top of page


Aston Rd proudly introduces a curated series of five masterclasses tailored to empower ten aspiring independent artists based in Wellington. These sessions are dedicated to those with a genuine commitment to building a successful career in the music industry.

Leading these masterclasses is Cushla Aston, Artist Manager and Music Career Mentor.  Joining her is a team of experienced professionals ready to share their insights.

Learn more below.  Applications are now open and close Tues 26th September, 5.00pm.


Each in-person module provides actionable advice to accelerate your music career development.


Our goal is to guide you in mapping out a clear and purposeful path for your music journey



Whakawhanaungatanga - In our first session we'll spend time establishing our relationships alongside learning how to balance both the business and creative sides of music with a positive mindset.   


Learn tools and techniques taught to high profile sports persons and how you can adapt those elements in to your life as a career artist. We welcome Dr Luke Rowe, a clinical psychologist, Senior Lecturer Hauora and Mindset Coach for the Hurricanes Super Rugby and Pulse Netball Teams.

Facilitator: Cushla Aston. 
Speaker: Luke Rowe



In this engaging and informative session, we continue our exploration of the essential components of a successful music career. The session is divided into two parts, each focusing on distinct but equally critical aspects: aligning timelines with your goals and visions, and understanding the world of music contracts that artists often encounter. We welcome Joel Taskoff, Entertainment Lawyer and Award Winning Music Producer.

Delivered by course Facilitator Cushla Aston. 

Mentor: Joel Tashkoff



In the first half of this session, we will explore the importance of defining goals and how goal setting, planning, and strategy are fundamental to music career development.

The second part focuses on the first of two business models. In Part 1, we cover the essentials of establishing your music business, including business structure, tax responsibilities, bookkeeping, and revenue generation strategies for artists. Our belief is that artists who grasp the intricacies of the music business and revenue generation make more informed career decisions and achieve sustainability faster. We are pleased to welcome Andrew Bain, an accountant and bass player from Fur Patrol, as our guest speaker.

Presented by Cushla Aston.

Speaker: Andrew Bain, Plus Accounting



What makes you and your music authentic and stand out in the crowd? In this session we help our artists to identify their unique voice and what makes for a great interview or media pitch.  Learn how to craft a press release and review your biography.  We welcome Martyn Pepperell respected Music Journalist and DJ, and Radio Actives breakfast host and writing Maggie Tweedie.

Delivered by course Facilitator Cushla Aston. 
Speaker: Maggie Tweedie, Martyn Pepperell



Gain valuable insights into leveraging social media and digital marketing strategies. Discover the art of creating compelling content, building a devoted fan base, and harnessing the full potential of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.  We welcome Nina Lesperance, Communications Advisor NZ on Air and Freelance Digital Marketer.

Delivered by course Facilitator Cushla Aston. 

Speaker : Nina Lesperance



Luke is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa descent. His background is in Clinical Psychology and is a Senior Lecturer Hauora at Massey University and Mindset Coach for the Hurricanes Super Rugby and Central Pulse Netball teams. In this session we'll learn about the power of mindset and how we can use this tool to benefit your career in the music industry.


Maggie Tweedie grew up at Lake Tutira a small village in rural Hawkes Bay. She has a Bachelor of Communications in Expressive Arts and Journalism. A broadcaster for six + years, Maggie began in community radio in Wellington and worked in Melbourne, before joining Radioactive.FM and RNZ. She became the first solo female Breakfast Host of Radioactive.FM in 2018. In her spare time, she writes for a variety of New Zealand publications and hosts the City Gallery Book Club and MC’s sustainability events. 


Joel Tashkoff is an entertainment lawyer at specialist entertainment law firm Dominion Law. His specialty lies in music and his practice includes a strong focus on contractual issues surrounding copyright and IP, music publishing, licensing, producer deals, management agreements, and recording contracts. His clients include a range of managers, producers and artists that are active at all levels of the industry, including Joel Little, Jawsh 685, Sam De Jong, Rory Noble, Diggy Dupe, LMC and Shapeshifter amongst others.


Martyn Pepperell is a music journalist, broadcaster, DJ and sometimes event promoter from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. The foundations of his process are research, listening, reflection and storytelling. Over the last decade, his writing and broadcast packages have been published and presented worldwide by Bandcamp Daily, Dazed, Goethe-Institut, NTS, Radio Alhara, The Wire, Vice Wax Poetics and many more. Outside of his journalism commitments, Martyn has served on funding and arts assessment panels for NZ On Air, Creative New Zealand and The Arts Foundation of New Zealand.Martyn will be mentoring at the 'Authentic Artist' week 3 module.


Nina Lesperance has loved music all her life. Coupling this with a media studies degree and her generation’s mastery of social media, Nina brings valuable insight and critical understanding of traditional media, technological shifts and generational trends.


She has put this to good use as an effective and creative social media contributor to RNZ’s flagship music show Music 101,  SOUNZ Centre for NZ Music and NZ On Air. Nina is a freelance community and social media engagement manager for acts like Aotearoa AllStars and Bret McKenzie.


Born and bred in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Andrew learned piano as a kid and took up bass guitar in his teens. After playing bass in numerous bands, he had a tenure as a professional musician for a time in the early 2000’s. As those years came to a close Andrew realised one of the biggest issues faced by his band was financial mismanagement and took it upon himself to up-skill in the accounting side of business management, hoping to help musicians avoid some of the same traps faced by him. Since then, he's started a small bookkeeping business and eventually joined a boutique accounting firm working there as a tax accountant for the last 10 years.


Cushla Nick George-1256_edited_edited.png

Kia ora, I'm Cushla Aston (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Pikiao), the founder of Aston Rd and I'm excited to return with the Music Career Masterclass series 2023.

Over the past decade, I've been deeply involved in artist management and mentorship, and I've noticed a significant gap in music business education. For self-managing artists, the challenges can be overwhelming.


Our goal is to help our participants strike a balance between creativity and career, providing them with essential business knowledge, tools, valuable networks, and a supportive community they can rely on.

Meet our dedicated team of talented individuals working alongside me below.


Learn more about Aston Rd here

wallace pic_edited.jpg



Wallace Gollan is a musician who has designed visuals for her project from day one in the music biz. Over time she started designing for other artists and what started as a hobby, has grown into a thriving freelance graphic design business, creating posters, merch and assets for social media campaigns. Wallace's goal is to create cohesive and exciting work with an emphasis on colour and audience engagement.


Bonnie Allen recently graduated Massey University with a Bachelor of Commercial Music majoring in Music Industry with honours, focusing on Music Management.

Following graduation Bonnie started her own promotions and management company, 'House of Bonnie', which is the home of my projects and entity for representing artists Casual Healing, REID and Mikeyy.


With thanks to the NZ Music Commission for making this possible



Aston Rd was founded in 2010 and is owned and operated by Cushla Aston (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Pikiao).

Aston Rd specialises in Artist Management, mentoring, music business education, artist development and project management.

With over a decade of experience in the New Zealand music industry Cushla has worked with notable independent platinum selling acts such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kora, Trinity Roots and currently manages Louis Baker.


In 2012 Cushla won ‘Upcoming Manager of the Year’ and was a finalist for ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2015 and 2021.  She is the Chairperson for the Music Managers Forum, has over 300 hours of artist mentoring experience supplying services to the MMF and Te Māngai Pāho; and is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University College of Creative Arts delivering the industry paper on Artist Development.  In 2022 Cushla launched Aston Rd Music Career Masterclass, a six module series of Masterclass focused on supporting the careers of ten self-managing and independent artists based in Wellington.


Collectively her clients have been winners and finalists in the APRA Silver Scrolls, Taite Music Awards, Aotearoa  Music Awards and NZ Music Critics Choice Awards.  They have toured both nationally and internationally including territories such as the UK, Europe, Asia, Polynesia and Australia.   Acting as her clients’ independent record labels she has also helped them reach Top 10 debuts in the official New Zealand Album Charts.

Cushla is a certified and accredited life coach, has diplomas in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, a Mental Health First Aid Certificate and has the Mana Ora - New Zealand Certificate in Māori Business and Management.

Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 2.50.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 2.49.31 PM.png


capital mag.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 2.52.01 PM.png

previous campaigns

Join our mailing list

Thanks for subscribing!



Contributing to the art of happiness and well-being through creativity

To nurture, empower and help support creative talent

Enable our people to live off what they love

To grow our community through collaboration


friends of aston rd

We work with many great organisations, talented individuals and  small businesses.  We'd like to take this opportunity to give them a shout out.


Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.37.16 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 8.32.41 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.37.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.33.14 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.46.42 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.39.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.44.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-19 at 6.38.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 9.41.55 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 8.30.58 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-09-20 at 8.35.32 AM.png
bottom of page