Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene are a step closer for the top 10 acts just announced in Smokefreerockquest, New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.
This year the event attracted over 800 bands and solo-duos who went through regional heats and finals in 20 venues from Invercargill to Whangarei through May and June.
In its thirty-first year, Smokefreerockquest is recognised as the launching pad for many great kiwi musicians, with a legacy that includes names from Kimbra to Alien Weaponry, and from Marlon Williams to Broods.
Judge Ash Wallace (from the indie-pop duo Foley) said she was particularly impressed by the instrumental talent amongst the top 10 finalists.
It’s so inspiring to see fresh new ideas and genre blends coming from across the country to produce unique new sounds and a promising new wave of Kiwi music.
The top seven Smokefreerockquest bands are:
PARK RD - Auckland Central
Lineup - Tom Chamberlain (vocals), Angus Hampton-Carr (lead guitar), Leo Crawshaw-Bond (guitar), Carlos Marin (bass), Te Kapua Pene (drums).
stacked - North Shore
Lineup - Tyler Jamieson (guitar), D’Arcy Londeen (guitar), Alasdair Miller (drums), Aidan Wright (bass).
Seperateky - Manukau
Lineup - Makayla Eli (vocals, guitar), Finau Fulivai (drums), Alofa Lualua (vocal), Jeffrey Tuiaki (keyboard), Tim Toafia (bass).
Sit Down In Front - East Coast
Lineup - Cory Newman (vocals), Rikki Noble (drums), Jackson Clarke (guitar), Roman Benson (bass).
Arlo Mac - Hawkes Bay
Lineup - Joe Ledword (guitar), Harry Mason (guitar), Thomas Grant (drums), Benjamin Bush (guitar)
The Sneaky Caribbean Monk Seals - Canterbury
Lineup - Yannik Turner (vocals), Jonathan Manning (guitar) David Archer (bass), Abel Carson (drums).
Haven - Central Otago
Lineup - Jack Wilson (guitar), Ryan Connaghan (vocals, bass), Harrison Maguire (drums).
The top three solo-duos are:
Ben & Brody - North Shore
Ben Glanfield (vocals, guitar) and Brody Glanfield (vocals).
Silika and Russell - Manukau
Silika Isaia (vocals) and Russell Sega (keyboard).
There is a Tuesday Between a Monday and a Wednesday - Canterbury
Natalie Hutton (vocals, guitar) and Minnie Robberds (vocals, guitar).
These acts will vie for the top spots at this year’s national final, which will be held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland on 14 September, start time 7pm.
At stake are winners’ prize packages that include $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, and a photoshoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Rockshop Electronic Performance Award, Best Song Award, and Smokefree Vocals Award.
Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest include Broods, Marlon Williams, Robinson, Fazerdaze, Drax Project, Six60, Leisure, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Die!Die!Die!, Leroy Clampitt, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Skinny Hobos, Kimbra, Aaradhna, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and Balu Brigada.
The national finalists in Smokefree Tangata Beats will be announced this coming Friday 9 August; to play off at the Vodafone Events Centre.