NZ's best high school acts chosen for Smokefree Tangata Beats

By Jessica Tyson

The top ten acts for the 20th Smokefree Tangata Beats high school music competition have been announced.

Finalists include Mit Eldnar from Manurewa High School, Rongomai from Hagley Community College in Christchurch, The Remnant from Whanganui High School and 5th Division from Gisborne Girls High School.

Successful artists performed in the competition in the past include Aaradhna and Alien Weaponry. 

Spokeswoman musician Priya Sami says she was blown away by the songwriting in the competition this year. 

"These musicians are playing from the heart and writing cool original music that beautifully reflects their identity.  It's been great to hear our official language te reo Māori sung so wonderfully in so many different genres.  The kaupapa is current and thought-provoking and the musicianship is off the charts.  It's going to be a final no-one should miss." 

Chairman Matt Ealand says the kaupapa of Smokefree Tangata Beats is to support and express the unique identities of Aotearoa. 

"Providing a successful platform for young musicians to celebrate Māori and Pasifika culture is something we are incredibly proud of at Rockquest Promotions.  The confidence, skill, and storytelling that they exhibit on stage is truly inspiring."

This year Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats attracted over 800 acts who went through regional heats and finals in 20 venues from Invercargill to Whangarei. 

Finalists will play off at the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final in Auckland on September 21, with first place winning prizes valued at over $10,000.

The top seven Smokefree Tangata Beats bands are:

Harmonies Divergent, Bay of Islands College, Northland.

Mit Eldnar, Manurewa High School, Auckland

Pocket-ture, Aorere College, Auckland

Salem, Gisborne Girls High School, East Coast

5th Division, Gisborne Girls High School, East Coast

The Remnant, Wanganui High School, Whanganui

KOA, Aotea College, Wellington

The top three solo duos are:

Silika and Gabby, Papatoetoe High School, Auckland

Evile and PJ, Haeata Community College Campus, Christchurch

Rongomai, Hagley Community College, Christchurch