Did You Know That New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Used To Be a DJ?

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
March 22, 2019

Did You Know That New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Used To Be a DJ?

The headline isn’t misleading, and we didn’t know about it either until this week!

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,who has been praised around the world for her swift and decisive response to the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, used to be a DJ.

If you scroll back on her social media far enough, and by “far enough” we mean all the way to April 2013, you will find evidence of her love for electronic music and DJing.

Photos of Jacinda Ardern DJing at an Auckland festival in 2014 have emerged, showing she nearly went down a different path than her successful political one.

“There’s still time to come join record store day festivities at Real Groovy! Thankfully, you’ll miss my attempt at being a DJ,” she wrote on an Instagram post dated April 19th, 2019.



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There’s still time to come join record store day festivities at Real Groovy! Thankfully, you’ll miss my attempt at being a DJ

A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on

Pretty crazy to think about what her career may be like should she have continued on the DJing path back then. Ms. Ardern is currently the leader of New Zealand and has been navigating the country through the worst mass shooting in its history, and doing so with poise and effectiveness in a way many of us hope one day happens in the United States.

Ms. Ardern returned to play at the same event a year later, looking much more at ease behind the decks this time around, even receiving her “first ever request.”


Admittedly, Ms. Ardern’s DJ career remained at amateur level although she did perform at a friend’s wedding, as well as at the University of Auckland where she “came offstage during her set to have a dance with the crowd” according to an article by New Zealand music website SpinOff.

There’s even a full playlist on Spotify from her Laneway Festival set in 2014 and it features some pretty catchy tracks, including works from the Spice Girls, The Beatles, Tom Jones and The Pretenders, and more

SpinOff contacted Flying Nun/Out boss and former-Laneway co-promoter Ben Howe, who remembers how it all came about:

“We were chatting at the music awards about Laneway, which I think she has attended most years just as a music fan. Without really thinking about it too much I said, ‘You should come and DJ,’ and she said, ‘I’d love to’. Usually, these sorts of things are carefully considered and discussed with everyone on the team, but on this occasion it just slipped out in the general spirit of wine and celebration.

“I was less thinking about the political implications, more I just knew she was a good person, into music, had DJ’d quite a bit already and had a high profile. I knew she must have good taste in music. A few people later questioned me on it and I responded that I couldn’t resist the temptation to book the future PM of NZ as a DJ, though in reality that was an afterthought. Anyway, it was good to have her and I saw some of her set – she got the Thuderdome jumping!”

A lot has happened in Ms. Ardern’s life since her DJing days, especially with regards to her political career.

She’s widely credited with changing New Zealands’s view of the Labour Party, leading them to win the election in October 2017 and becoming the world’s youngest female leader at 37 as a result.

In January 2018 she announced she was expecting her first baby with Clarke Gayford, her partner of four years. She went on to take six weeks of maternity leave after welcoming her baby Neve to the world, a personal decision that won her heaps of praise from voters and political peers alive. Following her return to office, her partner became a stay-at-home-dad, while she went on to run her country.

It was just last week when Ms. Ardern faced her biggest challenge as New Zealand’s Prime Minister when a gunman killed 50 people in attacks on two separate Christchurch mosques. Her response to the situation and the difficult moment her nation is facing has been applauded around the world, especially with regards to how swiftly and decisively she took action. This includes refusing to acknowledge the killer by name, displaying incredible empathy and banning all military-style weapons, all semiautomatic weapons and all devices that allow a firearm to generate semiautomatic, automatic or close to automatic gunfire with immediate effect.