Blue Rhythm’s winning beat
Blue Rhythm, an eight-piece band from Porirua College, won this year’s Pacifica Beats Wellington competition in Lower Hutt on June 13.
They may well have qualified for the national final in Auckland in September 12. The judges will pick the top six bands and top two solo/duos to attend finals. Finalists will be announced on August 10.
‘‘We switched around a bit and pulled in Tiresa, the youngest member, at the last minute,’’ lead singer Talitupe Smith. ‘‘Although we were really nervous, we were determined to win.’’
Pacifica Beats producer Elena Lome said Blue Rhythm’s upbeat style, use of the ukulele and Samoan phrases made them clear winners.
The band wore their full school uniform on stage, which Talitupe said made them look neat even though they felt ‘‘pretty sweaty’’.
Pacifica Beats reflects the unique cultural identity of New Zealand and the South Pacific, with entrants required to have some Maori or Pacific elements in their performance.
Lome said as well as incorporating cultural elements in their performances, the Wellington group had to now show their promotional skills.
‘‘They have to create a Facebook band page, prepare a media release and band bio and a short video about themselves. We use that in the judging, as we lead up to the national final,’’ Lome said.
‘‘The aim is to give them an insight into management and promotional aspects of being a performer.’’
National finalists will also be invited to University of Auckland’s Waipapa marae for a weekend of music and mentoring before the finals.
If Blue Rhythm were to win the national final, their prize package will include a $10,000 song and video package from NZ On Air and performance spots at some of the 2015/16 Auckland summer festivals.
Jah Mon Fever, a group from Aotea College, were second equal with Aho Fitu from Rongotai College in the Wellington regional finals.