, and so we thought it was about time to put any tension aside and share some that we’re loving right now. If you were feeling like you needed something a little different, have no fear because we’ve done the work for you. These five New Zealand based artists range from big to brand new and we reckon you’re gonna love em.

New Zealand

We’re looking all over Australia and New Zealand, giving one artist the chance to press their single to vinyl. Here are 5 artists from New Zealand we’re digging.


The rise of JessB has proved pretty damn powerful since the rapper started making waves worldwide. Honestly, her whole music is a huge mood, which she is clearly aware of considering her most streamed track is entitled just that, Mood. The rapper and professional netball player Jess Bourke has been recognised worldwide, winning Best New Zealand Act at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards and playing festivals such as Laneway here in Oz.

Listening to her music is a party in itself. Her latest release Pon It is sure to get you up and dancing in the first 10 seconds. With lyrics like, “I’m a poet, got you sipping on my love potion” it’ll have you feeling all kinds of feels.

For real, her vocals are fantastic. Her deep tone is like none other and the lyrical genius behind many of her songs is what makes her so popular. Plus, she’s a huge crowd pleaser; super playful with crowds at her shows.

Listen to JessB’s latest release below.


I first heard of the electronic-pop duo SACHI when they collaborated with Aussie fave CXLOE, and they’re bloody brilliant. The act is made up of Will Thomas and Nick Chrisp and together they have proved able to create ridiculously catchy tunes that’ll have you dancing all week long.

Their 2019 album Nights With Ruby sees an array of collaborations as well as a couple of tracks with just themselves. The most notable artists on the record would be CXLOE with Love Me Now as well as Hollywood Angel featuring E^ST. My favourite track on the record? Unapologetically; it is unapologetically wild and so different to any other dance track I’ve heard.

Have a listen to the album below and let us know which track is your fave.

Mako Road

These guys are something else. They’re the epitome of chill. You will definitely already know their track The Sun Comes Up and it’s a certified tune; perfect for a chill arvo with your mates (sorry, housemates only #selfiso) by the BBQ. Mako Road is made up of four guys; Rian, Connor, Connor (another one – band practice must get confusing), and Robbie, and they hail from Christchurch, NZ having formed during their uni days.

With reggae-style guitar progressions and silky smooth vocals, Mako Road are your ideal go-to beach day band. I suggest putting on their EP The Green Superintendent if you’re missing the surf and wanna chill out for a bit.

The group was set to tour AUS and play at Splendour in the Grass which have both obviously been cancelled, so here’s hoping they plan a return to Aussie real soon; I’ll be there for sure.

Check out their latest release Drink from the Water below:


One of the lesser-known yet most powerful acts on this list is RIIKI, and with a voice like this, we wanna know why she hasn’t blown up yet. The rising young artist has recently released her track High Heights, and it comes alongside a killer 70s retro-inspired music video.

The song was inspired from watching a seagull getting bullied by other seagulls because she fed it a chip, and says she was “inspired to write a track about being belittled by someone but proving you are a bigger person than them.” To me, that pretty much proves her pure awesome creativity in that she can write a head-bopping banger from just watching some birds.

I personally can’t wait for some more music from RIIKI.

Check out the super cool retro video for High Heights below:


If you haven’t heard of Robinson by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock. The NZ pop star released her debut single back in 2017 and by the next year was signed to Sony Music Australia. Her biggest release, Nothing to Regret, reached Platinum here in Australia and made it huge in the UK being played on BBC Radio 1 and on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe.

Taking inspiration from Jeff Buckley and Stevie Nicks, this powerhouse singer-songwriter has seen the stage of SXSW as well as numerous festivals. Her latest release High Road came soon after her EP Watching You dropped, and it’s easy to say we have been blessed with the goods this year.

My personal favourite track from the EP is Don’t Say, and by the end of listening to the full EP you’ll just be sitting there thinking to yourself, “ugh… that voice!” It’s just that good. Plus, the lyrics “I didn’t call you just to cry but now I can’t stop” hit home hard.

Listen to the full EP below:

Needle In The Hay is a vinyl competition targeting the next generation of exciting musical talent across Australia. Find out all the details and enter here.