Press Release – Nelson Media Agency
They only had three days of ‘hard out’ practicing, but it was enough for Jah-Mon Fever from Aotea College to win this year’s Wellington Smokefree Pacifica Beats regional final at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt tonight.
Vocalist Tipapa Bracken said because all ten members are involved in music, their performance came together well, even without a lot of practice time together.
“It felt good, we had fun with it, and our energy came through on stage,” she said. “I also think our cultural elements and use of Samoan language helped.”
The male members of Jah-Mon Fever wore iafaikaga (traditional lava lava), black shirt and ula (necklace) and the two girls wore black with flowers in their hair.
The members of Jah-Mon Fever are Tipapa Bracken (vocals), Siona Faiga Faamausili (percussion), Evander Seiuli (vocals), Mila Fati (keyboard), Julius Faualii (guitar), Romano Roberts-Vili (vocals), Jasmine Wright (drum pad), Julian Wright (vocals), Steven Taotua (vocals), Junior Brown (pate – Cook Island drums).
Second place, and the APRA Songwriters’ Award, went to soloist Jayjay Busby from Mana College.
These acts win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and the opportunity to gain selection for the national final at Auckland’s Q Theatre on Friday 26 September.
Smokefree Pacifica Beats producer Elena Lome says the Wellington finalists have to complete a number of tasks to make the most of the opportunity Smokefree Pacifica Beats offers.
“We ask them to create a band page on Facebook, write up a media release, create a band bio and a short video about themselves that we use in the judging as we lead up to the national final,” she said. “The aim is to give them an insight into management and promotional aspects of being a band that they’ll need to be successful.”
Smokefree Pacifica Beats recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific, with bands required to have some Maori or Pacific Island elements in their music or performance.
When all regional heats and finals are complete, the top two bands from each region submit video footage for selection as national finalists to play off in Auckland on 26 September.
The top six Smokefree Pacifica Beats finalists are invited to Auckland for a weekend of music, friendship, mentoring and culture at the noho marae (band camp) held at Horotiu Marae, AUT (Auckland University of Technology).
The SFPB national winners’ prize package includes musical gear to a total value of $3,000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, a $10,000 song and video package from NZ On Air and performance spots at the 2015 Raggamuffin and Pasifika Festivals. There is also musical equipment from NZ Rockshops, the MAINZ Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA Songwriters Award, the Native Language Award, the Smokefree Mana Wahine Award, the Stage Image Award and the Smokefree Best Vocals Award.
The full list of awards was:
1st place: Jah-Mon Fever from Aotea College
2nd place: Jayjay Busby from Mana College
Recorded Music Best Solo/Duo Award: Isadora Laupola from Aotea College
APRA Songwriters Award: Jayjay Busby from Mana College
The Whitireia Musicianship Award: Nanda Aridanto from Alice in Wonderland, Hutt Valley High School.
Smokefree Award For Mana Wahine: Maia Diamond from the band Persuasion, Hutt Valley High School
Smokefree Award For Best Vocals: Limitless, Hutt Valley High School
YPT Native Language Award: Isadora Laupola from Aotea College