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Kirsten persuaded Concert FM to give her a job filing CDs, switched over to National soon after, and has been at Radio New Zealand ever since. She’s learning to play the banjo.

Kirsten’s first instrument, at the age of three, was the chanter from her Dad’s set of bagpipes – Dad needed to provide some of the puff. She also credits him with her penchant for prog-rock. Kirsten spent her teenage years listening to loud and obnoxious music in Hawkes Bay and Whanganui, while honing her classical flute playing skills on the side. She sometimes left flutes at bus stops, but they always came back. Kirsten has an honours degree in performance flute, but decided that being in an orchestra, with someone waving a stick at her, was not the right choice. 

Kirsten played in Rhian Sheehan’s band for a while, hosted some shows on Radioactive, and made a lot of coffee. After a stint in TV post-production, she persuaded Concert FM to give her a job filing CDs, switched over to National soon after, and has been at Radio New Zealand ever since. She’s learning to play the banjo and likes murder ballads.

Content by Kirsten

Headquarters: Ria Hall

We visit singer Ria Hall in beautiful Tauranga Moana

Headquarters: In the studio with Grayson Gilmour

Hanging out with a musical polymath.

The XX: ‘Back together and closer than ever’

Introverted English minimalists The XX have expanded their sound palette on their third album, I See You.

Headquarters: The All Seeing Hand

In the depths of Upper Hutt, no-one can hear the screams.

Soft Hair, stand-up and the surreal world of Connan Mockasin

Psychedelic-pop crafter Connan Mockasin’s new collaborative album is the soundtrack to a yet-to-be-made film about a race of human-lizards.

APRA Silver Scrolls: top five finalists revealed

The shortlist for the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award has been announced.

Ladyhawke on her new album: 'I really wanted to make positive music'

Pip Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, is in a good place right now. She talks to Kirsten Johnstone about what got her there.

Interview: Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock talks "Strangers To Ourselves" and the unexpected ways he's been filling in his time off.

Live session: Pokey Lafarge

Pokey LaFarge on achieving timelessness with his music and the complex social issues that inspire his songs.

Live session: The Lonesome Pine Specials

The Lonesome Pine Specials dust off some old-timey US folk songs.

Live session: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten gives us some background to her highly personal tales of failed relationships.

Interview: Mogwai

Known for their uncomfortably loud shows, Mogwai talk about their evolution and how their hearing is holding up.

Nadia Reid: By way of Port Chalmers

Nadia Reid’s debut full-length album Listen To Formation, Look For The Signs is the culmination of ten years' writing.

Jakob: Highs, lows and hand injuries

Sines is a fitting title from Jakob's new album - it reflects the band's undulating sound of as well as the rollercoaster ride they've had getting it out.

Introducing: Bad Blocks

Bad Blocks started out making party music, but now they aren't so worried about tracks for the dancefloor.

A few words with Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis

Dinosaur Jr's frontman J Mascis is a man of few words, but Kirsten Johnstone manages to extract a few about meditation, his guru, and his new solo album Tied to a Star.

Kerretta makes some new noise

“All ideas were possible, everything was available." Experiential rock band Kerretta break out into new territory on their third album, Pirohia.

The mighty Jungle

The British music media have labelled Jungle, from the UK, as “the most exciting band in the world”.

Kate Tempest: Getting the word out

"Rap is a literary form for me. It's as important as poetry, as playwriting, as novel writing – but it's very different," says Kate Tempest.

Women in rock music

Music 101 producer Kirsten Johnstone says at 16 she never would have thought she'd be interviewing the Pixies for a living.

Suren Unka: Moved by the beat

In the lead up to the release of his album El Chupacabra, Suren Unka talks to Kirsten Johnstone.

Introducing: Marla Jean

Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music.Your time ... starts ... Now!

No business like the music business

Business commentators on the music industry, and my predictions for 2014...

Playing catch-up

I swore I’d never be one of those people who stopped listening to new music ...

Contact Kirsten