Each successful participant this year will be paired up with one of these incredible industry professionals as their mentor to learn skills and get advice to shape their event and music industry career!



Josh Fountain is the resident producer, writer and engineer based out of Golden Age Studios in Auckland. After graduating from Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production at MAINZ in 2005, he started working at Woodcut Studios doing music for TV and commercials. There he formed the chart-topping group Kidz In Space and started producing other artists including Smashproof, Benny Tipene and Annah Mac (including her multiple platinum selling single Girl In Stilettos). Josh was then handpicked by Joel Little to take over at Golden Age and has gone on to earn multiple APRA Silver Scrolls and NZ Music Award nominations, including Producer of the Year nods for the last two years. He is a member of the band LEISURE and has produced and written with artists including MAALA, Openside, Theia, Thomston, Mitch James, Matthew Young and Randa.


Djeisan Suskov is an acclaimed producer, writer and engineer.  Djeisan grew up and worked around the studio environment since the age of 9. He's recently worked with countless artists such as Saski, Boy Boy, Matthew Young, SACHI, Mitch James, Chores, Abby Wolfe, Openside, Anna Coddington, Kids of 88, Artisan Guns, Ladi6, Tiny Ruins, Balu Brigada and is one fifth of the band LEISURE who were Producer of the Year and Album of the Year nominees at the NZ Music Awards in 2017.


Dave Rhodes has been recording music for over 20 years. In 2002 he won the Tui for Engineer of the Year for Blindspott's debut album. From 2003 to 2012 he worked at Stebbing Recording centre where he moved into DVD authoring whilst also recording artists like Six60 and the APO, the Topp Twins, Hollie Smith and John Rowles. Dave currently manages Depot Sound where he juggles the promotion and business side of the studio with engineering and producing. Since moving to Depot Sound he has worked with acts such as The Warratahs (Country album of the year 2016), Head Like A Hole, Brendon Thomas and the Vibes, Push Push, Skinny Hobos, The Dead Beat Boys and Play it Strange artists. He also enjoys being on the other side of the glass, recording and touring as the drummer for bands including Stylus, 29 Blackbirds and Static Era.



Dylan Keating’s background in the NZ music industry stems from working his first national tour at the age of 18 as a stage hand and working at iconic Auckland venues such as The Gluepot and The Powerstation in the late 80s and into the 90s. A stint in the commercial radio sector followed working promotions before shifting into the tertiary sector on 2001 managing on-campus events for the UNITEC Student Union & the Auckland University Student Association which included co-promoting and coordinating national orientation concert tours of University campuses nationwide. In 2007 he left campus life to work with Shapeshifter as a tour manager, and joined the team at Strike Agency as a booking agent & tour manager looking after such artists as Hollie Smith, Sola Rosa and David Dallas. After leaving Strike Agency in 2013, he formed the artist management company Moretone Music, and currently also freelances as a stage, tour and production manager.


Ellie has had 5 years of experience working in the music industry. After graduating from MAINZ in 2012 she started in music management working with artists such as Jupiter Project, Dane Rumble and Titanium. She began touring in 2014 and since has then has been on the road with some of New Zealand’s top artists including Brooke Fraser, Devilskin, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Tami Neilson and Marlon Williams and Sol3 MIO. Ellie has also worked as a production assistant for international acts such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, SIA and Shawn Mendes. Over the years, Ellie has gained invaluable experience working in various elements of live shows, from ticketing and merchandise sales, to site management and event producing.


Fenella started off in the NZ Music and events industry in 2003 whilst at at Otago University by helping set up and deliver the first Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne. Fenella continued to work on Rhythm and Vines for the next 12 years in a various roles, and during this time also started working for festivals & music events such as Splore, Homegrown & Blue Sky ( Fiji). Fenella, along wth business partner Jaz Kapow, started Twice The Hype in 2013. Twice The Hype a music management & booking agency in based in Morningside, Auckland. Twice The Hype represent over 30 NZ acts such as Laughton Kora, Hollie Smith, Bailey Wiley & Chores. On top of her role at Twice The Hype, Fenella currently works for Northern Bass Festival & Splore as well as tour managing at various festivals all over NZ.


James has had an extensive career in the music industry starting out in the 80’s with Australian Record label Festival Records. In 1990 he accepted the role as National Sales Manager and moved to EMI NZ. Four successful years later he was appointed as Managing Director Warner Music NZ a position he held for 10 years. During his tenure Warner Music NZ had their most successful period with local NZ artists with James signing, The Feelers, Fur Patrol, The Exponents, Anika Moa, Evermore and Shihad. James started his music management company in 2009 and has focused on a select few artists, initial success came from The Earlybirds, The Feelers, Blacklistt, City Of Souls and most recently Devilskin. His artists have achieved 3 x Number 1 independently released albums 5 x Top 5 albums and 2 x NZ Music Award TUI’s. James offers his artists not only management but acts as the artists own record company and Promoter. His passion is undoubtably NZ artists and the music they create.


Josh collaborates with top talent and promoters to deliver unforgettable experiences to crowds across Australasia. He prides himself on working with efficiency and effectiveness, making the complex process of getting people from A to B and back to A, simple, for everyone involved. Years of experience working across the Music Industry has given Josh a unique view in understanding its workings from multiple perspectives. Most recently Josh has been heavily involved in working across Artist Liaison, Program, and Brand Management with New Zealand's premier festival, Rhythm and Vines.


Poppy Tohill began her career in the music industry writing for various publications including Rip It Up, NZ Musician Magazine & Libel Music. After creating her own publication PoppyWrites online, she began working in the digital world of online media management for companies such as Zeal West and Do it Records, before working closely with kiwi musician Gin Wigmore in both New Zealand and America. Honing her radio and videography skills at bFm and Roundhead Studios for two years, she then took on a role at CRS Music Management where she continues to work closely with the likes of The Naked and Famous & Brooke Fraser. Stepping up to promoting her own shows in 2016, she launched a bi-monthly all ages series know as Seamless, giving young bands the chance to perform live in front of an audience. Now a core-team member behind Auckland City Limits Music Festival, which returns to Western Springs this March with headliners Grace Jones & Beck, Poppy remains a closet musician who loves spreading her joy and passion for New Zealand music as far and wide as possible.


Riccardo has worked in the radio industry for 20 years, the last 8 of those as Music Director of The Rock. He's across the commercial radio realities of what it takes to get airplay and is also a working musician in his own right. Director of Wrecking Ball Media Ltd Riccardo specialises as a music consultant, producer, arranger and radio plugger.


With a broad ranging body of work spanning over two decades from traveling the globe as a touring DJ/Musician, managing the start/finish line at some of New Zealand’s biggest marathons, responsible for the artist programming at two of New Zealand biggest music festivals, hosted a radio show for 15 years, responsible for the operational delivery of the biggest sporting event in New Zealand ever and acting as Tour Manager for sell out shows across New Zealand. Simply put there are not many aspects of the music and event industry that Tim has not been involved in.


Tom grew up in the Auckland DIY Punk scene in the mid to late 90s and the DIY/do-it-all ethos continued to develop his broad skillset in the years to come. Tom is a production ninja. He's a production manager, promoter rep, stage tech, live sound and recording engineer, tour and stage manager and has worked with promoters such as Live Nation, Frontier and Chicks That Scream, Festivals Big Day Out, Laneway and Homegrown and a diverse range of artists such as Fleet Foxes, Foo Fighters, Homebrew, Six60, Lorde and Slayer to name a few. He’s toured extensively domestically and overseas as both a musician and engineer whilst lecturing in Audio Engineering & Music Production at MAINZ for the last decade and is one of the DJs on the Hard, Fast, & Heavy show on bFM. Toms also co-owns and manages Auckland live music venue Whammy! Bar. Tom is passionate about keeping music and its production accessible to all and using his position to assist with groups such as Girls Rock Camp Aotearoa and People against Prisons.

*Thanks to the wonderful people at NZ Music Managers Forum (MMF)
for sponsoring these fantastic mentors for IGNITE 2018.