A new exhibition has opened, celebrating the roots of south Auckland music.
Volume South tells the stories of artists like Ardijah, Savage and OMC, through iconic items, handwritten lyrics and never-before-seen photos.
For many growing up in South Auckland, like Ardijah's Ryan Monga, music was a way of getting ahead.
"Back in the 70s and all of that, there was, you know, 'Otara' always on the news," he says. "Getting into the music was a way to express ourselves and say, 'hey, hang on a minute, there's positivity that comes from this town as well', and then it spread to south Auckland."
The Volume South exhibition, created by Auckland Museum, includes iconic costumes, journals and demo CDs, celebrating four decades of South Auckland music.
"I think one of the most exciting things about this exhibition is recognising artists like Phil Fuemana, who created a real platform for young musicians and had a real vision about professionalising the industry, and improving and lifting everyone's game, and going global," says exhibition developer Esther Tobin
From Polyfonk to hip-hop, street culture to church choirs, R&B to rock, Vallkyrie vocalist Omer Gilroy says south Auckland music crosses genres, but shares the same vibe.
"Even though we're rock, and there may be reggae back there or hip-hop, you just know that you're representing the same thing," says Ms Gilroy. "You're all trying to do the same thing."
The free exhibition at MIT Manukau began on Friday and runs until the end of August, inspiring the next generation of artists to pursue their own musical dreams.