The New Zealand Artists That You Won't Want to Miss at Auckland's Laneway Festival in 2024
Meet six talented Kiwis who will be singing their hearts out at Laneway this year.
January 24, 2024
The countdown is on for 2024's Auckland iteration of St Jerome's Laneway Festival, which is taking over Western Springs Park on Tuesday, February 6. The lineup is jam-packed with huge hitters, such as actor and musician Dominic Fike, 'Bad Habit' singer-songwriter Steve Lacy and UK rapper Stormzy.
While we're sure that punters will be flocking to the big artists' sets, there is also a number of homegrown artists on the bill, with some playing Laneway for the first time.
Here's six Kiwi artists you don't want to miss at Laneway 2024.
Daily J are made up of three brothers whose names all start with J: Jesse, Jayden and Jonny Paul, as well as their honorary brother Rick Everard. The boys may have had a modest start to life in their hometown of Blenheim, but these days their lives are anything but quiet.
The brothers claim that Daily J has been making music in some form since birth, realising that they were interested in the same type of music while strapped into the back of their mum's car listening to CDs while driving around. It wasn't until the siblings relocated from the South Island to the big smoke of Auckland in 2017 that making music pivoted from a passion to a career. This move brought in the fourth member and resulted in their first EP The Other Side.
Seven years later and the band is on the up and up, finding huge fans across the ditch, which the group chalks up to their easy-listening, relatable hits like 'Left Me Like Summer', 'Space' and 'Black Lagoon'.
The four boys say they are pumped to play at Laneway, ticking off one of their long-term goals. The boys admitted to feeling "a bit of shock" when they were delivered the news, after wanting a spot at the huge festival for many years.
Erny Belle, aka Aimee Renata, will burst onto the Laneway stage off the back of her second album Not Your Cupid. Belle has been climbing the stepping stones of the New Zealand music industry at breakneck speed thanks to the success of her first album Venus Is Home, resulting in a sold-out release party for her second record.
Belle is quite the triple threat: coming from family of artists, she worked as an actor and costume designer before independently releasing Venus Is Home in 2022. Due to her experience behind the camera, it's no surprise that she took the lead in many of her freshman album's music videos.
For fans already familiar with the singer-songwriter's music from her debut release, expect something a bit different when it comes to her Laneway set. Not Your Cupid is filled with tracks bursting with light — Belle isn't overthinking the art that she's creating, instead going with her intuition.
Atarangi is set to command the stage with their eclectic mix of genre-defying tracks, music that has cemented their presence in the queer underground scene in both New Zealand and across the world. Their unique sound was created through Atarangi's love of ballroom, a pillar of creative expression in the queer community.
This scene is so important to Atarangi that they created one of their own, with the artist running and DJing at NYMPHO, a club for the queer community to truly be themselves or whoever they want to be. Atarangi is pumped to share their set with punters at Laneway, a festival they've dreamed of performing at for a long time.
Hanbee Jeong's cruisy tracks suit her cruisy, gentle personality, despite the massive success that she's accumulated over the past couple of years. The Korean-New Zealander, who goes under the moniker hanbee, started making music professionally after graduating from university in 2020, using the power of social media to spread her music far and wide.
This move worked brilliantly for the up-and-comer, with fans finding her songs through the bits and pieces that she posted online. Despite her huge number of views and likes, hanbee said she still feels like an ordinary person, and not quite able to grasp the reality of her success. In fact, when her manager told her she had been booked to perform at Laneway, hanbee thought she was messing with her.
Hanbee won't be encouraging any kind of crazy moshpit during her performance, telling fans to expect her usual bedroom pop tracks, full of intimate sounds and low-fi beats. If you like what you hear during Laneway, you'll be pleased to know there's even more hanbee music on the way, with the artist releasing her first album mid-2024.
If you're into the indie music scene, there's a big chance that you have already heard of Molly Payton. The singer-songwriter started putting roots down in the music industry and the age of 16, when a move to the UK from New Zealand connected her with folks her age that adored making music as much as her. Payton had always loved playing around with music, but didn't realise that it could be a viable career option until she crossed paths with a young Oscar Lang and 'Death Bed' singer Beabadoobee.
After five years enmeshed in the UK music industry, however, Payton had to make a sudden return to New Zealand in 2023, which meant going without label management for the first time. This resulted in Payton falling out of love with music, and it wasn't until her good friend Lang made the trek to Aotearoa that she managed to find that spark again.
This rough period in Payton's life is reflected in her newest single 'Asphalt', which she penned in ten minutes, leaning on what she knows how to do best: songwriting. "What I said captured exactly where I was, feeling a bit lost and like everyone else has their shit together more than you do," Payton says. "But through that restlessness is the beauty that comes out of being lost in your early 20s."
Payton has wanted to perform on the Laneway stage "forever", and believes it feels like the next step for any up-and-coming Kiwi artist, a sentiment shared among many of the New Zealanders on the festival's bill. When asked what could follow, Payton drops hints about a longer project which audiences received a sneak peek of with the release of 'Asphalt'. Unfortunately, that's all she's saying about it for now, except that "it's really good, I promise".
You may have heard of rap duo Church & AP, but what about just Church? Church, aka Elijah Manu, is going it alone for the first time on the Laneway stage. Although Church started his musical career as a solo artist, his most-recent project comes from playing around with his sound during the long days of the 2020 lockdown, working out how he might want to present himself to the world — something that many of us were grappling with during that time.
"This is an endeavour for me where I get to express myself in a new way, using different songwriting techniques and melodies, and figuring out the things that I like," he explains. His solo work is still rooted in the hip hop sound he's known for, mixed in with experimental sounds.
Laneway will be the first time that Church performs his solo act, something that he's a little nervous about. "When you come out into the public eye as a duo it's so much easier, you have someone to lean on — even onstage if your voice tires, you can just hand the mic over," he says.
Despite this slight apprehension, Church is "super stoked" to be performing at Laneway, which he said has always been his favourite festival to attend as a regular punter. "The lineups are always so cool; it hints at people who might become huge successes, so to be thought of in that conversation is awesome," he shares.
Laneway Festival 2024 will be held on Tuesday, February 4 at Auckland's Western Springs Park. For more information and tickets, head to the festival's website.
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