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Valerie Fa'asavula named Generation Next winner

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Fuseworks Media
Valerie Fa'asavula named Generation Next winner

The winner of the Dawn Raid/Universal talent search 'Generation Next' was revealed at a grand finale concert in Manukau last week, which also included performances from label mates Savage, RIA, David Dallas, Aaradhna and Sweet & Irie.

Five lucky finalists were chosen from over 85 entrants to perform at the concert, with 16-year-old, Mangere College student Valerie Fa'asavula nabbing the grand prize of a single deal with Dawn Raid/Universal.

Guest judge DJ Sir-Vere, who was joined by musicians Aaradhna and Savage on the judging panel, says they chose Valerie because she weathered the storm of nerves taking the stage on Thursday night.

"All the contestants fared well in the heats and had great voices, but Valerie delivered with both her songs - and showed her true power with a great version of Beyonce's '1+1' and a unique take on Jessie J's 'Price Tag'," says Sir-Vere.

Valerie also sings in an all girl group called 'Wounded Soldiers'. Originally getting into music through her Church, she is a big fan of R&B and soul, plus a love for great jazz singers such as Etta James and Nina Simone.

The rising starlet competed against some very worthy opponents on the night, including 15-year-old Courtney Janssen from East Tamaki, who currently attends St Kentigern's College on a music scholarship and was the youngest person ever to compete on TV One's Stars In Their Eyes; 23-year old Sam Vaofusi of Papakura, a happily married father of three; 14-year-old Elephon Tauriki from Massey, who hails from a very musical family; and 25-year-old Rob Euari who holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Music theatre and has been involved in a number of theatrical productions.

Featuring as part of the 2011 Rugby World Cup celebrations, the talent show connects the winning artist Valerie Fa'asavula with one of the country's premiere labels, Dawn Raid Entertainment.

"With the likes of OMC, Ardijah, Fuemana, Savage, and Adeaze, leading the way over the years, South Auckland has always been a melting pot talent," says Brotha D of Dawn Raid. "Generation Next was about discovering the new, youthful face and sound of South Auckland music and I'm proud to say that we have found it with young Valerie. I look forward to creating and nurturing such an awesome talent."

Valerie's debut single will be released in 2012.

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