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Exciting projects at Bigpop Studios thanks to NZ On Air!

We’re stoked to hear that three duos within the Bigpop family have been chosen for support from NZ On Air’s music development initiative.

Last year, NZ On Air announced that it would support the development of new music from emerging artists and established producers, allocating some of its coveted arts funding to fresh and experimental music written and performed right here in Aotearoa. The purpose of this initiative is to allow up-and-coming artists to build exciting bodies of work that they couldn’t previously.

“[Being able to set aside] the time for a period of creating, workshopping, and feeding the craft of developing artists gives an enormous boost to their prospects,” says Abraham Kunin, a producer working alongside Freddy Reynold with funding from the initiative, “being able to work like this dramatically reduces the timeline in that growth period between ‘good’ and ‘great.’”

In having this financial support, the artists and producers working within Bigpop Studios are able to dedicate themselves to their projects, not only speeding up the process but also maintaining the creative momentum that keeps their music great. “I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a wave of amazing local music in the coming months because of these grants,” adds Kunin, “it’s basically a dream scenario.”

That funding has also allowed producers to fulfil dream collaborations that weren’t possible before. “One of my goals this year was to open myself up and work with different artists,” says Frank Keys, who is currently working with artist TimmyTheFirst to develop new material, “so this funding couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Keys had been maintaining contact with TimmyTheFirst since last year, hoping for an opportunity to work together. “With the help of this funding, we could finally get into the studio together and start experimenting on where we could go creatively,” he notes, “I think this funding will encourage producers and artists to put themselves out there and work with different people.”

The same is also true for artists looking to create more experimental music. Possum Plows is an artist working alongside producer Maude Minnie Morris to create an unorthodox realist-fantasy album about XEMO, an extraterrestrial lifeform trying to communicate through music.

“Since XEMO first made contact in 2019, Maude and I have been sharing ideas on how best to tell their story,” says Possum, “but before this grant we never had the opportunity to put real energy into working together.”

“The development grant has enabled us the freedom, time and resources to experiment broadly with how to communicate XEMO’s message.”

The funding provided by NZ On Air subsidises the large costs that are usually associated with productions of this scale, allowing further creative freedom to the artists and producers involved. We’re very lucky to be on the ground floor as these exciting projects come together, and can’t wait to explore the results of this initiative from within Bigpop and across the country.


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