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Two local bands rock critics at Whangarei’s Forum North

Posted at 2:42pm Monday 01 Jul, 2019

Two local bands performed and won awards at the Northland regional Rockquest finals last month.

Otamatea College's Pahi State of Mind won the people's choice award while Mahurangi and Rodney Colleges' band Elevated took the best vocals prize.

Both bands were selected from a pool of 22 contenders to play at the regional finals and had to write two original songs to perform at Whangarei's Forum North.

Alternative rock band Elevated managed to win their award on its first attempt at entering Rockquest, thanks to the soulful singing of Michaela Pow.

“When they read out Mahurangi College during the prizegiving I was looking around to see who else from school was here. When I heard my name, my heart nearly exploded,” Michaela says.

The band, consisting of Michaela Pow, Jackson Brierly, Harry Leese and Mitchell James, practices three to four times a week with music teacher Martin Worthington.

“Despite a couple of stuff-ups, I think we played one of our best performances, so I am really happy.

Obviously, we are going to perform again at Rockquest next year and come at it even harder,” Michaela says.

The band will perform at Rodney College's Matariki markets this week.

Michaela says she wants to continue to progress her singing career but understands the difficulty of making it in the music industry and is pursuing a fallback career in architecture.

Otamatea's Pahi State of Mind, comprising Joshua Sheppard, Ben Donald, Roman Miru and Jayke Parker, won the people's choice award after receiving the most votes from the audience at the regional competition.

It qualifies the band for the next stage, which requires them to submit a 12-minute performance video to be reviewed by a panel of industry heavyweights.

The top 10 video submissions are then selected for the national finals at the Bruce Mason Centre on Auckland's North Shore on September 14. Bream Bay College's reggae band, Jeeks, also made the video submission stage of the competition, having taken first place at the Northland regional finals.

Elevated's Jackson Brierly, Michaela Pow, Harry Leese, and Mitchell James will play at Rodney College's Matariki markets this week. Photo: Josh Burns Up Imagery.

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