Topic: Entertainment

Moving tribute sees Māori youth through to Nationals

By Mere McLean
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A talented young Māori soloist hopes to take out the National Smokefree Pacifica Beats in Auckland next month. Kapiolani Kihi-Waikato recently won the regional competition in Rotorua with a song inspired by the death of a friend.

She's been named one of eight national finalists in the Smokefree Pacifica Beats Competition.

The Rotorua youngster took the number one spot in the regional heat, but admits she still gets butterflies when she sings in front of a crowd.

‘At the beginning of my performance I was really shy, because it was only me on the stage, but my performance was good, I really wanted to pay tribute to my friend and my family’ says Kapiolani Kihi-Waikato.

Smokefree Pacifica Beats which began in 1994, is a live original music, nation-wide youth event that recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific. It has produced talent like Nesian Mystik, Ria Hall and Spacifix. The festival itself celebrates all languages.

For Kapiolani Kihi-Waikato, ‘This competition is for youth that want to enter into the world of music, he joins us within this world, our Māori language, it helps with composing in the language’.

The song dedicated to a friend who died in a water accident impressed judges Feleti Strickson-Pua from Nesian Mystik and Former Pop Star K'Lee.

‘Within this competition we have our language and others like that of the Pacific realm those languages are really encouraging to me,' says an inspired Kapiolani Kihi-Waikato.

The Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition will be held on Saturday September 12 from 7pm at Epsom Girls Grammar School in Auckland.

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