Culturally, music and sport both capture the notion that you could be from any background and achieve greatness.
The necessary obsession, the honing of skills, visualisation, maintaining a healthy team culture, staying present, staying motivated, overcoming setbacks, and the constant pressure to perform are all aspects relevant to both sport and music.
"I'm so excited for the chance to chat with Kieran about what the Aotearoa music industry might learn from the high performance world of New Zealand sport. Performing under pressure has always been a reality for touring musicians, often with little support or guidance on how to train, care for yourself and how to cultivate the right mindset for a long career.
New Zealand Rugby has long dominated the world stage and I hope to discuss and unpack what New Zealand music could look like with the same approach of leaving nothing to chance, learning to be effective under all circumstances and achieving your best in an increasingly competitive global environment.”
- Bic Runga
Since the release of her first single Drive in 1996 – Bic Runga (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine) has been awarded almost every musical honour in New Zealand, including the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Award. Bic has won the most Tui Awards (New Zealand Music Awards) by any individual, ever (twenty).
She has won Best Female Vocalist four times and Best Producer three times. Runga was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006 and in 2016 she was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. In 2023, Runga performed a sold-out tour across Aotearoa and Australia in celebration of the 20 Year Anniversary of her 11 x Platinum Beautiful Collision album - and was honoured by Rolling Stone with the Rolling Stone Icon Award.
Kieran spent 15 years playing professional rugby in New Zealand and Japan before retiring in 2021. Playing over 150 games for the Crusaders and 127 tests for All Blacks. A 4-time super rugby and 2 times Rugby World Cup winner, Read captained both the Crusaders and All Blacks for long periods, becoming the second most capped All Black captain of all time with 52 tests.
He has completed an applied management degree and a diploma of sport and exercise science. With a passion for leadership and helping others improve, rugby has given him ultimate lessons and learning opportunities in the leadership space. Working in a high-performance team, being involved in establishing team culture and performing under pressure to name a few. Kieran now passes on these lessons through his business, Kieran Read Leadership.
"A fire-breathing R&B belter on her own terms" says Rolling Stone about Tami Neilson. And The Guardian reviewed her most recent album with this glowing praise: "The award-winning singer’s effortless fifth album channels Patsy Cline and features a soaring duet with fan Willie Nelson... An imperious talent."
Tami Neilson has been breaking glass ceilings and raising the bar for Aotearoa songwriters for many years, and knows all about the challenges of cultivating a sustainable international career.