Local organisation boosting Pan-Asian NZ music opportunities

April 3, 2024

 Local organisation boosting Pan-Asian NZ music opportunities

Big Fan team alongside young Kiwi musicians with Savina Fountain in the bottom middle. Photo: Supplied

Local Auckland music organisation, Big Fan are creating opportunities for Pan-Asian artists across Aotearoa to produce music.

Through two five-day programmes called Pan-Asian Fan Camps and Residences, musicians have access to the not-for-profit’s music space and recording studios.

General Manager of Big Fan and board member of the New Zealand Music Commission, Savina Fountain explained how these Pan-Asian creative camps will run.

“The first initiative is called Fan Camp and it’s basically a collaborative songwriting camp for nine Pan-Asian people to take part.

“The second initiative is our Residencies programme which is offering three Pan-Asian creatives to have free access to the studios for five days, to explore and create music.”

A showcase and seminar for these Pan-Asian artists to partake in is also being offered in the upcoming months.

New Zealand On Air is helping fund this programme as a result of past success and are encouraging musicians to get involved.

The independent government funding agency “did some extensive research…and found that people have been feeling a bit underrepresented in the music community,” says Fountain. 

These opportunities are important for Pan-Asian creatives as “young people or anyone trying it for the first time just need that first opportunity.”

“We need to look at bringing as many diverse voices as we can because it is going to enrich the whole wider music and arts culture.”

19-year-old singer songwriter and lead singer of Kliff’s Band, Millie Eaton has previously been involved with Big Fan and believes their programmes “are so important.”

“They provide the opportunity for young people to follow their dreams and to make connections with other people in the industry as well.

“It gives young, up-and-coming artists and creatives a place to pursue what they love doing in an affordable and friendly environment.”

These spaces are starting to bring more representation in the music scene but “if there were places like Big Fan up and down the country, [it] would provide incredible opportunities for young people in the industry.”

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