AAA Records powers away at the start of 2017

AAA Records artist Domingo Candelario

AAA Records artist Domingo Candelario

AAA Records has hit the ground running at the start of 2017.

The Helensville-based label, which operates out of Red Room Studios, late last year released, Ain't No Time Machine, the debut EP from Kaipara College teens Flint Water Express, and Auckland-based Cuban musician Domingo Candelario's debut album Revolucion.

Adding to the eclectic mix is Sand, the debut album by Miss Peach and the Travelling Bones, which is out on January 29 and Gypsy, the new release by Tony Daunt, featuring The Dauntless, which lands on Valentine's Day.

"It's the way the cards landed really," says AAA's owner TeMatera Smith.  "As a small label we don't release a lot of albums each year.  They tend to be projects that the label has a real passion for and so we spent a lot of time talking about when to release the various albums and whether to hold off on some of them or not.  There's no real crossover though, as all of the artists are working in quite different genres of music."

One of the more interesting artists among AAA's latest batch of releases is Candelario, who records under his Christian name. He contacted the label, through its website, after spending 15 years living in London, England, and then moving to New Zealand.

"He was really feeling quite isolated musically, creatively and culturally," Smith says.  "I couldn't really help much with the latter but because I was a Brit I guess he he could relate to me.  We started working together on a new album, which is in pre-production, and then he played me Revolucion, which had never been released in New Zealand, and we decided to go with that first.

"As a label, I guess we are a bit unusual in the sense that we don't labour too much over the traditional conventions in the music industry.  It's more a word of mouth thing. We don't have the huge promotional budgets that a lot of labels have so we just do the best we can.  What's really exciting for me personally is the diversity of the music we are putting out, which is exactly what the intention was when we launched."

At the other extreme, are Flint Water Express.

"They are absolutely incredible young musicians," Smith says.  "I have known them since they were all probably around 13 or 14.  They are from Kaipara College, which is in Helensville where we are based.  What I find astonishing about them is that they are young men and they are playing the kind of rock'n'roll music you associate with classic rock but it just comes so naturally to them."


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