Students launch competition to “make a bop in your bubble”

Tiare Kelly

Tiare Kelly performing live as part of BENÉE's band.

Three Massey University students and musicians have launched a 24-hour song competition to inspire youth to make music in a time of upheaval for the music industry.

Third-year College of Creative Arts music students Tiare Kelly, Ian Moore and Dylan Clark decided to get creative after their tours and gigs were cancelled, due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

They’ve created Bubble Bop, a competition where participants write and record a ‘bop’ in their ‘bubble’ within 24 hours, using only the music equipment in their house.

The competition will be judged by three New Zealand acts: globally successful pop artist BENÉE, electronic duo Sachi and indie band Soaked Oats, along with music industry experts.

Ms Kelly and Mr Dylan, who play guitar and bass respectively in BENÉE’s band, came up with the concept after their biggest international tour yet was cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

“With the loss of all my gigs and main source of income, I was left with a large amount of time and the pressure to create, so Dylan and I decided to challenge ourselves by creating a song within 24 hours,” says Ms Kelly. 

The challenge “put a frame around the chaos of creativity, tested my musical perspective and pushed me to have self-discipline,” she says. This sparked the idea to create a competition for youth.

“The kaupapa of Bubble Bop is to encourage young aspiring musicians to give writing and composing a go. If they can do it during a pandemic, then they’re capable of anything. Long term, we hope this experience creates pathways for young people into a career in music,” she says.

Mr Kelly says it was quite a fun process having to write a song with certain requirements in a certain amount of time. “I feel like Bubble Bop is a fun way to get creative in these odd times and to spark some inspiration and motivation!”

Along with Ian Moore, drummer in the hardcore band Severed Beliefs, the students are a part of the Something Something collective, a student initiative set up to foster the talents of Wellington’s up and coming musicians, DJs, promoters and music techs.

“I thought it would be something enjoyable for musicians like myself to do in these weird times - considering the possibility of being a touring and gigging musician is difficult at the moment,” says Mr Moore. 

The competition is open to anyone, and will run from 12pm Saturday 13 June – 12pm Sunday 14 June with a cash prize of $1000 for each category.  The three genre categories are Indie, Pop/R&B and Remix, and each category will have an assigned judging panel of either BENÉE, Soaked Oats or Sachi.

Participants that reach the top 15 of the competition will get feedback from their judge alongside music industry figures Rodney Fisher – New Zealand Music Commission, Victoria Kelly – APRA AMCOS, Damian Vaughan - Recorded Music New Zealand, and David Ridler – New Zealand on Air.

Visit the Something Something website for more information, or email to register now.

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa