Sola Rosa live at George In The Park - Pt. Chevalier, Auckland
George In The Park – Pt. Chevalier, Auckland, NZ. Photo by Blake Jones

Sola Rosa is the brainchild of New Zealand musician, Andrew Spraggon.

Creating an evolving infusion of funk, beats, electronic, jazz and soul has been the 20-plus year labour of love for this Auckland-based solo artist, who has produced a wealth of recordings since launching as an experimental recording project in 1999.

While funk and soul may be the driving force behind Spraggon’s sound, his musical influences incorporate a myriad of genres. Beginning with the laid back instrumentalism of debut EP Entrance To Skyway (2000), debut long player Solarized (2001) and Haunted Out-Takes (2003), Spraggon flipped the script and embraced collaboration for 2005’s aptly named Moves On. Living by his mantra of “If you want to sound better, you have to work with other people”, Moves On’s inclusion of guest vocalists and musicians on this release underpinned the way forward, paving the way for a remarkable list of collaborators who’ve all added their own magic to the Sola Rosa sound over the years.

World tours, Festival circuits and a collection of EP’s and remix albums later, including 2009’s hit album Get It Together, the funk-infused Low and Behold, High and Beyond (2012), the synth and beats focussed Magnetics (2014), and follow-up EP In Spaces (2018) have seen Spraggon push the Sola Rosa sound further into international waters, mirroring his desire to continually grow, experiment and connect to the world of music makers.

Sola Rosa’s history is littered with Number 1 releases, awards and critical acclaim in his home country of New Zealand, with accolades spanning over a decade. Highlights include a Number 1 album on iTunes and the IMZN Music Charts, multiple bNet and VNZMA nominations and awards for Best Electronica Album, Best Independent Release, Best Producer and Best Dance/Electronic Album.

Sola Rosa live
Photograph by Ainsley DS

Spraggon now prepares to begin his next musical chapter with the release of new long player, Chasing The Sun. Five years in the making, and honed to perfection, the album includes a heavy hitting line-up of vocalists, including regular collaborator and Streets singer, Kevin Mark Trail, Basement Jaxx’ long term collaborator Sharlene Hector and genre-defying, rising UK reggae star Kiko Bun. Other collaborators include London singer/songwriter Josh Barry, London’s eclectic Neo-Soul singer Jerome Thomas, British reggae and dub MC vocalist Eva Lazarus plus up and coming Australian artist Thandi Phoenix. Closer to home, ex-pat Kiwi vocalist Wallace and Aotearoa’s own musical maverick, Troy Kingi add their talents to the mix.

On the musical tip, Spraggon is aided by Jeremy Toy (Guitar), Julien Dyne (Drums/Percussion), Lewis McCallum (Brass/Wind/Keys) and long term Rosa band members Dixon Nacey (Guitar), Matt Short (Bass) and Peter Leupolo (Keyboards), who, along with a further collection of kiwi musicians, contribute the live-recorded instrumentation to the album.

Chasing The Sun is a perfectly produced and executed journey through the universe of soul, funk and everywhere in between. Album releases Spring 2020.

Sola Rosa live at Titirangi Festival, Auckland
Titirangi Festival, Auckland, NZ Photo by Dave Simpson