Bio & Press
Sola Rosa is the on-going, ever-evolving project of Andrew Spraggon, Aotearoa New Zealand’s foremost, critically acclaimed and successful beat-maker, songwriter and producer.
An alchemist in the studio who amalgamates elements of soul, R’n’B, funk, jazz, hip-hop, pop and more, Spraggon is an intuitive collaborator who places emerging talent alongside established artists to create music which is warm, distinctive and polished.After a short period as singer/guitarist in the rock band Cicada in the mid 90s, Spraggon escaped the constraints of indie.rock to explore the wider palette and colours of the studio.
“In the 80s I grew up with synth pop, then a lot of post-punk. Things took a turn in the 90s when my influences changed and I started to dig artists like Funkadelic, James Brown and Public Enemy. Shortly after this I discovered labels such as Ninja Tune, Mo Wax, Guidance and a series of compilations called Dope On Plastic. I was also heavily influenced by producers like David Holmes, DJ Shadow and Howie B.”
“Prior to that I was just a total indie rock kid, however I did scratch that rock itch in the early Rosa days playing bass guitar in Shayne P. Carter’s Dimmer for four years.”
And so Sola Rosa was born: his debut album Solarized picking up Best Electronica album at the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards and the start of a remarkable musical journey.
His 20 year-plus Sola Rosa project has seen Spraggon working with international artists like Tom Bailey (Thompson Twins/International Observer) as well as locals such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, signing to global distributors and touring internationally playing at huge festivals (Secret Garden Party, Green Man, Kendal Calling among many others).
“Moves On, my third album, was a very conscious jump from being a solo studio project to a more collaborative and touring collective. Sola Rosa had been my response to being in bands for many years and wanting to go it alone, however I eventually realised my limitations as a musician and the importance of collaboration.”
Del Ray from his fourth album Get It Together garnered more than 11 million streams, his 2015 album Magnetics featured singers who all lived outside of Aotearoa New Zealand, his seventh album Chasing the Sun picked up enthusiastic reviews at home and in international publications, such as Britain’s Mojo which awarded it four stars noting, “Spraggon has always had a finely tuned pop-groove ear but Chasing the Sun lifts him to a whole new level of excellence”.
“I don’t consider myself a front man or a songwriter, more a beat-maker, though those beats end up becoming songs. My method of writing usually starts with an idea inspired by a sample. I then add layers and eventually collaborate with other musicians and featured artists.”
“I look at albums as a body of work, something tangible that represents a period in an artist’s life. An album is much more difficult to make than a single and that alone makes you work harder to ensure each track matters.”
Andrew Spraggon is currently preparing the special, limited edition double-vinyl reissue of his Get It Together album, rehearsing for summer concerts and preparing material for his eighth Sola Rosa album.
Discography & Press
2020: Chasing the Sun (album)
Way Up Recordings / Kartel Music Group
“Spraggon has always had a finely tuned pop-groove ear but Chasing the Sun lifts him to a whole new level of excellence” – Mojo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
“Chasing The Sun is a perfect mix of funk, soul and jazz” – Radioaktiv.it. Italy
Selected in the JB Hi-Fi Guide to Essential Vinyl 2021: “Crafted over a long time, in the manner of making a fine wine”
Finalist, Best Electronic album 2021 Aotearoa NZ Music Awards
Also: Chasing the Sun; Deluxe Edition (2021 album); Chasing the Sun; Instrumentals (2021 album)
2018: In Spaces (EP)
Way Up Recordings
“A plethora of sounds to create music that you can dive into, peeling back each layer, discovering something new every time you make your way through” – Yasmin Brown, elsewhere.co.nz
2015: Magnetics (album)
Way Up Recordings / Agogo Records
“Eleven canny songs which are integrated through a downbeat r’n’b vibe which also has a warmth that is going to work well come longer and hotter days.” elsewhere.co.nz.
Finalist, Best Electronic album 2015 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Winner, Soul/R&B release in the iTunes Best of 2014 NZ Awards
2010: Low and Behold, High and Beyond (album)
Way Up Recordings / Agogo Records
“Blooms with sensuality and sass” – Rolling Stone
Finalist, Best Electronic 2012 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Also: Low and Behold, High and Beyond Deluxe Edition (2013 album), Low and Behold, High and Beyond the remixes (2014 album)
2009: Get It Together (album)
Way Up Recordings / Melting Pot Music
“Sola Rosa needed to produce something special to confirm their point of difference, and they have delivered with this session of solid soul-funk” – Rip It Up
Finalist Best Dance/Electronic 2009 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Finalist Best Producer 2009 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Also: Get It Together Deluxe Edition (2009 album), Get It Together (2010 remix album), Get It Together Instrumentals (2010 album), Get It Together (2012 remix EP)
2005: Moves On (album)
“It’s all about a bigger, more human sound achieved by the recruitment of a full band for both the recording and touring of “Moves On”. No more flying solo, at least, for now.” – Bandcamp
Finalist, Best Dance/Electronica 2006 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
Finalist, Best Engineer 2006 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards
2003: Haunted Out-takes (album)
“a natural successor to Solarized, ten perfectly proportioned pieces of possessed palaver” – Bandcamp
Winner, Best Downbeat Release at the 2004 bNet Awards
Also: The Ready Now EP (2003)
2001: Solarized (album)
Winner, Best Electronic album, 2002 New Zealand Music Awards
Also: Solarized: Refreshed (2013 album)
2000: Entrance to the Skyway (EP)
Independent release then FMR (Festival Mushroom Records)
Winner b-Net’s Best Independent Release of the Year Award as voted for by New Zealand listeners nationwide.
1999: Starter for 4 (EP)