26 May 2024

There's more to south Auckland than hip-hop. Here are five artists who prove it

7:49 am on 26 May 2024
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Photo: Supplied

By So'omalo Iteni Schwalger, TAHI presenter

Hip-hop is the first thing that usually comes to mind when we talk about the music of south Auckland.

But while it is definitely home to some of the biggest hip-hop names in Aotearoa - Deceptikonz, Smashproof, David Dallas, Sisters Underground - the area is a hub of musical creativity that spans pop, rock, R&B, reggae, gospel and more.

To celebrate New Zealand Music Month, here are some of the finest young musicians that south Auckland has to offer.


When it comes to pop and R&B, HALES has his finger squarely on the pulse.

Hailing from Ōtara, he has found great success in Aotearoa and abroad after a viral TikTok.

Aside from his musical talents, HALES is a genuinely funny and kind soul who puts his heart into his music, developing work that is deeply personal and sincere. You can't help but sing along.

Brooke x Starce

Originally shaking up the world of dance, the O'Neill twins Brooke and Starce have made further inroads into the world of music.

While they first dipped their toes into music several years ago, last year they released their first full-length album. It is stunning, showing just how well versed they are in multiple threads of entertainment.


A true champion of the south, FABLE is a great reminder that you can't box people in.

Influenced by artists you wouldn't expect to hear in Papakura - Yung Lean, The Beths, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Steve Lacy - FABLE brings a breath of fresh air while remaining true to both himself and his roots. I think FABLE is someone we'll be seeing headline international shows one day.

Canaan Ene

You may know Canaan Ene from TikTok as the man who can remix literally anything into a reggae song.

Ene has produced for Swiss, Kapena, STNDRD and Tomorrow People. What started as some fun during Covid-19 lockdowns led to a nomination for three Pacific Music Awards last year.

There's a good chance he has remixed your favourite track into a reggae record, so I implore you to check out his work.

Emily Muli

Emily Muli is no stranger to this game. Her YouTube covers from over 10 years ago hold view counts in the millions and she has toured the world performing with the likes of Aaradhna.

While she has only released a handful of singles on streaming platforms, she is easily one of my favourite R&B musicians to come out of Aotearoa.

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