14-year-old Monique Henare-Urwin has been selected as the first ever Iwi Idol winner and will perform alongside soulstress Aaradhna at the 2018 Ngāpuhi Festival next month.
Henare-Urwin was selected from a group of 10 outstanding finalists and 20 video entries.
Aaradhna says, "I look forward to performing one of my original songs with the winner. This opportunity should create an atmosphere where we recognise our younger generation and the talent they have been blessed with. It will also be an amazing experience for them to perform before a large scale audience in front of the community, their family & friends. I look forward to the event".
Henare-Urwin is excited about the opportunity and says, “I have written a lot of songs that I feel this could be the right platform to launch my music to represent my age group and inspire others”.
A panel of Ngāpuhi celebrities, singer/comedian/actor Luke Bird, renowned opera singer Kawiti Waetford and actor/singer Lee Morunga had the hard job of deciding the final winner.
The group said that while the competition was strong, Monique had a star quality that made her stand out.
Waetford shares some words of inspiration for the gifted young people who participated in the competition and for others who are thinking about taking that next step with their singing.
“Tukua te reo kia rere - let your voices soar!…at the end of the day everyone has their own wai, and their own stories to share - kei runga noa atu tēnā!”
Festival Event Manager Tio Taiaki said he has been overwhelmed by the musical talent that Iwi Idol has brought forward and humbled by the high level of support, endorsement and encouragement from over 5000 online voters.
"We hope this opportunity gives all young people inspiration to keep pursuing their dreams and developing their talent.”
For all you need to know about the 2018 Ngāpuhi Festival, you can follow their Facebook page.