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New Boy Band Set To Break New Zealand Records

5 August 2013

New Boy Band Set To Break New Zealand Records

Move over One Direction, there is another boy band in town.

People closely connected to the music industry are predicting that C-City Brothers’ new single Never Walk Away, to be released on iTunes (search C-City Brothers) today due to popular demand, could become the biggest selling New Zealand single since OMC released How Bizarre in 1995.

The rise of C-City Brothers is phenomenal. One day they are full time rugby players, including members of the All Blacks, and the next they are rising pop stars. With the release of Never Walk Away their career options will be limitless.

C-City Brothers is a close knit group. Band members are Andy Ellis, Israel Dagg, Willi Heinz, Telusa Veainu and Robbie Fruean.

People may recognise these names from the successful Crusaders rugby franchise and the All Blacks, but many do not know that behind the scenes these boys are music aficionados.

C-City Brothers’ founding member Andy Ellis says: “We are hoping that this is the start of a long career in the music industry. Since I was a little boy I have dreamed of being in a boy band. My inspiration has been bands like the Backstreet Boys and Westlife. Their music continues to motivate me and I still have some of their posters from my childhood.”

Telusa Veainu credits Elvis and Sam Cook as his musical inspirations, while Robbie Fruean says the Temptations influenced him. Fruean and Dagg’s extraordinary rapping skills could see them being offered international contracts with established rappers such as Macklemore and Lil Wayne.

Andy Ellis says the idea to form a boy band was something that he and his Crusaders teammates had been thinking about for some years. “Ensuring there are options for us after rugby was a big motivator.”

Israel Dagg says the selection process to get into C-City Brothers was fierce. “Andy held auditions and all members of the Crusaders gave it a go. At the end though, he was in awe of our skills.”

Andy says it was sad having to turn down the skills of Wyatt Crockett and Luke Romano, and while George Whitelock has a great baritone, he didn’t cut it.

Willi Heinz notes that the group is made up of rugby backs, but insists there are no bad feelings from the Crusaders forwards. “All the boys in the team are supporting us and hope we go to number one on the charts.”

Andy Ellis says: “The best thing about the release of this single is that all proceeds from any iTunes sales will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Association. The Crusaders has had a long association with Cystic Fibrosis and they do great work in the community.”

Kate Russell, chief executive of Cystic Fibrosis NZ (CF) says, “ Everyone at Cystic Fibrosis NZ has known for a long time just how talented these guys are on and off the field, but to have them using their talent to help us in our work for people with CF is just so heart-warming. We are sure this is going to be a stellar hit and these guys are going to go far.”

While Andy Ellis wrote the words, strongly inspired by the strength of the people of Canterbury after the earthquakes and the closeness of the Crusaders as a team, the other band members came up with the rap. Acclaimed musician Jason Kerrison collaborated with the band and wrote original music for the song.

“It would be incredible if our song made it to number one on the charts, the boys would be stoked,” says Andy. “A lot of people have helped the band and we want to thank them for the time they have given up. We really want this single to be a success and raise a lot of money for the Cystic Fibrosis Association.”

The C-City Brothers will look at live performance opportunities throughout summer.

• View interview with C-City Brothers here - or
• View music video here - or

Never Walk Away, the first single to be released by C-City Brothers, will be available from ITunes today.

Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand
Established in 1968, The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Association of New Zealand has been supporting people with CF and their families by increasing awareness of the condition, education, advocacy, helping fund research, and providing social and financial support.

Cystic Fibrosis is New Zealand's most common life-threatening inherited condition and the CF Association is the only national organisation dedicated to all aspects of the condition. The CF Association offices are located in Christchurch but with twelve branches throughout New Zealand.

For further information:


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