DJ am­pli­fy­ing South’s mu­sic


When more than 200,000 peo­ple came out to Auck­land Mu­seum’s New Zealand mu­sic ex­hi­bi­tion last year, the cre­ators knew they were onto some­thing good.

Filled with nos­tal­gic items and pho­tographs from over the decades, Vol­ume: Mak­ing Mu­sic in Aotearoa was one of the mu­seum’s big­gest at­trac­tions in re­cent years.

It then sparked an idea to con­tinue on the back of Vol­ume’s suc­cess and fo­cus on a par­tic­u­lar place which has left an im­pres­sion on the coun­try’s mu­sic scene - south Auck­land.

Nearly a year later, Vol­ume South has opened at Manukau In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in Manukau, cel­e­brat­ing South­side mu­si­cians and artists.

For Philip Bell, more com­monly known as DJ Sir-Vere, it just makes sense to be telling these sto­ries.

The DJ and ra­dio per­son­al­ity was on the ad­vi­sory board for the ex­hi­bi­tion, and he says it’s clear south Auck­land mu­sic’s im­pact over the years is pretty sig­nif­i­cant.

‘‘This has been a dis­cov­ery of re­al­is­ing how im­por­tant this stuff is. I couldn’t see this ex­ist­ing any­where else,’’ Bell says.

Vol­ume South tells the sto­ries of the pi­o­neers of the south mu­sic scene like Ardi­jah and Sav­age, as well as up­com­ing artists like Raze, Val­lkyrie and Irene Fo­lau.

It fea­tures per­sonal items like hand­writ­ten lyrics and out­fits, on loan from artists and their fam­i­lies, as well as a short film about south Auck­land mu­sic.

The ex­hi­bi­tion also pays trib­ute to the legacy of the late tara ¯O brothers Phil and Pauly Fue­m­ana (OMC).

Phil Fue­m­ana is known as a trail­blazer in the Pa­cific hip-hop world and was a men­tor to many, in­clud­ing Bell.

He thinks Fue­m­ana would have taken the ac­claim in his stride.

‘‘He would be ex­tremely proud and hum­bled by it all, I’m cer­tain,’’ Bell says.

For Auck­land Mu­seum’s Es­ther To­bin, the ex­hi­bi­tion’s con­tent and in­ter­pre­ta­tion de­vel­oper, Vol­ume South is an ex­cit­ing mile­stone.

She’s spent the bet­ter part of the past year en­gag­ing with artists on the 10-per­son ad­vi­sory board, learn­ing more about south Auck­land’s mu­sic his­tory.

The first Vol­ume brought phe­nom­e­nal num­bers of vis­i­tors to the mu­seum, she says, in­clud­ing young peo­ple, and they hope to see the same with Vol­ume South.

‘‘We want to en­cour­age young peo­ple to come in and get in­spired,’’ To­bin says.

‘‘There’s a phe­nom­e­nal quan­tity of mu­sic that’s come from this part of town and its in­flu­ence is felt in the com­mu­nity.’’

Vol­ume South runs un­til Au­gust 31 at MIT’s Manukau cam­pus.

Emerg­ing song­writ­ers and artists are en­cour­aged to en­ter the ex­hi­bi­tion’s mu­sic and art com­pe­ti­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to regis­ter go to auck­land­mu­ ex­hi­bi­tions/vol­ume-south


Philip Bell says Vol­ume South has been a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery for him.

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