Smokefree Tangata Beats 2018 national finals results

Press Release – Smokefreerockquest

Eleven piece neo-soul outfit Mit Eldnar from Manurewa High School took out the national final of Smokefree Tangata Beats at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls Grammar last night (Sept 21).

Spokesman Sonatane Kaufusi (guitar), said they were ‘happy as’ with the win.

“It’s a testament to all the hard work that all of us have put in together to make this set happen,” he said. “We rehearsed hard and came into the national final giving our best selves individually so we could give our best selves as a band.”

The other members of Mit Eldnar are TJ Televava (keyboard), Wayne Guttenbeil (bass), Finau Fuluvai (drums), Joseph Oti-George (guitar), Tamara Wilson (saxophone), Edyn Rubena-Misilisi (saxophone), Analina Namoa (brass), Makayla Eli (vocals), Eliza Avauli (vocals) and Alofa Lualua (vocals).

They win $3,000 in musical equipment from Rockshop and a NZ On Air Making Tracks recording, video and promo grant.

Pocket-ture from Aorere College in Manukau took second place, with a prize that includes having a song professionally recorded and $1,500 in musical equipment from Rockshop. The band members are John Pio (bass), Tylah Samaeli (vocals), Jesica Siva (vocals), Valerie Veiao (vocals), Ethan Tekeu (vocals), Isaac Tuuga (guitar), Andrew Karima (keyboard) and David Fuimaono (drums).

First place in the solo/duo duo category, winning $1000 cash, went to singer- guitarist Rongomai Callaghan from Hagley Community College, Christchurch; with second place winning $500 in musical equipment from Rockshop going to Silika and Gabby from Papatoetoe High School, they are Silika Isaia (vocals) and Gabby Faapuea (keyboard).

Judges Jeff Newton from NZ on Air, musician Seth Haapu, and Anji Sami from ‘She’s so Rad’ said the overall standard was very high, with the three solo-duo finalists setting the highest standard yet seen in this event.

“Rongomai had an amazing voice, she played the guitar so well and her lyrics had lovely transitions from English to Maori,” said Anji Sami.

Jeff Newton commented on the strong leadership Mit Eldner had from last year’s Smokefreerockquest solo-duo winner Sontatane Kaufasi.

“They got a huge response from the audience, their performance was very focused and polished and their songs are highly recordable,” he said.

The full list of awards made at the national final is:

1st placed band: Mit Eldnar, Manurewa High School

2nd placed band: Pocket-ture, Aorere College, Manukau

3rd placed band: KOA, Aotea College, Porirua

1st placed solo/duo: Rongomai Callaghan, Hagley Community College, Christchurch
2nd placed solo/duo: Silika and Gabby from Papatoetoe High School
MAINZ Best Musicianship Award, $500: Sam Booth, drummer from Salem, Gisborne Girls’ High School
Smokefree Mana Wahine Award, $1000 cash: Pocket-ture lead singer, Tylah Samaeli
Smokefree Best Vocals Award, $1000 cash: Silika Isaia
NZ Music Commission Best Song Award, $500 cash: Mit Eldnar for Find My Own Way
Reo Award, $500 cash: The Remnant, Wanganui High School

Entrants in Smokefree Tangata Beats competed over winter in 35 heats and finals from Invercargill to Whangarei, held in conjunction with Smokefreerockquest. The national finalists were selected from videos sent by the regional winners and judged by a panel from the NZ music industry. Smokefree Tangata Beats entrants include an element of Maori or Pacifica culture in their performance.

Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum; plus Ria Hall, Spacifix, Adeaze, Strangely Arousing and Alien Weaponry.

Tonight (Sat Sept 22) Smokefreerockquest finalists play off for their national awards. The guest bands are indie-rock band and last year’s second place getters, Daffodils; and last year’s winners, Auckland rock band Minimal Silence.

The event will be live streamed on

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