Reggae group’s ‘mean buzz’ win
Te Paamu are grand champions of this year’s Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition.
The college band claimed the title at the recent finals in Rotorua, earning a $10,000 New Zealand on Air song and music video recording grant and a $3000 musical equipment grant.
Lead singer Carne Doyle, 16, also won the Smokefree Best Vocals award and $1000.
The Otaki-based band, which includes Porirua’s Matariki Styles on drums, formed after a series of music workshops for young people at Hongoeka Marae in Plimmerton. After 12 months of near successes for the band, the win was especially sweet.
They were runners-up at last year’s nationals and this year they made it to the finals of the Smokefreerockquest.
Bass and keyboard player Rongotai Bevan, 16, said playing at Pacifica Beats had been awesome. ‘‘There was a mean buzz. ‘‘We were a bit nervous to start but once we were on stage and letting loose it was good.’’
As the last band of the night to play, it was good to hear the others play first, he said.
The success came as a huge relief after the band went unplaced at the rockquest nationals two weeks earlier. ‘‘We were gutted by that,’’ Rongotai said. Te Paamu’s style is reggae, which was not what rockquest judges were looking for, Rongotai’s father and group mentor Tipi Bevan said.
The reggae beats and use of te reo in their original composition were much more in the Pacifica Beats styling.
Styles, 16, attends Aotea College, while Te Paamu’s other members come from a mix of secondary schools. Carne attends Whakatupuranga Rua Mano Kura a Iwi in Otaki, while Rongotai and guitarist Te Whaio Manga both attend Te Kura Kaupapa o Te Rito in Otaki. Between them they have Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa and Te Atiawa ancestry.
Practices are held in the shed on the Bevan family farm. Te Paamu means ‘‘the farm’’, Mr Bevan said. ‘‘They’ve all grown up around music.’’ Now the band is looking to see what opportunities are open. They will be playing at the Otaki fireworks display and are waiting to confirm details of the recording and music video win. Te Paamu has also been filmed for a Rockquest segment to play on C4 on November 6.