aka Sean James Donnelly, The Purple People Eater

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.

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

Round Trip Mars


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


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

Funded by

Partners with