Neo-soul outfit 78 District from Papatoetoe High School, in Auckland, took out the National Final of the 2019 Smokefree Tangata Beats staged in Manukau on Saturday, September 21.
78 District include vocalists Silika Isaia and Gabby Faapuea, Mathew Maa on bass, guitarists Peaches Peters and Ozarius Tu’ua, Russell Sega on keys, drummer Afereti Tuumatavai, saxophonists Cathrine Holst and Marine Tiria, and Fe’ofa’aki Paea on brass.
Seperateky XL from Manurewa High School, consisting of singers Makayla Eli and Erita Thomson, Finau Fulivai on drums, bassist Tim Toafia, guitarist Alofa Lualua, keyboarder Jeff Tuiaki, Tamara Wilson on the sax, and Analina Namoa on brass, took second place.
The first place award in the solo/duo category went to acoustic duo Skylah & Ozarius (Skylah Hewett and Ozarius Tu’ua) from Papatoetoe High School – making Ozarius a rare double winner on the night – and confirming the dominance of PHS in this year’s Tangata Beats competition. Second place winner was guitar/vox soloist Praize (Praize Vuna) from Manurewa High School.
Pounamu Wharehinga of Mahuika, East Coast
Silika Isaia of Silika & Russell and 78 District, Auckland
Apia: Kirikiriroa, Hamilton
Kokowai, East Coast
Entrants in Smokefree Tangata Beats competed 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 Māori or Pasifika culture in their performance.