For the People

Nesian Mystik, Music Video, 2002

The concept for this 2003 video sees the Nesian boys preparing for a party while snapping and sharing (probably then-expensive) 'pixt' photos of each other and the Mystik people in their lives. The perils of public snoozing in the mobile age are shown. As music video aficionado Robyn Gallagher has noted elsewhere, this snap happy, pre-smartphone video nearly anticipates that in the future, "an entire music video will be able to be shot on a phone camera." 'For the People' was a Top 10 single from Nesian Mystik’s hit album Polysaturated.

Papa People

Bressa Creeting Cake, Music Video, 1997

The original concept for this video involved a girl in love with a wētā. Sadly the wētā has an affair with a horse. Consequently the girl tries to metamorphosise into an insect to be with her love. Bressa Creeting Cake formed in 1991 but with a different name: Breast Secreting Cake. After signing to Flying Nun Records and changing their name, they released their self-titled debut album in 1997. Band members Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton went onto form Goldenhorse, with writer Kirsten Morrell and guitarist/vocalist Ben King. 

Stranger People

Doprah, Music Video, 2013

In a typically polished effort from the industrious Thunderlips duo, Doprah vocalist Indira Force’s metamorphosis into a schizophrenic kawaii girl (Japanese for ‘cute’) makes for an unsettling contrast to the song’s slow-burning ambience — although a late cameo from bandmate Steven Marr in Sailor Moon-style garb provides some comic relief. The clip premiered on US music journal SPIN’s online edition, and was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2014 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

People

Mi-Sex, Music Video, 1980

Mi-Sex moved further into the futuristic sci-fi world signalled by their hit single ‘Computer Games’ with the release of their chart topping second album Space Race in 1980. The lead-off single ‘People’ emerged at a time when the world was still coming to grips with cloning, genetic engineering and test tube babies. The video showcases the band’s well honed combination of techno-pop and the more straight ahead rock’n’roll beloved of Australian pub audiences — with some visual special effects reserved for the future shock of the spoken segment.

So Free

The Rickshaws, Music Video, 2008

Clearly made by people with a love of old school Hollywood horror, So Free dredges up a classic monster squad which includes Dracula, 'Frankristein', The 'Wülf Man', and a creature born in a black lagoon— all hell bent on distressing the damsel (Arem Steel). With lovingly-detailed set-pieces and effects, the clip looks tremendous. And after underwater and night shoots in midwinter Wellington, it was fortunate to be supported by a dedicated cast and crew (including band members playing the various monsters).

Nothing's Going To Happen

Tall Dwarfs, Music Video, 1981

Chris Knox mines his immediate, 1981-era surroundings for this elaborate stop-motion clip. Record players go crazy, sleeping bags swallow people, and hardly anyone on screen seems to have a face. On the telly are Springboks and protests, plus the Ready to Roll top 20 countdown. And all this unravels a full two decades before editing programme Final Cut Pro made homespun hip again, and directors like Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep) started popularising the craft aesthetic. 

Got It Bad

LEISURE, Music Video, 2016

Auckland band LEISURE’s statement on the YouTube page for this song says: "with the world in its current state of flux, sometimes we just need to switch off and float away from it all." The video for the group's first single takes note, as a camera roams through a series of tableaux – from street to bedroom, passing various people chilled to a state of inertia – before following their gaze to the next still life. Directed by Joel Kefali (Royals), the clip won Best Music Video at the 2017 NZ Music Awards. The song featured on supernatural teen TV show Shadowhunters and HBO comedy Insecure.

Dragons and Demons

Herbs, Music Video, 1981

'Dragons and Demons' is a track from Whats' Be Happen? — the first release from the Auckland pioneers of Pacific reggae. The album had a shot of the Bastion Point protest on its cover, however the emphasis in this song — written by original vocalist Tony Fonoti — is more personal than political as it exhorts people to control mental dragons and demons. Fonoti’s devotion to Rastafarianism made him uncomfortable with the band’s growing commercial success, and led to his departure. ‘Dragons and Demons’ received a new lease of life in 2009 when it was featured in Taika Waititi’s film Boy.

Sub-Cranium Feeling

King Kapisi, Music Video, 1998

The award-winning promo for King Kapisi's debut single is a family affair: bookended by shots of his two-year-old son, directed by his sister Sima and produced by another sister, Makerita. The song is a plea to his Samoan people to remember their pre-colonial past: “feed your kids not the church”. Filmed underwater at Wellington’s Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre, the video has islander Kapisi swimming through a sea of lava-lava. Made before Kapisi signed a record contract, the video won gongs at 1997’s BFM, Mai Time, and Flying Fish awards and a 2004 NZ On Air 1000 Music Video Celebration nod.

Aotearoa

Minuit, Music Video, 2009

"We are New Zealand - it's you and I" sings Minuit's Ruth Carr as images of everyday New Zealanders flash up on the screen. Directed by band member Paul Dodge, Minuit's video for 'Aotearoa' is a nostalgic trip through the archives — a celebration of NZ history starting with images of people and places, including Rangitoto, the Pink Terraces, Greytown's historic Revington's hotel through to Sir Edmund Hillary, Aunt Daisy and Ernest Rutherford, as well as national tragedies, protests and hikois — and even the six o'clock swill gets a look in.