Shute, Gareth

Shute, Gareth



In Brief

Gareth Shute is a writer and musician, who writes regularly for pop culture websites such as Audioculture and The Spinoff. He has also published a number of non-fiction books about the arts in New Zealand, particularly local music. He has toured the UK, Europe, US, and Australia as a member of bands such as the Brunettes and the Ruby Suns, hands-on experience which shapes the scope of his writing. Shute’s books have focused on a wide range of subject matter including hip hop music, making music in New Zealand, the history of New Zealand Rock music, and interviews with New Zealand artists.


Shute, Gareth (1973–) was born in Canada and now lives in Auckland.

A writer and a musician, Shute has written four non-fiction books about the arts in New Zealand: Hip Hop Music in Aotearoa (2004), published by Reed Publishing; Making Music in New Zealand (2005); Insights: New Zealand Artists Talk About Creativity (2006); and NZ Rock: 1987-2007 (2008) published by Random House.

Hip Hop Music in Aotearoa describes the journey of hip hop music from the fringe into the mainstream of popular culture. Gareth Shute was introduced to hip hop culture as an adolescent living in Singapore and when he returned to Auckland, he was surprised to find that rap music hadn't yet had the same impact on the North Shore as it had elsewhere in the world. The book follows the development of hip hop music in New Zealand from the old to the new, featuring in-depth interviews and photographs throughout. The book received the Montana Award for Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture at the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards (now the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards).

Making Music In New Zealand uses quotes from a wide range of local musicians to show what it is like making music in this country and what it takes to tour overseas. It is an informative work both for musicians and those who are interested in the local scene.

Insights: New Zealand Artists Talk About Creativity is a more wide-ranging book that has one-pages interviews and photographs of 52 different artists who work in varying disciplines – from fine art painters to graffiti artists; from those dancers who choreograph contemporary art to breakdancers; from classical composers to rock musicians.

NZ Rock: 1987-2007 covers the last twenty years of rock music in New Zealand – showing its progression from being hardly played on local commercial radio to becoming a major force, both locally and on the international stage.

Shute was also a contributor to the book, InForm: New Zealand Graffiti Artists Discuss Their Work, which was nominated in the Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture category at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

He has also self-published his own book, Concept Albums, which was also put out as an e-book. He currently works as a freelance music journalist. In his spare time, he is a member of garage rock group, The Conjurors, and has previously toured the UK, Europe, US, and Australia as a member of the Brunettes and the Ruby Suns.


Updated March 2017.