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Smokefree Tangata Beats finalists announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The next big Pacifica act to emerge on the Kiwi music scene could well be one of the top ten acts just announced in Smokefree Tangata Beats.

The live, nationwide all original music event for high school students recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific.

This year Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats attracted over 800 bands and solo/duos who went through regional heats and finals in 20 venues from Invercargill to Whangarei between May 5 and July 6.  

It’s the 20 th year for the Smokefree Tangata Beats, with success stories ranging from Aaradhna to The Spacifix, and most recently the Te Reo metal band Alien Weaponry.  

Judges spokeswoman musician Priya Sami said she was blown away by the songwriting in the competition this year.  

"These musicians are playing from the heart and writing cool original music that beautifully reflects their identity," she said. "It's been great to hear our official language Te Reo Māori sung so wonderfully in so many different genres. The kaupapa is current and thought-provoking and the musicianship is off the charts. It’s going to be a final no-one should miss."

Chairman Matt Ealand says the kaupapa of Smokefree Tangata Beats is to support and express our unique identity in Aotearoa.

"Providing a successful platform for young musicians to celebrate Māori and Pasifika culture is something we are incredibly proud of at Rockquest Promotions," he said.

"The confidence, skill, and story telling that they exhibit on stage is truly inspiring."

The top seven Smokefree Tangata Beats bands are:  

Harmonies Divergent, Bay of Islands College, Northland.

Mit Eldnar, Manurewa High School, Auckland

Pocket-ture, Aorere College, Auckland

Salem, Gisborne Girls High School, East Coast

5th Division, Gisborne Girls High School, East Coast

The Remnant, Wanganui High School, Whanganui

KOA, Aotea College, Wellington

The top three solo duos are:

Silika and Gabby, Papatoetoe High School, Auckland

Evile and PJ, Haeata Community College Campus, Christchurch

Rongomai, Hagley Community College, Christchurch

The finalists now prepare to play off at the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland on Friday September 21. First place band takes over $10,000 in prizes with other awards for second place, Best Solo/Duo, MAINZ Musicianship, Smokefree Mana Wahine Award, Best Vocals Award, APRA Lyric Writers Award, NZ Music Commission Best Song Award and the Reo Award.

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