Ivasa on song to win Smokefreerockquest Nelson regional final

BRADEN FASTIER / Stuff.co.nz

Ivasa band members Sidney Barron Buda Szerelem-Tolnay, Emma Common, Luke Wilkes, Toby Brown and Devon Brassfield celebrate their win at the Nelson regional final of Smokefree Rockquest.

After just three months as a band, Ivasa from Nelson College and Nelson College for Girls, took out the Nelson regional final of Smokefreerockquest in front of a full house at the Theatre Royal on Friday night.

Lead singer Emma Common,17, said the plan was simple.

"We just decided to have fun on stage and not worry about anything

Fret 24 blew everyone away with their performance.
BRADEN FASTIER

Fret 24 blew everyone away with their performance.

"It's so much better when you do have fun and own the stage. Each individual [band member] is so amazing at what they do so it's kind of helped us because we just look at each other and know," she said.

The group bonded over rehearsals for Macbeth, which is due to be staged next week.

Initially, the musicians were asked to contribute an instrumental piece. Emma is a Macbeth witch who added a few lyrics and the decision to form the band and enter Smokefreerockquest followed.

The crowd watch Ivasa perform.
BRADEN FASTIER/FAIRFAX NZ

The crowd watch Ivasa perform.

The other members of Ivasa are Devon Brassfield, 17, (drums), Sidney Barron, 15, (keyboard), Luke Wilkes, 15, (electric guitar), Buda Szerelem-Tolnay, 17, (bass) and Toby Brown, 18, (trumpet).

So Far, from Nayland College, was second with band members Sam White, Reece Milton, Harry Stocker, Carmen Puklowski and Isaac Stewart.

The two bands win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers. They now need to submit 15 minutes of their best material for selection as national finalists along with Brooklyn Scott, from Garin College, and Lucid Laughs (Dayla Schmutzer-Ward and Delilah Botham), from Waimea and Nayland colleges, who placed first and second in the Nelson solo-duo section announced at the regional heats last weekend.

So Far, so good, taking out second spot.
BRADEN FASTIER/FAIRFAX NZ

So Far, so good, taking out second spot.

Founder and director Pete Rainey said from now on, the Nelson finalists would have to be well organised and work hard.

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"They have to submit video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final," Rainey said. "This process not only demands musical ability and creativity, they also learn to work together as a group and to develop the organisation and promotional skills they'll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene."

The Smokefreerockquest national final is scheduled to be held on September 2. 

Fret 24 were the people's choice winners.
BRADEN FASTIER/FAIRFAX NZ

Fret 24 were the people's choice winners.

Other awards made on Friday night:

Band 3rd: RELM, Waimea College

APRA Lyric Award: Reece Milton, So Far, Nayland College

Lowdown Best Song: Time Machine, by The People's Jury, Nelson College, Nayland College & Nelson Intermediate

The Mainz Musicianship Award:  Luke Wilkes, from Ivasa, Nelson College

Smokefree Vocals Award: Estella Romagnoli, from Equinox, Nelson College for Girls

People's Choice voted by text:  Fret 24 from Nayland College and Nelson College

Nelson Youth Council Award for Crowd Engagement: Deadbeat Express, Waimea College.

 - Stuff

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