New Music / New For '19

New Music: Yoko-Zuna

We're shining a spotlight on the best up and coming New Zealand artists set to dominate 2019. Meet Auckland four-piece instrumental electronic-hip hop outfit Yoko-Zuna.


Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.

Auckland’s progressive instrumental four-piece Yoko-Zuna are sure to show you something you’ve never heard before through their unique blend of electronic and hip hop compositions. The collection of supremely talented musicians have years of experience backing each of them individually, and when they come together, it is pure sonic magic.

In 2015, Yoko-Zuna announced themselves onto the music scene with their debut album This Place Here – blending electronic frequencies, melodic moments, jazz jams and hip hop beats and featuring vocals from some of the country’s most talented artists including David Dallas, Bailey Wiley, Melodownz and Team Dynamite. 

They followed things up in mid-2016 with the release of their Luminols EP, but it wasn’t until November 2018 that we got another album, the 16-track hour-long journey that is Voyager.

Through their impromptu, organic, almost-free form jazz jams and their depth of collaborators they’ve attracted throughout the years, there’s a limitlessness to their sound that can’t be imitated. Every time they bring new music to the table it sounds fresh – bringing something new to the table every time – and with the promise of more new music arriving in 2019, we want to introduce you to Yoko-Zuna.

The Story

From the beginning

“We first got together as a group back in 2014. Swap and Frank were hosting a jam night at Rakinos where we met JY and Kenji. The rehearsals felt very organic and soon after we hit a studio with no real intentions of releasing anything. Out of that came the first demos for This Place Here.” 

What you’ll hear

“We describe the sound as Electronic Progressive Hip Hop. The truth is, after four years we still don’t really know how to describe it. We write and create music to whatever emotion is inspiring us at the time.”

Influences & inspiration

“We all come from quite diverse cultural and musical backgrounds. Someone will come into rehearsal and play a track one of the boys hadn’t heard before and an idea might be born then. There are no boundaries, there’s inspiration in everything around us. And food. We love dom road.”

For the love of music

“As artists, our music is our craft. As an instrumental band we’re often just making beats and people can interpret them to mean anything they want depending on what they’re going through at the time. Music for us is pure expression of an emotion or moment in time.”

Kicking goals

“Playing R&A midnight slot was pretty dope. Freddie’s finished, the fireworks went off and then we hit the stage. It was sick.”

The hard yards

“Our biggest challenge has been trying to explain what genre we are to people.”

The year ahead

“In 2019, the plan is to release more music. Voyagertook a while to finish and we learnt a lot along the way. This year we’ll be pumping out beats.”

Essential Listening

Yoko-Zuna – Voltron

“Definitely our most high energy, gritty, crowd mover. Created at a bach in Matarangi. Frank went nuts with some new sounds on his keyboard and low and behold.”

Yoko-Zuna – The Lovecraft Mixtape

“P-Money produced this one. It took more than a year of demos and studio sessions to get to the final. We recorded it at Stebbings.”

Yoko-Zuna – Chunky Munky

“Uses a sample from one of our other tracks Peace Of Mind. We bumped up the tempo and added some layers to make it a dance track.”

Check out the rest of our New For ’19 feature artists here.

Keep up to date with everything Ticketmaster New Music right here.

Share post