Teens beat a path to career as rappers

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Rotorua's Calais Matenga and Jarome Wharapapa are one step closer to their dream, after touring with a group of professional beat boxers.

The Rotorua Boys' High School students were given the opportunity to tour with a performing arts group this week - beat boxers HopeOne, King Homeboy and Marcus Taukiri.

Calais, 13, said he learnt a lot from the three artists who had all overcome tough struggles to get where they were now.

"It was amazing. [We learnt] to keep your life balanced and to be smart in what decisions you make."

The two boys also got to meet Kiwi musicians and groups like Home Brew, while visiting a music studio in Auckland earlier this week. They said the experience helped them towards their dream of becoming professional rappers in the future.

The professional beat boxers are currently on a four-day tour organised by Crash Palace Creative Arts and Students Exchange Trust.

The group visited Awhina School and the Rotorua Youth Centre yesterday, holding workshops with Rotorua youth.

Trust founder Chris Woodney said it was all about empowering young people.

"We just want to empower children through music," he said.

"And it doesn't have to be music, we want them to find their passion and focus on that one thing."

He said during each event guys like Marcus Taukiri would talk about their mistakes and how focusing on music had helped them.

"We also want to help kids who are maybe a bit underprivileged and would like to go on an exchange tour."

HopeOne and King Homeboy will be performing at the Rotorua Night Market tonight, raising money for the trust.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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