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Smokefree Pacifica Beats 2017 – Auckland final results

Smokefree Pacifica Beats 2017 – Auckland finals results Saturday 24 June

Joining forces to create a big band soul funk sound paid off for Blessed from Manurewa High School who took out the Auckland regional final of Smokefree Pacifica Beats in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Aucklnd Girls Grammar School on Saturday night.

Last year Blessed made it to the national finals as a duo with members Nicola Nimo and Henry A’Pe, alongside the band Nesian Vibes also from Manurewa High School. The two joined forces this year and with some new members the full line up is now Nicola and Henry plus Christmas Ale (bass), Moses Taala (drums), Dontay Masiutama (trumpet), Faaleseu Palelei (keyboard), Pito Pasi (vocals), Joseph Oti-George (guitar) and Sonatane Kaufusi (trombone).

Nicola says they came together because the time was right to reconnect. She says their win on Saturday night was unexpected.

“The talent and commitment (of the other bands) was just crazy and we were shocked and humbled to earn first place,” she said. “We had a good energy on stage that was reflected in the energy of the crowd and maybe the judges could just see our love for the music.”

Jubilee from Aorere College placed second; the band members are Soakai Malamala (synthesizer and brass), John Pio (bass), David Fuimaono (drums), Irene Folau (vocals), Tylah Samaeli (vocals) and Christian Schmidt (guitar).

These two bands win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers. They now submit 15 minutes of their best material for selection as national finalists; along with Makayla Eli and Lakem Vuna, Manurewa High School and Skylah Hewett from Papatoetoe High School who placed first and second in the Auckland solo-duo section announced at the regional heats last weekend.

Founder and director Pete Rainey said from here on the Auckland finalists would have to be well organised and work hard to make the most of the opportunity Smokefree Pacifica Beats offered.

“They have to submit video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final,” he said. “This process not only demands musical ability, creativity and confidence in expressing their culture; they also learn to work together as a group and to develop the organisation and promotional skills they’ll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene.”

The full list of awards made on Saturday was:

1st - Blessed, Manurewa High School

2nd - Jubilee, Aorere College

3rd - Totara 441, TKKM o Hoani Waititi

1st solo/duo (announced at heats) - Makayla Eli and Lakem Vuna, Manurewa High School

2nd solo duo (announced at heats) - Skylah Hewett, Papatoetoe High School

Reo Award - Totara 441, TKKM o Hoani Waititi

MAINZ Musicianship Award – Alini Pulusi, the drummer from S.P.A.M, Massey High School

Smokefree Mana Wahine Award – Nicola Nimo of Blessed

The APRA Lyric Writers Award – Deez Coconuts, Manurewa High Schoollead

NZ Music Commision Best Song Award – Blessed, Manurewa High School

Smokefree Best Vocals Award – Dodavah Niko, Cadex, Pukekohe High School

People’s Choice Award - Cadex, Pukekohe High School

The regional events for both Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats run from May 12 until July 7, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting video footage for selection to play off at the Smokefree Pacifica Beats national final on Friday September 1 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 2.

Smokefree Pacifica Beats, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that include Rockshop vouchers, a NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, the MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship, the Smokefree Mana Wahine Award, the Reo Award, the New Zealand Music Commission Best Song Award and the Smokefree Vocals Award.

Smokefree Pacifica Beats standout successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum; plus Ria Hall, Spacifix, Adeaze, Strangely Arousing and last year’s winners, up and coming Northland metal band Alien Weaponry.


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