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Smokefreerockquest - National finalists announced

Smokefreerockquest - National finalists announced

Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene is a step closer for the top nine acts just announced in New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.

This year Smokefreerockquest attracted over 800 bands and solo/duos who went through regional heats and finals in 20 venues from Invercargill to Whangarei between May 5 and July 6.

It’s the 30th year for the veteran talent-finder of New Zealand music, with success stories ranging from OpShop to Broods, and most recently the Te Reo metal band Alien Weaponry.

Chairman Matt Ealand says the team at Rockquest Promotions have been truly blown away by the creativity and talent of the entrants across the country this year.

"The aim for us is to provide a platform for young people to express themselves, and have the experience of playing live in front of an audience with professional equipment," he said. "What the past 30 years have shown us is that this space allows for the special young talent developing around the country to shine through.”

The top six Smokefreerockquest bands are:

Silvera: Lynfield College, Westlake Boys’ High School, Auckland Grammar and Katikati College, Auckland Central; made up of Louie Campbell (vocals), Matt Sansome (bass), Tane Cullen (drums), Matt Holden (lead guitar), and Louis Simpson (guitar).

Bad Dog: Avondale College, Auckland Central; with members Josh Parker (guitar & vocals), Max Barret (drums) and William Elliot (bass).

Mit Eldnar: Manurewa High School, Manukau; with members Sonatane Kaufasi (lead vocals, keyboard and guitar), Eliza Avauli, Makayla Eli and Uluaialofa Lualua (vocals), Finau Faluvai (drums), Analina Namoa (trumpet), Edyn Rubena-Misilisi and Tamara Wilson (saxophone), TJ Televave (keyboard), Joseph Oti-George (guitar) and Wayne Guttenbeil (bass).

Suggested Serving Size: Te Awamutu College, Waikato; with members Lachlan Oosterman (guitar) and Matt Church (drums).

Smokey Blokes: St Oran’s College, Chilton St James School and Hutt Valley High School, Wellington; with members Grace Ashworth-Lawson (vocals & synth), Oscar Hazlewood (bass), Simon Buxton (drums), and Yuwei Shen (keyboard).

Bark Like A Dog: Taieri College, Otago; with members Alex Cochrane (acoustic guitar), Matthew Reid (bass and vocals), Josh Glennie (acoustic guitar & lead vocals).

The top three solo duos are:

Gretel Donnelly (Gretel): Rangitoto College, Auckland, electronic assisted soloist

Estella Romagnoli (Estella): Nelson College for Girls, singer-guitarist

Sam Cullen, Verdon College: Southland, singer-guitarist.

A tenth act to compete at the finals will be selected by text (to 403) as the ZM People’s Choice, voting from 9am Wednesday August 1, winner announced August 22.

The finalists now prepare to play off at the Smokefreerockquest national final at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland on Saturday September 22.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-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, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.


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