Simon Hirst is a singer/songwriter from Hamilton, New Zealand. His musical journey began after hearing the classic Split Enz song, ‘I See Red’ at the young age of 10 years old. It became somewhat of an obsession. At just 16 years old Simon played his first pub gig, afterwards immersing himself in the NZ music scene, and that, as they say, was that.
Over the following years, Simon became an increasingly popular performer due to his musicianship and live shows that effortlessly seem to include great audience interaction as well as great performances. These attributes led to him being flown around the Southern Hemisphere performing, and playing up to 220 gigs a year.
In 2015 Simon released his debut EP ‘Shining in Silver’. It garnered good attention and had critics drawing comparisons from his sound and song writing to the likes of Neil Finn, R.E.M, and Dave Dobbyn. The EP also drew commendation from legendary mastering engineer Scott Hull of Masterdisk, New York. High praise from someone who has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mayer to name but a few. After touring and promoting ‘Shining in Silver’ for the next 18 months, Simon booked into Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studio’s to start his debut LP.
With famous NZ session drummer Patrick Kuhtze on board, the foundation of the album was recorded. The project even garnered interest from Split Enz’s keyboardist and producer Eddie Rayner, who appears on the album playing a whirling organ solo on ‘Nothing I Can Do’, producing, and also arranging a beautiful orchestral version of album closer ‘Through the Wall of Light’ for a special online-only EP. On Rayner’s appearance: “It was a surreal moment really. The guy whose music started this whole journey walks into the studio, sunglasses on. He was an absolute gentleman and was very complimentary of both the songs, and my musicianship. From someone who was in two of my favourite bands and went on to play for Paul McCartney…”
Simon’s debut LP ‘Feet of God’ was released on January 1st, 2018 and has already been described as, ”a beautiful set of songs”, “It’s a lush journey through songs that unashamedly throwback to the days of classic guitar rock/pop in the early 1990’s, but with enough of an update to not sound dated in any way”.
With such high praise behind him, and being a performer who is equally at home on stage as a solo performer or with the rock band, the future is looking bright for this young Kiwi songwriter.