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South Auckland band Red Wav wins Smokefree Rockquest 2020

Red Wav. Photo / Supplied

Red Wav from Aorere College and Marcellin College in Auckland have just been crowned the winners of the Smokefreerockquest National Final, taking them one step closer on the path to musical success. This year’s event was streamed live as an online showcase.

As Smokefreerockquest band winners, Red Wav receives $10,000 in musical equipment from the Rockshop, plus a $10,000 NZ On Air New Music Single Grant Recording and Video Grant, a branding package from Imaginary Friends, and promotion, mentoring and on-going support from the Smokefreerockquest team.

The judges on the night were Jeff Newton (NZ on Air), Ross Flahive (Creative Director ZM/Flava) and Heidi (Mushroom Music Publishing), Hamish Jackson (NZ Rockshop), and musicians Elizabeth Stokes (The Beths), and Julia Deans.

Julia Deans was blown away by the winning band saying “Red Wav have their whole performance schtick down, from the intro right down to after the last beat. And holy moly, that rhythm section.”

The full lineup of Red Wav is Jesica Siva (vocals), Andrew Faiai (keyboard), Culistofa Petelo (drums), Gene Sipaoa (bass), Taula Timoteo (harmonica, synthesizer), and Jes Silva (keyboard and percussion).

The full list of awards announced at the national final is:
1st place band: Red Wav, from Aorere College and Marcellin College
2nd place band: Haven, from Wakatipu High School
3rd place band: Sandtrap, from Rangitoto College
1st place solo-duo: Ben and Brody, from Rangitoto College

2nd place solo/duo Category: Harry Mason, from Havelock North High School
3rd place solo-duo: Helena, from Hutt Valley High School
The ZM Best Song Award: Ben and Brody, from Rangitoto College

The Rockshop Electronic-assisted Performance Award: Helena, from Hutt Valley High School
Musicianship award for outstanding musicianship: Bella Bavin from Ragaire, and Harrison Maguire from Haven
National APRA lyric award: Ruby Aitkenhead and Ella Whibley, from Gisborne Girls HS for their song “Round and Round”
Smokefree Best Vocals award: Kainoa Ogilvie, from Sandtrap

Red Wav performing at Smokefree Rockquest. Photo / Supplied

Entrants in Smokefreerockquest competed in their regions over winter from Invercargill to Whangarei. The national finalists were selected from videos sent by the regional winners and judged by a panel from the NZ music industry.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing, and Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.

Watch the full live Smokefreerockquest finals here.

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