With their unique blend of soul and rock with smatterings of dubstep and drum'n'bass, Six60 have quickly risen through the ranks to be one of New Zealand's biggest musical success stories of 2012.
Despite their self-titled debut being less than a year old, it has already gone triple platinum in their home country, spawned five hit singles, including a No. 1, and seen Australian dance music legend Paul Mac remix two of its tracks. The band's vocalist and guitarist Matiu Walters is finding it hard to come to grips with the album's roaring success.
"To be honest, it's been such a whirlwind journey so far that I haven't had a chance to sit back and take it all in," he says. "It's hard to consider ourselves 'successful' I suppose. We didn't really expect anything to happen, but it's pretty incredible that our first album has done what it's done. Going triple platinum, it allows us to do pretty good things in Australia."
Last in Australia to play small club shows in April, they return this month for their biggest tour to date, including a stop at Metro City in Northbridge. The five-piece's success isn't only restricted to the southern hemisphere, as they have just completed their first European tour to more packed houses.
"Obviously there was a pretty strong expat contingent but the shows went crazy," Walters says. "We did three sell-out shows in front of almost 3000 people. We were thinking there would be nothing but Kiwis at the shows, but we were really surprised with the local turnout."
Six60 are also heading to the US before the year is out to play New York's famed industry showcase CMJ Music Marathon and a run of their own headline shows. They recently scored some much- desired coverage in the States as their single Forever appeared on a broadcast of the country's biggest motorsport event, the Indianapolis 500, much to the surprise of the band themselves.
"We didn't know too much about that whole thing," Walters admits. "We knew there was a company in the States who wanted to use the track for whatever reason it was. We said they could take it because any exposure over there is good exposure from our viewpoint.
"Then when they finished the video, they sent through the final cut to see what we thought about it, and then we put it on and it was the Indie 500. So we were really surprised about that, so now millions of people have heard the song, and it's popped up on heaps of radio stations over there, and that's pretty cool."
As they wind down touring their debut, Walters is already looking forward to facing the challenge of album number two. "It's definitely a different feeling," he says of the band's new material. "They say you've got your whole life to make your first album, and a year or two to write your second, so it's quite exciting." <div class="endnote">