While COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry in general, and the music industry in particular, it also provided opportunities for some.
One such is New Zealand blues master Grant Haua, who found himself only months into a deal with French blues and roots label Dixiefrog when the pandemic struck in early 2020.
“(Dixiefrog) picked me up for my Awa Blues album and then two months later COVID hit; I was all ready to tour there, but I got hamstrung for about a year, maybe 18 months,” Haua said.
“It’s been kind of a blessing and a curse. COVID really closed up a lot of things. It’s been pretty tough out there for musicians.
“But because I was willing to work hard, I managed to pick up a lot of good gigs over there, and I kind of got my foot in the door. I finally got over there last year, and I’ve done three tours there now, I got to do (music television show) Rockpalast, one of the iconic gigs in Germany.
“The doors are starting to open up for me there now; I’m getting on French TV and I’m doing really well on the blues charts over there. Things are going pretty good, bro.”
Haua’s music, by turns pyrotechnical and heartfelt, is fueled by his heritage, his family and his connection to his homeland.
“A lot of my music stems from those strong family connections,” he said.
“A lot of songs I write are about my home. It could be about my mum, about my kids… I try to keep it simple.
“I write about the things that I love, and it works for me.”
Grant Haua performs Saturday, November 4 at Pistol Pete’s, supported by Oscar LaDell. Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 9.30pm.