It’s no overstatement to recognise Peter Urlich as one of the godfathers of the modern New Zealand music scene. Peter has been key player in the soundtrack to Kiwis’ lives since the 1970s, and continues to be an influence in NZ music today. Peter’s attention-grabbing vocal abilites can possibly be attributed to being the youngest in a ‘loud' family of six - music was a big part of the Urlich whanau (which included cousins Margaret and Pat). His strong musical leanings were encouraged at Sacred Heart College, where he was schooled alongside Neil and Tim Finn, the Chunn boys, Dave Dobbyn and Ian Morris – who also went on to become household names.
Peter’s first job was in the advertising industry, but by night, his passion for singing took over and he moonlighted as a singer in a rock band, playing surfclub dances and 21sts. In 1977, Peter, Ian Morris and Dave Dobbyn became Th’ Dudes. They eventually toured the country many times, recorded two albums, were voted Band of the Year in 1979 and helped change the landscape of local music. When the band split in 1980, Peter and a friend opened a series of bars and nightclubs, which were arguably the start of the electronic dance scene in this country. Venues like A Certain Bar, Six Month Club and Berlin were the playgrounds for Auckland’s in-crowd.
Around this time, Peter turned his love of Swing into a unique live band, The Peter Urlich Swingin’ Sextet, which still charms ballrooms around the country with songs by Sinatra, Nat Cole and Dean Martin.
He released an album in 2003 called “Between You and Me”.
In the 90s, Peter joined forces with Bevan Keys to form iconic DJ duo, Nice’n Urlich. What started as a radio show on bFM on Saturday mornings (1998 – 2001) became the most popular house music act in the country, releasing three hit compilations. It was during this time that Peter was approached to take part in TV2’s top-rating series, “Popstars,” as manager of the resulting pop band, TruBliss. More top-rating televison followed when Peter performed on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2008, partnered with Hayley Holt, all juggled with hosting the George FM breakfast show for most of the early 2000s.
In 2019, Th’ Dudes were inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. Bouyed by decades of experience on-stage and holding the attention of live audiences in their thousands, Peter is a charismatic and entertaining MC. He has an extremely versatile voice-range from years of singing, and can adjust his baritone and range to suit almost any brief. He is a passionate foodie and rugby league fan; and continues to indulge his interests in writing, design, environmental issues and art. Peter lives in Auckland with wife Danielle and their two teenage sons, Joe and Stan, and is busy performing with his band, The Swingin’ Sextet, DJing and acting as a music consultant.