Play It Strange

Shining the spotlight on songs in schools

The Who Loves Who Competition 2017

This competition is now open for entries and closes May 19th 2017. For more details go here

2016 Play It Strange Album

A mix of Lion Foundation finalists with Peace Song, Vector Wero and Get Connected Songwriting Competition winners

I Know This To Be True was conceived and assembled by Geoff Blackwell of PQ Blackwell, and Ric Salizzo. It is a book about truth, beauty and wisdom. "Sixty New Zealanders in the middle of interesting lives talk about what really matters, truth and beauty, and the things they hold dear to their hearts."

Royalties from the book sales will be forwarded to PLAY IT STRANGE to further their website and school programmes.

I Know This To Be True is an incredible collection of New Zealanders discussing what it is that is important to them. PQ Blackwell have generously donated all profits from book sales to Play It Strange. We cannot thank them enough for their support of Play It Strange, and we are so grateful to be part of such a rich, inspiring project.

The book is available for purchase from any good book store in New Zealand and online. Go and get one and enjoy!

About us

Come inside our world

Play It Strange shines the spotlight into NZ schools and brings into the light the great songs that are written there. Songwriting is a craft of the imagination and we believe that the creative environment surrounding songwriters should foster, expose and celebrate these songs. 

We run songwriting competitions with lyric, maori language, Peace Song awards and others alongside. And we record at least 40 finalists each year in professional recording studios. Songwriting, performance, and recording are the three pivots of our music evolution.

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Songwriting is now an NCEA achievement standard

Songwriting will be offered as Level 3 NCEA achievement standard beginning 2017 - a victory!
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Get Involved

Strange Friends

Patrons, Strange Friend Stars and our Strange Friends are a crucial and valuable community that support us.

Open this page and see who they are. And we would love you to come on board. All donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in becoming a Platinum Patron or Strange Friends Star or indeed support Play It Strange in any way please give us a call, we would love to catch up and talk.

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'Grateful' Video

'Grateful' is winner of the 2016 Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition. Listen here.

"I'm so damn grateful for all the people I see"

Written and recorded by Daniel Blakelock ft. BEEZ & ACHIM. 
Directed By Ashcon Street Proz.
A massive thanks to NZ On Air for their Making Tracks grant.

Who Loves Who Competition 2017

Now open for entries. Closes Friday 19th May
Go HERE for entry forms
Supported by a Music Grant from Recorded Music NZ Competition
Closes Friday 19 May 2017

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Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition

The Lion Foundation songwriting competition is open to all secondary school students in NZ. The words and music are judged equally.

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Peace Song Competition

This competition seeks songs written with the lyrics embodying a lyrical focus on Peace. The theme of peace and nonviolence may be interpreted broadly from inner personal peace, peace in the home and among families to peace between people of the world.

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Vector Wero Songwriting Competition

Play It Strange with Vodafone Events Centre and Vector Wero presents a songwriting competition to celebrate the new Vector Wero Whitewater Park for school students, individuals and groups in the Auckland region.

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Study songwriting at University of Waikato

Songwriting will be offered as a course at University of Waikato beginning early 2017.
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What we do

We do all sorts of cool projects

Play It Strange has worked for over 10 years, striving to provide secondary students with a platform they can use to pursue their musical adventures. We've held concerts, workshops and competitions, all with the intentions to provide the right environment from which students can gain confidence, self-belief and an impetus for a career path they would like to follow.

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Listen to more of our songs here

The songs on our Bandcamp are free to stream and download. Go crazy. They are there for your listening.


See what our Alumni are up to

Play It Strange songwriters that have had their songs recorded for the annual CD are making cool inroads out into the world. Their career paths were fuelled from their time at school during which they sent their songs into our competitions and triumphed.

Here we have a selection of those who hit the ground running when they left school. With songwriting, performance and recording experience they were capable and poised for action.

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Happy customers and clients

CUSTOMERS: Those philanthropic institutions, individuals, grants bodies and funding agencies. We applaud their generosity in supporting us and their focus on the benefits we bring to the society around us.

CLIENTS: The songwriters and performers that bring their imaginative craft and performing skills to bear and we are all rewarded. From the secondary school songwriting competitions to the recording sessions for the top 40 songs.

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Thanks to our incredible supporters