SJD Profile

aka Sean James Donnelly, The Purple People Eater
Gary Steel
28 May 2013

We’re not exactly short of fine singer-songwriters in New Zealand, but Sean James Donnelly is the best example of a new breed of songwriters who are just as at home with synthetic textures and subtly original structures as organic instrumentation and traditional song form.

Emerging from obscurity in the late 1990s as a quirky electronic artist, SJD (Sean James Donnelly) went on to confound his ardent fan base and staunchest critics by evolving into one of our finest songwriters, winning major awards along the way and becoming a trusted collaborator with first division legends Don McGlashan and Neil Finn.

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Bad Karma In Yokohama
Sean Donnelly, 2011
Photo credit: Photo by Deborah Smith
SJD with The Pajama Club
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
Making Music - SJD (2005)
SJD - Southern Lights (Kid Loco Remix)
SJD's Lost Soul Music from 2003
Make Love Ask Questions Later
The Witness
Superman You're Crying - Radio New Zealand session (July 2015)
Tree People
Superman You're Crying (live at Radio NZ, July 2015)
Beautiful Haze
I Wrote This Song For You
SJD - Rising Falling Rising
SJD - Superman You're Crying (from the album Southern Lights, 2004)
Stinky Jim and SJD, 2007
Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Dubber
SJD - I Wanna Be Foolish (2014, directed by Greg Page)
Little Pieces (2015)
Baby You're Oh So
Sean Donnelly at Auckland's Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2015
Saint John Divine, released in March 2015
Inside SJD's West Auckland HQ
SJD - A Boy
SJD, The Bads and Mulholland at The King's Arms, March 2014

Donnelly’s Taite Music Prize win in April 2013 included a heavy trophy and $10,000 in cash.


Sean James Donnelly - multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, vocals, bass


Round Trip Mars