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Stars Are Born

The fifth Yami Sounz Summit, held in Lake Wanaka Centre during the weekend, showcased phenomenal homespun musical talent from Dunedin through to Kerikeri.

150 students over the 8th and 9th of May workshopped their song writing, production and vocal skills alongside mentors and tutors from L.A.B, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds, Sola Rosa, Sea Mouse and more.

Troy Kingi and Delaney Davidson were supported by a teenage band and a 22-strong choir led by Deva Mahal and Bella Kalolo. The next night at the Sunday Showcase, Shapeshifter frontman P Digsss alongside band-mate Sam Trevethick performed ‘One’ backed by a 20-piece YAMI student band and choir. The whole weekend has sent students, mentors and crew buzzing with renewed energy and aspirations for the future of the NZ music industry.

YAMI’s purpose is to facilitate a musical weekend that creates light bulb moments of inspiration to both students and mentors alike, the achievement of this Kaupapa coming to light is perfectly summarised by local mum Bridget Legnavsky about her daughter Zora’s experience. “I dropped Zora off Saturday morning all by herself with no musical skills but a passion to sing. At lunchtime I called and her comment was, ‘I'm here by myself but I am not alone… I have found my tribe’. The next evening I watched her stand on stage with a group of insanely talented mentors who helped her perform an original song that she was part of creating. What’s even better is the confidence she gained in herself and knowing that music will be a huge part of her life going forward.”

The not-for-profit event received essential funding support from the music industry, including New Zealand Music Commission, NZ on Air and Recorded Music New Zealand. Director Lynne Christie reports being “stunned and staggered” by the bravery and skill set of the participants, adding that it was fantastic to see a heightened level of collaboration between students and tutors from all around the nation.

Christie also adds that none of it could have been possible without the outstanding crew, technicians and volunteers who worked tirelessly (even on Mother’s Day!) to produce the top-quality weekend summit.

The next YAMI (Youth and Adults in the Music Industry) will be back MAY 2023.

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