First time on the road


To the relief of hotel owners everywhere, there won’t be any TVs being chucked out of the window when Auckland musos Round Buddha hit the road.

The five-piece band is getting ready to embark on their first ever tour, which will include a gig at Yonder on Saturday.

Formed in 2014, the band went through a line-up change in 2016 when saxophonist Pavel Kazinets left and vocalist Holly Afoa and rapper Jackson Lester joined.

It now features Afoa, Jackson Lester, Sam Nash (bass), Tom Taylor (keys/synths), and Chris Townsend (drums).

Lester describes their sound as “hip hop neo-soul jazz fusion”.

“It’s summer music, you want to be out in the sunshine having a drink and dancing.”

They’ve been playing gigs for “a year and a bit”, but haven’t ventured much past Auckland – until now.

“We’re hoping to have some fun, have a good time.”

They’re excited for their first ever tour, but things won’t be getting too crazy on the road, Lester says.

“It’s all fairly self-funded, so it’s not like it’s going to be eight weeks together on a massive bender – which I would love, don’t get me wrong,” he laughs.

“There won’t be any TVs getting thrown out of hotel windows or anything.”

Lester’s an engineer by trade, and the others have 9-5 jobs as well.

That means the tour is limited to weekends.

It’s part of an exciting year for the band, which released two new singles earlier this month.

Lester says they’ll also be heading across the ditch to Australia, and are looking to follow up a performance at last year’s Rhythm and Vines with another summer on the festival circuit.

“Splore is top of our list.”

They’re also hoping to release more music, and eventually pull together and album, he says.

“We haven’t got a big collection of music right now, we haven’t got a cohesive theme for an album, but we’re hoping to have some new projects out.”

They’ll be supported by Wanaka muso Phoebe James at their Queenstown gig.

Lester says they’re hoping for a “decent turnout” on Saturday.

“I’ve got zero idea how turnout is going to go outside of Auckland.

“From what I’ve been hearing, we might be pleasantly surprised.”

To catch Round Buddha, head along to Yonder on Saturday, 8pm, free entry.