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Asian Rock Night: A Celebration Of Diversity And Unity In Aotearoa's Music Scene

Music has the power to transform lives, and for Frank Zhao, the pulsating energy and dynamic performances within the rock genre, such as those found in bands like DragonForce, opened up a new world of possibilities. Reflecting on his own journey, Zhao not only found personal enrichment but also recognised an opportunity to amplify diverse voices within Aotearoa's music scene. "I've found friends and bandmates from diverse backgrounds, but it's not always easy for everyone," Zhao acknowledges.

Throwing his support behind the cause, Zhao has championed the creation of Asian Rock Night—an event that aims to highlight the beauty of diverse voices coming together. The event is set to take place at Ding Dong Lounge on Saturday, 13 January, starting at 7 pm, and promises an evening that challenges the status quo, forging connections, and showcasing the richness of the shared passion for rock music.

Originally from Chengdu, China, Frank Zhao arrived in New Zealand five years ago with hopes of starting a new life and finding like-minded musicians. Reflecting on his journey, Zhao shares, "Music changed my life. The first time I listened to DragonForce, it struck a chord in me that resonates to this day. The energy, speed, and soaring vocals opened a new door of possibilities. Yet, as I started my journey into rock, I noticed an underrepresentation of minorities, particularly Asians. I've been fortunate to find friends and bandmates from diverse backgrounds, but I empathize with those who might struggle to connect with like-minded individuals."

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In supporting Asian Rock Night, Zhao emphasizes the aim to create a space for fellow music enthusiasts to come together, connect, and discover local music, including the sounds of his band, House of Ousey.

One of the newly announced additions to the lineup is Kent Mori, a talented guitarist born in Japan and raised in Singapore before moving to New Zealand at the age of 14. Mori's journey with music began at a young age, and his instrumental fingerstyle guitar has captivated audiences.

"Traveling around a lot when I was younger gave me a sense of inconsistency, and music is and has been the most consistent thing in my life," says Kent Mori, reflecting on his musical journey. His addition to the lineup further enhances the diverse musical tapestry that Asian Rock Night aims to present.

The event will feature a dynamic lineup, including House of Ousey's energetic performance, the eclectic sounds of Gideon Voon, guitarist of Shepherds Reign, and his solo project. Now, with the inclusion of Kent Mori, Asian Rock Night promises to be a testament to the evolving narrative of Aotearoa's music scene—becoming more vibrant, inclusive, and reflective of the country's diverse community.

To keep the night rocking, Frank will be DJing from 7 pm, with Straydog Steve and Ginny C taking over at 9 pm, and DJ Bendezú closing the night from 12 am to 4 am. DJs will be downstairs, while live music will take place in the upstairs performance space. Tickets are available from

Join us on Saturday night for an unforgettable experience that transcends musical boundaries, fostering unity, and celebrating the kaleidoscope of voices within Aotearoa's music community.

© Scoop Media

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