New Zealand music will be celebrated at Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s The NZ Mix Tape the when APO join beloved Kiwi musicians Nadia Reid, Liam Finn and Anna Coddington to perform some of our most iconic songs. Express talks to Liam Finn about singing in Bic’s octave and working with FAFSWAG.

What makes this concert a must see for NZ music fans?

It’s always a treat to get to hear a live orchestra and the APO is a brilliant one. There’s something pretty magical about that many people making music together. It makes the energy of a song tangible and accentuates the emotion. Anna and Nadia have beautiful voices and looking at the setlist I can safely say this will be a very evening.

What song are you most looking forward to performing at APO’s The NZ Mix Tape?


Apart from the fact that I am very excited to hear a couple of my own songs orchestrated, I am very excited to sing Bic Runga’s Drive. I still remember the first time I heard that song and always appreciated its stark beauty. It has such a lot of weight for such a stripped back song, I can’t wait to hear how we interpret it and I hope I can do it justice. I am tossing up whether to sing it in a lower octave or in the same as Bic’s. Hmm… maybe both?

What was the inspiration behind working with FAFSWAG on your recent ‘Where’s my room’ video? 

We were interested in exploring a lateral take on the song’s title. The idea of searching for where we fit in or belong – as humans and even more importantly as people of the South Pacific. We immediately got excited about the prospect of approaching FAFSWAG after independently discovering their work over the last few years. Their collective is awe-inspiring on a multitude of levels, and between their strong socio-political standings as indigenous LGBTQ+ artists and their mesmerising imagery and movement, we thought FAFSWAG were the perfect collaborators to help us explore a broader sense of belonging. 

What do you consider to be the greatest kiwi song that you wrote and the greatest kiwi song that you didn’t write?

My favourite song I’ve written that has a sense of Aotearoa is called Neurotic World. I wrote it at Piha and it somewhat reflects my appreciation of coming from a country that is relatively secluded and when the urgency and neurosis of the rest world can make you spin, we have somewhere to centre ourselves and rejuvenate. 

One kiwi song that always makes me feel and cry is Andy by the Front Lawn. 

The NZ Mix Tape is on for one night only, Tuesday 11 June, at The Civic. Tickets from