A number of young talented Māori musicians have been recognised and made the cut as finalists in the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition this year.
Smokefree Pacifica Beats began in 1994 as the Urban Beats Award within the Smokefree RockQuest' and recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa and the South Pacific.
Competitors in Smokfree Pacifica Beats must incorporate polynesian native language, instruments, dance or movement in the performance and songs.
According to event organisers, the goal of this particular part of the competition is to motivate young musicians, “to prove their ability with cultural relevance, and to encourage their peers to support 100 percent original Aotearoa Kiwi music.”
The top six Smokefree Pacifica Beat finalist bands include:
‘Taniwha’ which is a three piece band from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi in Auckland who sing completely in te reo Māori and hold an immense passion for music. The band members are Javan Rivers (drums), Metotagivale Schmidt-Peke (guitar) and Scarlet Manners (vocals).
‘Reciprocate’ from Alfriston College in Auckland has also made the finals which is a ten piece soul-funk band and its members are Sheldon Rua (keyboard), Jacob Kauri (drums), Joel Singsam (keyboard), Pauline Tuia (lead vocals), Taualoa Lemalu (vocals), Eunique Ikiua (vocals), Precious Tusega (vocals), Wayne Pagaialii (bass), Zaire Ugapo (rhythm guitar) and Marcus Patea (vocals/rap).
‘Jah-Mon Fever’ has also made the cut for the finals and is a nine piece R&B band from Aotea College, its members are Tipapa Bracken (vocals), Evander Seiuli (vocalist/percussion), Benjamin Tofilau (keyboard), Thomas Temu (bass), Dora Laupola (guitarist/vocals), Julian Wright (vocals), Sina Esera (vocalist), Steven Taotua (drums) and Junior Brown (pianist).
‘Blue Rhythm’ is another finalist band from Porirua College in Wellington which consists of eight members with a gospel, funk inspired theme. The band members are Obe Ngatuakana (drums), Chris Ruaporo (guitarist), Tiresa Foma'i, Tupe Tuiala-Smith, Kalo Samasoni (vocals), Zion Sepelini (bass), Seti Sinoti (ukulele) and Filipo Foma'i (keyboard).
‘Allen Weaponry’ of Bream Bay College and Otamatea High School will also battle it out in the finals and is a three-piece metal band which includes brothers Lewis de Jong (guitar/vocals), Henry de Jong (drums) and Ethan Trembath (bass).
‘5XL’ will also take the finalists stage in the battle of the bands for Smokefree Pacifica which is a five-piece rock reggae band made up of students from Gisborne Boys and Girls High School, the band members are, Logan Hohepa-O’Keefe (drums), Cassidy Hohepa-O’Keefe (bass), Liushaan Ngaira (lead guitar), Guy Aupouri (keyboard) and Shaela Leach (rhythm guitar).
The top two solo duos are Kapiolani Ani Kihi Waikato who is a singer songwriter from Western Heights High School in Rotorua with a passion for composing waiata in te reo Māori.
This category will also feature One and a Half Men which is a duo of brothers Liam and Ronan Wallace, from Campion College in Gisborne who perform a wide range of genre which include rhythm and blues, reggae, pop, native
Smokefree Pacifica Beats successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.
The finals will take place at Auckland’s Raye Freeman Centre on September 11-12.
More information on the competition can be located on the Smokefree Pacifica Beats Facebook Page.