On a 'new kind of buzz'
Instead of making themselves known through traditional media such as radio or television, New Zealand's Got Talent finalists and metro Maori entertainment group JGeeks built up their profile through uploading videos of their performances to Facebook and YouTube.
JGeeks members and good mates Jermaine Leef, Marino Taiatini and Eru Bennett-Paul are bringing their unique fusion of dance, music and comedy to Blenheim and Kaikoura next week as part of their Tu Meke tour.
Leef, who comes from a radio and television background, having presented for C4 and the Disney channel, formed JGeeks in 2010. His aim was to produce creative, innovative entertainment for a growing new audience using social media.
At the time, the television industry seemed to be taking a "slide", said Leef.
"Coming from a background in television and radio, I saw the change in what people actually watch," he said.
"So I thought, ‘Let's try this and see what happens'."
The Auckland-based trio had received more than 1 million hits on YouTube for their song Maori Boy, and made 80,000 Facebook friends since appearing on New Zealand's Got Talent, said Leef.
"We're not on TV or radio - we're on YouTube and Facebook.
"We're on a new kind of buzz.'
Packed-out audiences at all their shows so far had been a pleasant surprise, he said.
Leef wanted JGeeks to help change the way many perceived Maori.
"We've got good business sense, we're stylish and we've got good bodies," he said.
Audiences could expect song and dance, skits, games, giveaways and plenty of crowd participation.
JGeeks are performing at Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 on Wednesday, February 27 and Kaikoura Memorial Hall on Thursday, February 28.
Each show starts at 6pm.
- The Marlborough Express