Bronson Price has scored a slot at next year's Laneway Festival - and the local rapper still can't believe how it happened.
Price, a 26-year-old from Avondale who performs under the name MeloDownz, has been confirmed on the bill for Auckland's annual music festival in Albert Park.
He'll be playing alongside big names like headliners Anderson Paak and Mac De Marco, as well as The War on Drugs, Bill Eilish, Wolf Alice and Amy Shark, who were announced in today's full line-up release.
But Laneway co-promoter Mark Kneebone has revealed the chance event that saw Price land a spot on the bill.
It happened when Kneebone heard one of Price's songs blasting from his office neighbours on Karangahape Road.
"They had an advance copy of the record," says Kneebone, "and (my neighbours) have a habit of playing things at an inappropriate volume level."
Shortly afterwards, Price found a random email from Kneebone in his inbox. "He asked if I'd be keen to play Laneway. I was like, 'Yo, of course'."
A slot at Albert Park summer festival is a big score for the rising rapper, who has just returned from a short European jaunt.
But Price says he's not taking the spot for granted, and he'll use it to play many of the songs from the EP Kneebone heard his neighbours blasting.
Called Avontales, the follow-up to his debut Beginners Luck tells ultra-personal stories about some grim times Price experience growing up in the Auckland suburb.
Kneebone says it's those stories, including school violence and home invasions, that give MeloDownz "a local authenticity to the way he portrays life in Auckland".
"It really connects and endears him to his fans," says Kneebone. "I wouldn't say he is the only musician telling these kinds of tales but the level of honesty with which he delivers them definitely makes him stand out."
It won't be Price's first time at Laneway: he played there a few years ago with his group Third Eye. But he's planning something special for his first solo performance.
"I want to make (Laneway) special," he says. "I've got bangers ... I'll get a three-piece band together, do it live."
But he still shakes his head at how he landed a gig at one of his favourite festivals.
"Me playing as a solo artist is just next level to me. It's crazy."
Who: Rapper Bronson Price aka Melodownz
Where and when: Performing at Auckland's Laneway Music Festival, Albert Park, January 29
Also: New EP Avontales, out now here