Recording My Song

Recording Session Information for
Play It Strange Finalists 2023

* See individual competitions for deadlines

If you are a finalist in one of our competitions, you will have the opportunity to have your song professionally recorded.

PlayIt Strange will fund your recording session to the value of $750 (+GST) and that will allow you to record your song to a high standard at a professional recording studio in NZ. This is generally considered to be one day in the studio. While the choice of studio is yours, we are very happy to assist in suggesting a studio for you in your area.

Once you have booked your date for your session please email
with your name and song title and the name of the studio you have chosen to record at, as well as the date you have booked.
Please copy in (cc) the studio in on your email so that we can connect with them.

As well, if you would like some feedback about the song you are recording (it must be the one you entered) and any suggestions we might have regarding arrangements, structures; length; keys etc -
PLEASE feel free to communicate with us directly at
and copy in

Mike is very happy to assist - after all, the recording you make will go on the official competition album.

Also, please make sure you are practised and prepared for your studio session. The studio will advise you what you need to bring and may ask for you to send in your entry track prior to your session.

PlayIt Strange advises that your submission of the recording grants us permission to distribute the song onto Bandcamp and other digital platforms including Spotify. We emphasise that you OWN the rights to the music and sound recording of your song. Please email with any queries.

Important Notice

On the Bandcamp platform we list the Song Title with the songwriter(s)name(s) only. For the other platforms eg Spotify, linking to artist profiles is the responsibility of the songwriter(s).

After you have finished recording, the studio will mix your song and send to us.

We require a 24bit WAV file of the final mix of your recording so we can master the track.
IMPORTANT: This file is to be sent from the Recording Studio as we pay their invoice once we have uploaded the completed track.

PLEASE have your transfer link of your song sent from the studio to

Billing Information for your studio

Please have the studio address the invoice direct to
Play It Strange Trust, PO Box 137 194, Parnell, Auckland 1052 and email to
The song title must be used in the invoice reference as well as the name of at least one songwriter. We do not accept band or artist names as a reference as the competition celebrates the song written by songwriter(s).

Congratulations on having written a great song and being a part of the Play It Strange songwriting world. It’s a triumph and we hope you enjoy your recording experience.
Don’t forget to tag us on photos @playitstrangenz

Once you have booked your date for your session please email
with your name and song title and the name of the studio you have chosen to record at as well as the date you have booked.
Please copy in (cc) the studio in on your email so that we can connect with them.

About us

Come inside our world

Songwriting is a craft of the imagination and we believe that the creative environment surrounding songwriters should foster, expose and celebrate these songs. 

We run songwriting competitions with lyric, Maori language, Peace Song awards and others alongside. And we record at least 40 finalists each year in professional recording studios.

Songwriting, performance, and recording are the three pivots of our music evolution.

Read more

NZ Songwriters have their own take on what makes songwriting a vibrant, creative practice - read their fresh perspectives in our Songwriters Speak page

Songwriters Speak

2017 Play It Strange Album

Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition Finalists - songs are free to stream and download

2018 Deadlines

We've designed a poster with all key deadlines and dates for our competitions. Make sure to stick them in your calendar!

Further information about each competitions entry requirements can be found below in our "Competitions" section. 

Online entry forms are now available for each competition.

Download the PDF and print it out, stick it up at school and hand it out to friends, get the word out there!

Download and Print

Different by May Zeng

Winner of the 2017 Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition 

Director/Producer: Mareea Vegas / DOP: Kent Belcher / Art dept: Alex Matthews / Editor: Zac Blair /
Post production: Henry Williamson @ Thievery Studio / Hair: Luci Hare / Makeup: Tiveshni Naidoo / Clothing: Thanks to Lela Jacobs
Special thanks to NZ On Air for their Special Tracks grant which covered the recording and film making.


Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition


The National Secondary School Songwriting Competition is the flagship programme of the Play It Strange Trust.

Read More

Peace Song Competition


This competition seeks songs with the lyrics embodying a focus on Peace. N.B. We are unable to offer the Hiroshima Exchange prizes this year.

Read More

Who Loves Who Competition


The Winner and all Finalists have been announced.
For all secondary school students in NZ.
The competition is judged based on the originality of the cover you choose to rearrange and sing, written and performed by a kiwi artist.
Supported by a Music Grant from Recorded Music NZ.

Read More

Strange Art


Play It Strange presents a Cover Art competition to celebrate all creatives at New Zealand Secondary Schools. 

This competition seeks an Album Artwork for the front cover of the 2018 Play It Strange Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition.

Read More

Sign up to our Newsletters

What we do

We do all sorts of cool projects

Play It Strange has worked for over 10 years, striving to provide secondary students with a platform they can use to pursue their musical adventures. We've held concerts, workshops and competitions, all with the intentions to provide the right environment from which students can gain confidence, self-belief and an impetus for a career path they would like to follow.

Read More

Songwriting is now an NCEA achievement standard

Songwriting will be offered as Level 3 NCEA achievement standard beginning 2017 - a victory!

Get Involved

Strange Friends

Patrons, Strange Friend Stars and our Strange Friends are a crucial and valuable community that support us.

We would love you to come on board.
All donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in becoming a Platinum Patron or Strange Friends Star or indeed support Play It Strange in any way please give us a call, we would love to catch up and talk.

Email Us(09) 377 7919

Songwriting at University of Waikato

University of Waikato have completed their first Songwriting paper

University of Waikato summer paper ‘Introduction To SONGWRITING’ has just finished.
Students have finalised the tracking of their two songs and the results are very cool.

Read More

I Know This To Be True was conceived and assembled by Geoff Blackwell of PQ Blackwell, and Ric Salizzo. It is a book about truth, beauty and wisdom. "Sixty New Zealanders in the middle of interesting lives talk about what really matters, truth and beauty, and the things they hold dear to their hearts."

Royalties from the book sales will be forwarded to PLAY IT STRANGE to further their website and school programmes.

I Know This To Be True is an incredible collection of New Zealanders discussing what it is that is important to them. PQ Blackwell have generously donated all profits from book sales to Play It Strange. We cannot thank them enough for their support of Play It Strange, and we are so grateful to be part of such a rich, inspiring project.

The book is available for purchase from any good book store in New Zealand and online. Go and get one and enjoy!

Listen to more of our songs here 

The songs on our Bandcamp are free to stream and download. Go crazy. They are there for your listening.


See what our Alumni are up to

Play It Strange songwriters that have had their songs recorded for the annual CD are making cool inroads out into the world. Their career paths were fuelled from their time at school during which they sent their songs into our competitions and triumphed.

Here we have a selection of those who hit the ground running when they left school. With songwriting, performance and recording experience they were capable and poised for action.

Read more


Happy customers and clients

CUSTOMERS: Those philanthropic institutions, individuals, grants bodies and funding agencies. We applaud their generosity in supporting us and their focus on the benefits we bring to the society around us.

CLIENTS: The songwriters and performers that bring their imaginative craft and performing skills to bear and we are all rewarded. From the secondary school songwriting competitions to the recording sessions for the top 40 songs.

Read more

We Are One

A Concert for Autism

Watch Seven Sharp's story on our WE ARE ONE - Concert for Autism here

Photo GalleryNZ Musician Magazine Review