Auckland music student Jack Bromwich ready to rock

A change of degrees from engineering to music hit the right chord for Jack Bromwich’s music career.

Jack Bromwich
Jack Bromwich says studying music has helped to take his songwriting to the next level. Photo: Supplied

Last year marked a crucial turning point for up-and-coming Auckland musician Jack Bromwich.

Mid-way through the first year of his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Music conjoint degree, Jack found himself struggling to balance the demands of both disciplines.

“The engineering side of my degree had become too busy for me to also pursue music, and I thought, ‘I could never leave music out of my life.’”

He decided to trust his instincts and drop engineering from his degree to fully dedicate himself to his music studies. Much to his surprise, the decision has proved fruitful, with his band scoring numerous gigs and valuable opportunities to showcase their music.

“Changing degrees has been a life-changing choice,” he says.

The 19-year-old singer/guitarist is specialising in popular music and in September 2023 was a runner-up at the Dig the Gig grand final, a competition for student bands from the University of Auckland. He has released two EPs of upbeat indie rock and a steady stream of singles in the past 18 months.

Jack Bromwich says studying music has helped to take his songwriting to the next level. Photo: Ryo Nishikawa
Jack Bromwich is studying popular music at the University. Photo: Ryo Nishikawa - @life_in_the_mosh on Instagram.

One of those songs, ‘Nothing To You’, was written at the start of last year and has helped him to win over audiences.

“There were people singing along to it at my shows. That was something I hadn’t experienced before.”

The introspective song delves into the theme of feeling like one’s efforts will never be enough, a sentiment he has found he can relate to as an emerging musician.

“It can be tough, especially at this early stage, when it feels like what I’m doing isn’t getting as much traction as I want despite how much effort I put into it.

“But you have to strive to be enough to yourself and not other people,” he says.

Jack was born in Manchester, England, and moved to New Zealand when he was four. He first got into playing music ten years ago when his parents bought him a guitar for Christmas.

“I fell in love with playing and it snowballed from there. I find the process of being able to create something that I can listen back to anytime really enjoyable. I always try to push myself to do more.”

There were people singing along to it at my shows. That was something I hadn’t experienced before.

Jack Bromwich, University of Auckland music student

He says the first artist that really resonated with him was Radiohead, but he also found inspiration in local bands like Daffodils and Park Road, who have been able to carve out a career for themselves in New Zealand.

“I’ve been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to play in the last year. I’ve met some awesome people through gigging and doing music in Auckland, including some of my closest friends,” says Jack.

Lately, he has been back in the studio to record an upcoming single called ‘For You’ that takes influence from Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C.

“I wanted a different vibe to what I’ve done already. The song is about how sometimes life can get you down and you can feel a bit grumpy. But it’s not because of anything someone else has done. It’s more about what’s going on with us.”

Jack says his experience since changing his degree and choosing to study music full time has helped him take his songwriting to the next level.

“It’s great to be in an environment with lots of people in the same boat trying to hone their craft. The lectures and workshops have helped me take the steps to get better. It’s been great to be able to learn how to do that.”

Hussein Moses

This story first appeared in March 2024 UniNews.