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Arjuna Oakes, 2020 Springboard Recipient

Arjuna Oakes, 2020 Springboard Recipient

Arjuna Oakes’s Biography

Last Updated:
5/05/2022, 9:36 am
Arts Foundation Springboard 2020,
"I am hugely honoured and privileged to be a springboard recipient, and it caught me quite off guard to be honest! I’m extremely excited to be able to work with my mentor John Psathas, and I hope to further my compositional approaches and be challenged creatively throughout this coming year. It gives me immense pride to now be a part of the arts foundation community, and has instilled in me a renewed sense of confidence to make my creative voice heard with future projects."

Arjuna Oakes is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Currently based in Wellington, he’s been performing since he was 6. Arjuna is a striking and assured new talent. This young artist demonstrates a profound understanding of his medium, which he complements with powerful, original sonic language. His music is inspired by jazz, soul, folk and world music, often exploring social issues through a distinctly personal lens. He has a fresh new voice, and shines with integrity and optimism Arjuna will benefit greatly from the Springboard package with mentoring and financial support.

Arjuna will be mentored by John Psathas ONZM

John Psathas is regarded as one of the most talented composers of his generation. From genre-crossing projects with jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman, to an innovative e-book scoring collaboration with Salman Rushdie, from an unforgettable recording session with the Grand Mufti in Paris's Grand Mosque, to a Billboard classical-chart-topping album with System of a Down front man Serj Tankian, John's musical journey weaves through a myriad of genres, and has moved concert audiences in more than 50 countries on all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica). John's music has achieved a level of international success unprecedented in New Zealand history, and he is also now considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora.

We check-in with Arjuna and John to see how the award has impacted their lives one-year down the track.