Inaugural NZ On Air New Music Pan-Asian Funding


Fifteen artists have just been announced as the very
first recipients of funding via a NZ On Air New Music
Pan-Asian focus round, the first funding initiative of its
kind to support the Pan-Asian music community in Aotearoa
New Zealand.

The new focus funding round was designed
to support artists to connect with Pan-Asian and mainstream
audiences and increase the amount of quality Pan-Asian
content across Aotearoa. It was created due to the lack of
equitable representation of Pan-Asian artists in the music
sector identified in the NZ
On Air Music Diversity Report, a report produced by NZ
On Air since 2020.

“Our Music Diversity Report had
clearly shown that Pan-Asian New Zealand musicians were
under-represented in the music sector in Aotearoa,” says
Teresa Patterson, NZ On Air Head of Music. “And I think
that is reflected in the number of applications we received
for funding in this focus round.”

“We received
107 applications for 15 grants, which is outstanding, and it
was a really wonderful range of genre, gender and
ethnicity,” says Patterson. “We received applications
from artists who identify as Chinese, Indian and Filipino,
as well as South Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Sri Lankan,
Malaysian, Thai and Iraqi. And in terms of genre, the
applicants varied from alternative/indie and pop, to hip
hop/RnB, dance/electro and folk/country.”

is exciting too is that when it came to the gender split of
applicants, it was quite even, with 49 male and 41 female
identifying applicants, and the rest being gender diverse
and group applicants.”

Of the 15 funded songs,
seven are from first time-funded recipients and six are for
bilingual songs featuring Pan-Asian languages, including
Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Malay and

“This range will really help to reflect
the many voices of Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Patterson.
“And add to the vibrant cultural music mix that local
audiences will be able to experience.”

To design
the New Music Pan-Asian focus funding round, NZ On Air
consulted with Pan-Asian representatives of the Aotearoa
music community – to ensure, from the outset, that there
was a clear understanding of the specific challenges for the
Pan-Asian community. 

The recipients were then
selected by an external panel of music experts also from the
Pan-Asian music community and a representative of NZ On Air.
One panel member was Swap Gomez, a Bangladeshi drummer,
visual director and academic lecturer with years of
experience in the Aotearoa music scene.

“What was
awesome to see was so many Pan-Asian artists applying,
artists we had never heard of coming out of the woodwork now
that a space has been created to celebrate their work,”
says Gomez.

“This is the time we can celebrate
those Pan-Asian artists who have previously felt over-looked
by the wider industry,” continues Gomez. “Now there is
an environment and sector where they can feel appreciated
for their success in music – as a multicultural industry,
developing initiatives such as this one is more crucial than

The NZ On Air New Music Pan-Asian
funding round is a single-track funding scheme which
provided up to $10,000 funding towards the costs of
recording, mixing and mastering on a single song, as well as
promotion and creation of visual content to release and
promote the single.

“The response we have had to
this inaugural NZ On Air New Music Pan-Asian focus funding
round has been phenomenal,” says Patterson. “It tells us
that there is a real need so NZ On Air is excited to confirm
that it will return in the new financial



amol, cool

Charlotte Avery, just before
you go

Crystal Chen, love

Hugo Chan,
Julius Black, After

Lauren Gin, Don’t
Memory Foam, Moon

Phoebe Rings,

Lapis (Layer Cake)

Terrible Sons, Thank
You, Thank You

Valere, Lily’s

For more information on the NZ On Air
New Music Pan-Asian fund, go to

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