7 May 2017

Taking Kiwi country music to the world

From Standing Room Only, 12:50 pm on 7 May 2017

As New Zealand country artists are finding it increasingly difficult to find an outlet for their music at home, more and more are finding success overseas.

Aly Cook, from Nelson has had great success with her single ‘Western Line’ in Australia. A song about Sydney trains recorded in New Zealand with New Zealand musicians.

Now she has made a new series called Kiwi Country ­ - being broadcast in the UK and the US - which highlights the vast country music talent we have as a nation.

Based in Australia Cook says the country music scene there is healthy.

“What I love about it is they really cherish their history though their stories which are told through country music; that is very much revered.”

She says country music in New Zealand has very few outlets on TV and radio and so when a friend in Europe offered her the chance to make a programme, and another friend fronted some money, she grabbed it.

“He said why don’t you put a New Zealand country music TV show together for us? I don’t have any money for you but I’ll give you a one hour show once a week and I’ll repeat it.”

So Cook, armed with camera man, headed off to the country music festival in Tamworth, New South Wales.

“I ended up with 40 interviews with 40 New Zealand recording artists with music videos all in one place.”

She says there is interest in the show from the US and Australia in the programme and she hopes soon in New Zealand too.

“As far as the New Zealand public are concerned they don’t see a lot of country artists, the artists are still there but there’s avenue for them to reach the public.”

Aly has also put together a youtube playlist of some of her favourite Kiwi Country Artists.

New Zealanders can also watch the series online on Fridays at 10pm on the Keep It Country website.

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Standing Room Only

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)