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Smokefree Pacifica Beats – national finalists

Smokefree Pacifica Beats – national finalists & Smokefreerockquest 2017 – top 30 bands and solo-duos announced

Who will be the next Kimbra, Marlon Williams or Alien Weaponry? A record 880 bands and solo-duos played off from May to early July in 37 heats and finals from Invercargill to Whangarei, and now the talent has been whittled down to the Smokefree Pacifica Beats top nine finalists who will compete at this year’s final; and for Smokefreerockquest the top 10 solo-duos and top 20 bands.

The regional finalists from both events prepared 12 minute videos of their band or solo-duo performing, and these were viewed by a panel from the NZ music industry made up by Priya Sami from the pop project Trip Pony, singer-songwriter Seth Haapu and drummer Richard Orr, all based in Auckland; singer-songwriter Flip Grater from Christchurch and Wellington based singer-songwriter Thomas Oliver.

The Smokefree Pacifica Beats finalists to play off at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls Grammar School on Friday 1 September are:
Blessed, Manurewa High School
Makayla and Lakum, Manurewa High School
Rose Campbell, Wairoa College
Jubilee, Aorere College (Auckland)
Te Urewera, TKKM o Huiarau (Ruatahuna)
Mellow, Gisborne Girls' High School
Horizon, Hastings Boys' High School
Humble 8, Porirua College
Proud Brown, Haeata Community Campus and Mairehau High School (Christchurch)
Fuzhun, Shirley Boys' High School (Christchurch)
Judges spokesman Seth Haapu said he was honoured to be a judge and mentor: “There is an exciting new wave of music in Aotearoa coming from our rangatahi that shines a light on kotahitanga, culture and diversity. Their music speaks to the shared experience of a generation, which is a true taonga in these times.”

While Priya Sami said the Smokefree Pacifica Beats entries were truly inspiring this year: “The level of talent across the country has been outstanding and there is a vibrant wairua to these original songs and performances - I guess that’s the result of a contemporary music competition that encourages our rangatahi to embrace their language and their culture and to be true to themselves.”

The top 10 solo-duos in Smokefreerockquest are:
Mollie Harvey, Auckland Central

Jenna Jones, Auckland Central
Sonatane Kaufusi, Manakau
Sam Egli, Taranaki
Lauren Carr, Wairarapa
Ellie and Laura, Nelson
Brooklyn Scott, Nelson
x2, Canterbury
Nat and Jono, Canterbury
Contradiction, Canterbury
The top 20 bands in Smokefreerockquest are:
AO8, Northland
O-Boy!, North Shore
Bad Apples, Auckland Central
Daffodils, Auckland Central
Minutes to Monday, Auckland Central
Haze, Manakau
Minimal Silence, Manakau
Half Eaten Pie, Waikato
Rural Delivery, Waikato
French Doors, Bay of Plenty
Made Alive, Bay of Plenty
Charlie Whack, Hawkes Bay
Suburban Goons, Taranaki
Fruit Juice Parade, Manawatu
KOA, Wellington
Run77, Canterbury
Fuzhun, Christchurch
Pseudo Sane, Timaru
Cheery Moon, Central Otago
The Dense, Southland
The Smokefreerockquest top 30 will be narrowed down to the top eight bands and top three solo-duos, to be announced at 6pm on Monday (July 31). An additional band will be selected from the top 20 via the People’s Choice voted by text. The Smokefreerockquest national final is on Saturday 2 September at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls Grammar School.
Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package’ a ‘Decent Exposure’ campaign on The Edge TV, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, and the Smokefree Vocals Award. In addition Smokefree Pacifica Beats has the Smokefree Mana Wahine Award, the Reo Award and the New Zealand Music Commission Best Song Award.
Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 28-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Kora, Thomston, Midnight Youth, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous.
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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