18 December 2023

Essential Kiwi Songs for Your Playlists | Study With New Zealand

Theo Spruyt
Global Digital Content Specialist | Education New Zealand

Whether you’re creating a playlist for working out in the gym, cooking dinner in the kitchen, or heading out for a night on the town, here’s some amazing New Zealand music that would be the perfect addition to any playlist!

No matter what genres you love the most, you’re sure to find some new favourite songs here!

One of New Zealand’s most iconic songs ever, ‘Slice of Heaven’ has been sung at parties, pubs, rugby games and road trips across the country since it was first released in 1986.

This feel-good track from 2020 will put you in a summery mood, no matter what the weather is like outside!

Shihad are one of New Zealand’s most successful bands and have been releasing rock anthems like ‘Home Again’ since 1988.

Featuring future Oscar winner Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) on lead vocals, this reggae track from the Black Seeds featured on the Breaking Bad soundtrack for Season 4.

Not only will this bubbly pop hit get stuck in your head all day, but you’ll also have the music video on repeat as you take in all the amazing visuals that they created for it.

Mainly sung in Te Reo Māori, this song celebrates life in the eastern Bay of Plenty, near Gisborne. ‘35’ refers to State Highway 35, which connects several rural and coastal towns in the area.

The perfect song to relax with after a long day, ‘Take It Easy’ featured in the 2013 New Zealand film ‘Mt Zion’, where Stan Walker starred alongside legendary Kiwi actor Temuera Morrison.

An iconic song from the 1990s, ‘Sitting Inside My Head’ mixes pop, funk, reggae, and rock along with the soulful vocals of singer Che Fu.

With a chorus that seemingly all New Zealanders know the words to, this 90s pop-rock hit is sung from the terraces at rugby games across the country.

The second single from Bic Runga’s debut album, ‘Sway’ was voted as the sixth best New Zealand song of all time in 2001.

New Zealand drum ‘n’ bass royalty, Shapeshifter have been releasing music since 1999. Written as a summer anthem, you’re certain to hear ‘Stars’ from car stereos and speakers on the beach whenever the sun shines.

Nominated for ‘Single of the Year’ at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards, ‘Love Love Love’ is an iconic indie folk song with an incredible music video.

Described by BENEE as ‘indie-slack fun with a little R'n'B swing’, ‘Soaked’ has received over 83 million plays on Spotify, where it was first released.

First released in 1995, ‘How Bizarre’ is a fusion of pop/hip hop that regained popularity in recent years thanks to its use in a viral TikTok trend.

Featuring in the 2006 New Zealand film ‘No. 2’, ‘Bathe in the River’ is a soul song from The Mt Raskill Preservation Society, a supergroup of Kiwi musicians who came together to record the film’s soundtrack.

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About the contributors
Theo Spruyt
Global Digital Content Specialist | Education New Zealand