Singing dad’s win has spe­cial mean­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By CATHER­INE HEALY

It’s no won­der Michael Steed­man got a lit­tle emo­tional singing Make You Feel My Love on live tele­vi­sion.

Mr Steed­man took out Heat 16 of Maori Tele­vi­sion’s live karaoke show Ho­mai Te Pakipaki on Au­gust 16.

‘‘It’s some­thing my wife and I had talked about do­ing for years,’’ he says.

His wife died in May aged 42, af­ter bat­tling breast can­cer for three years. Af­ter her death Mr Steed­man was more de­ter­mined than ever to tackle the things on his wish list.

Peo­ple who want to try their luck on Ho­mai Te Pakipaki just turn up to the TV stu­dio on the day and au­di­tion.

‘‘The pro­duc­tion staff are re­ally clear in their in­struc­tions to you. And there’s a stu­dio au­di­ence so ev­ery­one is there to lis­ten to you sing, so it’s bet­ter than a karaoke bar in that sense.’’

Mr Steed­man sang Adele’s ver­sion of the Bob Dy­lan love song. The lyrics in­clude the line: You know there’s noth­ing that I wouldn’t do to make you feel my love.

‘‘I had no ex­pec­ta­tions, I just wanted to pick a good song and sing it as well as I could for my wife,’’ he says.

View­ers have to send a text to sup­port their favour- ite singer and Mr Steed­man was the clear win­ner on the night.

He will sing against 10 oth­ers in the semi­fi­nal on Septem­ber 27 and would love to be voted through to the fi­nal, which will be held at the Lo­gan Camp­bell Cen­tre on Oc­to­ber 4.

Mr Steed­man won $1000 for win­ning his heat and the grand fi­nal prize is $20,000.

He comes from a fam­ily where singing is part of life and fondly re­calls singing in a an all-male vo­cal group at Kaipara Col­lege.

‘‘Boyz II Men were pop­u­lar then. We’d per­form their songs in assem­bly and even dress like them in denim shirts and pais­ley ties.’’

Mr Steed­man was a Maori lan­guage teacher at Sa­cred Heart for four years and now works in the science fac­ulty at the Univer­sity of Auck­land.

‘‘Ba­si­cally,

I work with Maori and Pa­cific stu­dents to im­prove the univer­sity ex­pe­ri­ence for them, with a fo­cus on per­for­mance. I was a science stu­dent my­self once.’’

He is a long-time mem­ber of Te Puru O Ta­maki kapa haka group based at Orakei marae.

‘‘It’s some­thing both my wife and I were in­volved in. It’s a whanau group in a lot of ways with peo­ple with dif­fer­ent lev­els of ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s a good op­por­tu­nity for be­gin­ners to get ex­pe­ri­ence in a fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment. I en­joy it be­cause I get to be ac­tive and to sing.’’

His im­me­di­ate fo­cus is be­ing a solo dad to his 8 and 14-year-old sons.

‘‘Me and my two boys are just ad­just­ing to life now,’’ he says.

‘‘My wife was a re­ally bright, vi­va­cious per­son who loved us to bits. It’s been a real strug­gle.’’

Photo: CATHER­INE HEALY

Singer’s mo­ti­va­tion: Michael Steed­man sang on Ho­mai Te Pakipaki for his late wife and has made it through to the semi­fi­nal.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see Michael Steed­man per­form.

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