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.

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