Jeeks from Bream Bay College took out first place at this year's Northland regional Smokefreerockquest final.
Frontman for the reggae-dub band Elijah Backhouse said band's main goal is to have fun playing music and spending time with mates, but their performance saw them emerge as winners at Forum North. Whangārei, on Tuesday night.
"It feels really good to win because we have put a lot of time into this," Backhouse said.
"Performing on stage is fun, and we just want to have fun performing to the people and sharing our music."
The line-up of the winning band is Backhouse (guitar and vocals), Eksin Pakauka (drums), Kara Petera (keyboard), and Jimmy White (bass). Jeeks was also awarded Best Song on the night.
Second place in the band category went to Stranger Paradise from Kerikeri High School and Springbank School. Their line-up is Felix Danilo (guitar), Hector Danilo (drums), Sarah Doherty (saxophone), Khalila Strevens (vocals), and Ishmael Strevens (bass).
The top two bands now join the top solo-duos in the region with the opportunity to submit a video of their original material for selection as one of the top 10 national finalists to play off at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland on September 14.
The solo-duo winners for Northland were North American Smile (Soraya Hurrell and Cuchulainn Howard) from Whangārei Girls' High School and Huanui College, and Tiare and Waiwai's (Tiare Lanigan and Te Waimarino Aniwa Tait) from Taipa Area School (second).
The Smokefree Tangata Beats Award for solo-duo went to Ni Myself and I from Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, with award for the band category going to Radiance from Bay of Islands College. They now go into the selection process for the national final of SmokefreeTangata Beats, at the Vodafone Events Centre on September 21.
For founder and director Glenn Common, the potential of each new round of regional finalists is reflected in a music industry full of past participants.
"It's fascinating for us to look back at success stories like Kimbra, Marlon Williams and Broods where we could see the star factor right back at the regional level," he says.
"Each event gives a new cohort of bands the opportunity to take their obsession with music and develop the organisational and stagecraft skills that will help them become another Kiwi music success."
The full list of awards for Northland:
Band 1: Jeeks - Bream Bay College
Band 2: Stranger Paradise - Kerikeri High School, Springbank School
Band 3: The Steves - Kerikeri High School
Solo-Duo 1: North American Smile - Whangārei Girls' High School, Huanui College
Solo-Duo 2: Tiare and Waiwai's - Taipa Area School
Smokefree Tangata Beats (solo-duo): Ni Myself and I - Te Kura Taumata o Panguru
Smokefree Tangata Beats (band): Radiance - Bay of Islands College
ZM People's Choice: Pahi State of Mind - Otamatea High School
Smokefree Best Vocals: Elevated - Rodney College, Mahurangi College
Musicianship: Laura Corbet of Zelama - Bream Bay College
Best Song: Jeeks - Bream Bay College
APRA Lyric Writers' Award: Bay Dreams - Bay of Islands College