Mahurangi College singer/songwriter Kate Popham, who plays under the stage name Seven Zen, has won the solo/duo section of the Northland heat of school music competition Smokefreerockquest that was held online for the first time due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Tiare & Yy's from Taipa Area School came second in the competition with both acts winning a prize package from the Rockshop and going into the national selection pool for the event's live national final.
Kate Popham, who performs under the name Seven Zen, has been playing music for about seven years and her songwriting is inspired by things she feels strongly about.
"Many of my songs are somewhere between a social commentary and a protest," the 16-year-old said.
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''My favourite kind of music is music with something to say about the world or the people living in it."
The winners were chosen from video performances entrants submitted to the competition organisers.
Those competing in the bands section of the Northland Smokefreerockquest heat are in the process of submitting their video entries for consideration. Entries for the band category close today, with the three winners announced on August 7.
Smokefree Tangata Beats is run alongside Smokefreerockquest with a focus on the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific. Entries for this programme also close today with winners announced on July 31.
Smokefreerockquest founder and director Pete Rainey says that at the regional level some entrants are already demonstrating the standout factor that may see them achieve music career success.
The top regional bands and solo/duos submit new footage for selection as finalists to play off at the Smokefreerockquest national final in Auckland on Saturday September 12, with the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final held the night before on Friday September 11.