Students showcase their new music at NZ’s most creative festival

Up-and-coming Indie Pop band, King Fish debuted their new single 39 Days at the CubaDupa festival.

The much anticipated 2021 CubaDupa festival was a success for hundreds of creatives, including ten of Massey’s very own singers, songwriters and musicians who had the opportunity to debut their new hit singles.

They contributed to more than 19 hours of curated entertainment by thousands of artists across 46 stages and creative zones, more than 500 performances and 20 parades.

The SomethingSomething Collective, a student initiative established at Massey to provide a platform for emerging creative personalities, performed a three-hour set at the Massey Creative Distraction stage in Glover Park, showcasing the sounds of two individuals and two groups.

Co-chairperson of the SomethingSomething Collective Malikah Davy says the festival was the ideal place for them to reach new audiences.

“The artists bring a wide variety of dynamic stage performance, sublime original music and a splash of youth to the festival, they’re a great way for the CubaDupa audience to see that the future of local music here in Wellington is in good hands.”

First to take to the stage was Isobelle Walker, a singer-songwriter who has been crafting poetic and unique tunes since she was 10 years old. Ms Walker’s passion lies in harnessing her experiences, allowing her to write lyrics and melodies that create an intimate veil of sound. It is her ‘country meets concrete’ edge that allows her to explore genres such as folk, pop and soul while leaving room for undefined growth and sonic experimentation.

Ms Davy says Ms Walker has been a music student with Massey for a number of years now and is also involved in the music scene back home in Hawkes Bay. The festival was a great way for her to break into the music scene in Wellington.

“The great thing about CubaDupa is it gives these artists access to a different demographic and a very wide range of people, so they get to showcase the original work, skills and talents they’ve developed while at Massey,” Ms Davy says. 

Next up came the talented Pōneke band Sweetspot who can now tick playing their first festival off their bucket lists.

The group formed in 2020 not long after the first lockdown, when all four members opted to share a single flamingo scooter on the waterfront. They decided this qualified them to form a band and thus combined their very diverse musical influences together to create their funky, fun, psychedelic sound.

They are currently working on three tantalising EPs that are a cohesive concept related to night time, with singles such as Self-Medicate and Dear Night coming out later this year through Dosada Records.

Co-chairperson of the SomethingSomething Collective Jack Trotter describes them as a four-piece psychedelic pop band.

“They keep the sounds interesting and they have a good group dynamic. This is their first festival and first non-competition-based performance which is really important for them and a great platform for them to perform on.”

They were followed by Eli Superfly, who plays jivey Indie-pop-rock accompanied by vocals and a backing band. With his debut extended play (EP) Pocket Photos released in 2019 and a single release in 2020, he took the opportunity to debut his newly released EP PLS TAKE ME BACK.

The final performance from the Collective came from King Fish, an up-and-coming Indie Pop band who debuted their new single 39 Days.

Mr Trotter says the band has come such a long way in a short time period having played alongside and opened for local New Zealand bands and artists such as Dartz, Sofia Machray, Doons, Miss Cressida and Bad Hagrid at a range of well-known Wellington venues.

“I’m so proud of their single release, they’ve really worked hard on their live stuff but it’s nice to see them using some digital platforms for their music video.

“It’s a real honour as chairperson of SomethingSomething to have the opportunity to be putting our commercial music students in front of a wider audience. SomethingSomething as a collective is all about showcasing the musical talent we have here at Massey and making sure that talent gets in front of the right people.”

You can view the music video for 39 Days music here