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'Rhythm Nation Summer Beats 2005'

12 January 2005

'Rhythm Nation Summer Beats 2005'

Auckland Anniversary - Monday, January 31; Okaahu Bay, Auckland

Featuring Katchafire, Adeaze, Aaradhna, Bennett, MC Korza, MC Verasity, Audio Ruffness

A free outdoor concert on Auckland Anniversary Day will feature New Zealand's best reggae and R'n'B acts alongside the winners of a unique urban music talent search organised by Mai FM 88.6 and Coke.

'Rhythm Nation Summer Beats' will be staged for the second year in a row by the top Auckland youth station at Okaahu Bay from midday on Monday, January 31. Mai FM concert co-ordinator Brent Mio says last year's concert attracted more than 18,000 people with winners from the Coke Rhythm Nation competition performing alongside their musical idols from the local hip hop and R'n'B scene.

This year's headline acts include Hamilton reggae band Katchafire who recently released their second album, 'Slow Burning'; R'n'B duo Adeaze and their Dawn Raid stablemate, Aaradhna; and the 'Power Mix' DJs from Mai FM including Peter James and DJ 09. As well as the established artists, four winners from the Rhythm Nation contest organised by Mai FM and Coke will also perform at the concert. They are:

- Bennett (aka Richard Randell), a 22-year-old R'n'B singer from Whangarei whose tune 'Baby Gone Bye Bye' earned him a NZ On Air New Artist Recording grant;

- MC Korza (aka Kori Reweti-Niha), a 20-year-old singer, MC and rapper from Whangarei;

- MC Verasity (aka Donna Jean Tairi), a singer, song-writer, beat-maker, dancer and choreographer from Manurewa in South Auckland; and

- Audio Ruffness, a four-strong crew of Ngapuhi men aged 19 to 25 from Whangarei.

The year-long Rhythm Nation competition - with a total of 10 rounds - fostered local talent by giving them the chance to professionally record one of their own, original compositions at Mai Studios. Top engineer/mixer Chris Macro (Dubious Bros, Katchafire) handled all the tracking, mixing and mastering, and also mentored each act in the songwriting and construction process, adding additional beats and arrangements where necessary.

The winning songs were pressed as CD singles and given away by Mai FM street teams in Auckland, Rotorua and Whangarei as well as being distributed to music media and iwi radio stations throughout the country. A compilation CD of the top 10 tracks for 2004 will also be produced for radio, television and print to help the new artists gain more visibility. More details about Rhythm Nation - including the 2003 and 2004 winner biographies and photographs - can be viewed on the websites or

Auckland - named after Hobson's naval commander Lord Auckland - has been celebrating its anniversary in January since 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by local Maori chiefs at Karaka Bay, Mangere and Awhitu. The same year, Captain William Hobson, then the Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand, was invited by Ngati Whatua chiefs to establish the new colony's capital in Auckland. A sailing regatta was held to celebrate the occasion, marked by the raising of the union flag, a tradition still observed every year on Auckland Anniversary Day.

Mai FM was launched by Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua in 1992 and has established itself as the country's most successful commercial Maori radio broadcaster. As well as the network of three youth music stations in Auckland, Rotorua and Whangarei, Mai Media Limited is also an umbrella company for record label Mai Music; songwriting copyright administrator Mai Publishing; recording facilities Mai Studios; public relations division Mai Communications; and Maori language radio programme producer Ruia Mai.


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