We’ve long been all about the music, but now we’re super excited to be giving New Zealand musicians the opportunity to showcase their music to the world. In collaboration with the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ), we’re newly launching the FUSION Soundrise Project.

The FUSION Soundrise Project will see two well-established, homegrown Kiwi brands that operate on opposite ends of the musical spectrum, but are passionate about Kiwi music, partnering to connect the arts with the commercial world. Students from all areas of MAINZ will have the opportunity to create original music, representing one of five genres, that fits a corporate creative brief provided by FUSION Entertainment. 

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In submitting their tracks to Radio Teapot, the MAINZ-run radio station, students will gain real exposure and air time in Auckland, before a panel of judges select a finalist for each genre, as well as an overall winner. The five finalist tracks will be mastered and loaded onto FUSION’s Stereo Active – a portable, purpose-built marine stereo – and distributed to FUSION’s salespeople and retailers worldwide, to be played in stores and at tradeshows. Completing the loop, students will get real world feedback from the market place and global exposure along the way. The project will select a “track of the year” based on this market feedback, which will see the winning student receive an award and cash prize.  

“Our best guess is that these students’ music will be heard in at least 42 countries,” says Marcus Hamilton, Marketing Manager for FUSION Entertainment. “The initial idea was just to run a competition, but when we teamed-up with MAINZ, we were really able to give the project heart. Now we’ve developed an ongoing programme around it with the intention of showcasing New Zealand music to the world.”

For Scott Bulloch, Tutor at MAINZ, it was giving students the opportunity to experience what it’s like to have a career in music in the real world that appealed. “The New Zealand music industry is healthy and our creative industries now generate about as much for the economy as forestry, so there are real jobs. The students that choose to take part in this project are going to learn valuable new skills around what it means to produce music to a corporate brief,” Scott explains.

“It’s also going to bring all the parts of the school together and encourage collaboration. A talented songstress will need audio engineers for mastering, and management students to get the legal and promotional boxes ticked. Creating these tracks will be a team effort.” 

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This semester’s FUSION Soundrise Project is just the start of the partnership. Harry Lyon, Dean Emeritus of MAINZ explains, “Everyone is really excited about the project, which has every department involved. At MAINZ, our focus is not only on teaching music and audio engineering, but also showing students how they can build a career out of their creativity and this partnership with FUSION Entertainment provides real world connection and feedback.”

FUSION Entertainment and MAINZ intend to run the programme each term to update the music available on the Stereo Active devices and give a new set of students a “leg up”.

“For us it was a no-brainer,” shares Marcus. “We are already playing music, so why wouldn’t we make it New Zealand music? There’s so much amazing Kiwi music that never gets the exposure it deserves. Not only that, we’re excited to be able to provide an inspiring opportunity for students.”

Stay tuned to hear the winning tracks and meet our finalist artists for the debut Soundrise Project later this term.