Smokefreerockquest and Tangata Beats – Waikato solo- duo winners and band heats results.
Live music, original songs, selfies and first time nerves – it was all part of the mix at the Clarence St Theatre in
Hamilton at this year’s Smokefreerockquest Waikato heats.
Over 800 bands and solo/duos are going through regional heats and finals in over 20 venues from Invercargill to
Whangarei between May 5 and July 6.
Founder and Director Glenn Common says while Smokefreerockquest is a competition, the environment at the heats is very
supportive and the emphasis is on participation.
“The competition is merely the framework on which we hang the opportunity to perform and for entrants to learn from each
other. They pick up skills such as stage presence from watching their peers, in a way that can’t be replicated in the
The top two Waikato solo/duos selected at the heats are Naamah Cheiban from Hauraki Plains College (first) and Niamh
Athy from Waikato Diocesan School for Girls (second).
For singer-songwriter and guitarist Naamah Cheiban, this is her fourth year doing Smokefreerockquest, but her first in
the solo/duo section. The year 13 said she felt she had a chance of winning, despite the incredible talent in the
region, because she felt confident in her song.
"I would constantly get it stuck in my head and I think the song appealed to the judge because it’s catchy,” the
17-year-old said. “It's the first pop song I've written – it’s about when you like someone and they don’t like you
because they like someone else, and being left behind. Not even always in relationships, even being left out of things
The top two solo-duos go into the judging pool for the national final, and will be joined by the top two bands selected
at the Waikato finals in June (details below).
The SmokefreeTangata Beats Award went to the Fairfield College Singers, made up of Cheyenne Knox-Novo (guitar), Jamiee
Rangitaawa (vocals), Jael Smith (vocals), Pauline Tonga (vocals) and Te Huia Pompey (drums). They now submit footage to
be selected as finalists for the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final.
These are the top 12 bands to play off at the Waikato regional final of Smokefree Rockquest at Zeal on Sat 16 June,
start time 7pm, tickets $20 adults and $10 students at the door or from Eventfinda.
Pink Tea Morrinsville College
Betend Rocket Cambridge High School
Static Hillcrest High School
Pacific Meadow St Paul's Collegiate
Metro Avenue Hamilton Boys' HS, Fraser HS Hamilton Girls' HS
Legal Issues Mercury Bay Area School
Drum Socks Hamilton Boys' High School
Drummer By Tuesday Hamilton Boys' High School Michael Park School
Suggested Serving Size Te Awamutu College
casper Hamilton BHS, St Peter's School
NEON Hamilton Boys' High School
State of Panic Hauraki Plains College
At the regional final there are awards for the top three bands, the MAINZ Musicianship Award, Smokefree Award For
Women’s Musicianship, Lowdown Best Song, the APRA Lyrics Award, the Fatboy Style Award and the ZM People’s Choice voted
The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play at the Smokefree Tangata Beats
national final on Friday September 21 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest
national final on Saturday September 22.
The live events run from May 5 until July 6, and most regions will also be filmed for the hugely popular SFRQ webisodes,
fronted this year by NZ’s ‘First Bloke’ Clarke Gayford.
Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that
includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding
package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right
Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.
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 Nesian
Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.