"There's a disadvantage in terms of connecting to an audience because New Zealand is a small country and you can't really survive off a cult audience. But having said that, the cultural isolation and the fact that you probably aren't really going to make it add an imperative to achieve on a more aesthetic level, as opposed to a more financial level. If you don't think you can succeed any other way, you've got to try and be true to your heart." -- New Zealand's pulsing electronica, New Zealand Herald (2001-06-08)

 

 
 Sean Donnelly (SJD)
Image by Deborah Smith 

SJD is the nom-de-disque of Auckland-based musician Sean James Donnelly.  Since his first self-released album 3 SJD has unleashed a series of five albums for the Round Trip Mars label. Amongst those, Lost Soul Music introduced a wider audience to Sean's unique vision with songs like Tree People and A Boy, while Southern Lights picked up two Tuis in the 2005 NZ Music Awards and included Superman, You're Crying and the much licensed, The Clean sampling From A To B Or Not To Be.  Subsequent album Songs From A Dictaphone and Dayglo Spectres further solidified Sean's impeccable reputation with stone cold classics like Beautiful Haze, I Wrote This Song For You and No Telling Where. 

Following a stint as co-producer and keyboard player in Neil Finn's Pajama Club, and marshalling an all-star cast for the Breast Cancer Foundation release of Chris Knox's Not Given Lightly, Sean has returned to his solo synthesized roots with a set of new songs on the 2012 release Elastic Wasteland.

After almost unanimous 5/5 star reviews Elastic Wasteland was chosen by IMNZ (Independent Music New Zealand) members and a panel of judges as the winner of the hotly contested 2013 Taite Prize

Words

2012
Album review: SJD - Elastic Wasteland
By Scott Kara (New Zealand Herald)

Video

2013
Sean James Donnelly (SJD) speaks about the 'Elastic Wasteland' album - one of the seven finalists in the Taite Music Prize 2013.
2007
"Beautiful Haze" from SJD's album "Songs From A Dictaphone"
2005
Music video of SJD's song 'Southern Lights' of the self-titled album released in 2004 through Round Trip Mars/Universal Music NZ. This track was re-mixed by Kid Loco and is available on the Picnmix edition of Southern Lights (2005)
2004
Music video of SJD's song 'Superman, You're Crying' from the album Southern Lights, released 2004 (Round Trip Mars/Universal NZ)

Audio

2013
Poet Ian Wedde, actor Stuart Devenie and singer-wongwriter Sean James Donnelly (SJD) discuss why they create their work.Steve Braunias and Paul Bushnall also contribute.

Galleries

20032012
SJD he has taken the popular music conventions of the last few decades and push, pulled and propelled them into new shapes, deserving equally to be credited as a composer of the highest order.
Mark Amery
1968
Born
1999
Album debut album 3
2001
Album Lost Soul Music
2004
Album Southern Lights
2005
Shared the NZ Music Tui Award for Best Producer and Best Engineer, with Angus McNaughton, for Southern Lights
2006
Co-produced Don McGlashan's  album Warm Hand
2007
Album Songs from a Dictaphone
2008
Album Dayglo Spectres (collaboration)
2009
Formed The Bellbirds with Sandy Mill, Victoria Kelly and Don McGlashan
2012
Album Elastic Wasteland
2011
Participated in Neil Finn's Pajama Club project
2012
Produced an all-star cover version of Chris Knox's Not Given Lightly for NZ Breast Cancer Foundation
2013
Winner of the Taite Prize for Electric Wasteland; Arts Foundation New Generation award recipient