Young musos hit a high note

TOP VOCALISTS: Avondale College Students, from left: Josefo McNamara-Taele, 18, Ivan Fuimaono, 18, and Eric Chan-Foon, 16, are members of the school’s student band Revived Rhythm which won the Smokefree Best Vocals award at the Pacifica Beats competition last weekend.
TOP VOCALISTS: Avondale College Students, from left: Josefo McNamara-Taele, 18, Ivan Fuimaono, 18, and Eric Chan-Foon, 16, are members of the school’s student band Revived Rhythm which won the Smokefree Best Vocals award at the Pacifica Beats competition last weekend.

They're so good, they could sing their own praises from the rooftops.

A group of Avondale College students are still abuzz this week after winning the Smokefree Best Vocalist award at the Smokefree Pacifica Beats national finals last weekend.

The nationwide music competition encourages young people to create and perform their own original, contemporary music.

Revived Rhythm, made up of nine Pacific Island students who sing, play the drums, keys and guitar, was one of six bands to make the final cut to perform at the Raye Freedman Centre in Epsom.

They won much of the crowd over at the competition with their reggae, R'n'B and jazz sound which was injected with Pacifica beats and language.

The band was formed in April by student and guitarist Eric Chan-Foon, 16, after he spoke with the school's music teacher Mal Lakatani.

"I went straight to Mr Lakatani for advice. I wanted to make it big. Then the other students joined," he says.

The group performed two original songs, Revive the Rhythm and Hey You, in the competition. The song lyrics are a positive influence to youth and different cultures.

Mr Lakatani says the songs incorporate the Pacifica culture which is a key element of the competition. "The songs have a very strong culture content which comes through in the singing and dancing."

All members of the band have had an interest in music from an early age and say attending church has influenced their passion.

They wish to pursue music once they leave school.

Keys player and singer Ivan Fuimaono, 18, has been inspired by Mr Lakatani to teach music.

"I just want to teach others how great music is," Ivan says.

Keys player Josefo McNamara-Taele, 18, just wants to perform.

"I love sharing music with other people and it's great seeing our families get emotional and excited."

Mr Lakatani says it's commitment and the students' genuine love for music that makes the band so special.

"They've all got time for each other which falls in nicely with commitment values.

"They're all friends and know each other really well, and they love music, which is a big source of motivation," he says.

Western Leader