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13 Year Old Musical Newcomer Wins Five Minutes Of Fame 2010

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Fuseworks Media
13 Year Old Musical Newcomer Wins Five Minutes Of Fame 2010

He loves Joe Satriani and Santana, has been playing the guitar for just 18 months and is being hailed as a young guitar genius.

Winner of Westfield's Five Minutes of Fame 2010, Keneti James Apa, performed an enthusiastic rendition of Joe Santriani's classic 'Surfing with the Alien' - his performance at this national school holiday talent competition recognised as a stand out by audience and judges alike.

Alongside a $1,000 cash prize, a Panasonic Evolta television and a mentoring programme with Oyster Entertainment, 13-year-old Keneti (or KJ as he prefers to be known), will be performing live in front of thousands at the Westfield Style Pasifika Fashion Awards 2010 - an entertainment extravaganza held on Friday 3 September.

"We had our usual high calibre of contestants at this year's Five Minutes of Fame finals," says Debra Brooks, National Marketing Manager for Westfield New Zealand. "But KJ really stood out as a young man with the potential to develop a strong musical career."

Westfield Style Pasifika Director Stan Wolfgramm was impressed with the maturity and strength of KJ's performance.

"KJ has real musicality and we saw raw potential in his audition. He'll really benefit from the experience of performing at Westfield Style Pasifika and the mentoring that he will receive as a result of winning Five Minutes of Fame."

KJ is thrilled with his win.

"My mum couldn't get hold of me at school so she sent my music teacher, Miss Featherston, an email telling her I'd won," he says. "She read the email out to me and we were both so excited."

A Year 8 student at Auckland's King's School, KJ first picked up the guitar just 18 months ago as a requirement of his school curriculum to learn a musical instrument. He was recently awarded a musical scholarship to King's College where he is enrolled in 2011. Of Samoan and Pakeha descent, KJ grew up in a home filled with music. While inspired by his Dad to pick up the guitar, he self-taught with the help of YouTube lessons before signing up for private tuition.

KJ will be sharing the stage with Annie Crummer, Mark Williams, the Dawnraid crew and many more well-known New Zealand artists at this year's Westfield Style Pasifika Fashion Awards.

"These artists will not only be impressed with KJ's musical talent but they'll be proud to share the stage with him," adds Wolfgramm.

KJ will be performing during the Barker's Menswear Category at Westfield Style Pasifika with all-girl rock band Litvac Attack.

Five Minutes of Fame was held during the July school holidays at Westfield shopping centres throughout New Zealand.

Westfield Style Pasifika When: Friday 3 September 2010 Where: Vector Arena, Auckland Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster - www.ticketmaster.co.nz

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