For Strangely Arousing, 2013 was about testing the waters to see if they had what it took to make it as a band. The answer was a fairly resounding yes.

The five, who have just finished Year 13 at Western Heights High School, admit they have had a pretty spectacular year. The highlight was winning the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition - a win that has propelled them on to bigger things.

The band is made up of Lukas Wharekura, Shaun Loper, Oliver Prendergast, Forrest Thorp and Liam Rolfe.

As part of the win, they've recorded at York St studios, filmed their own music video and are preparing to take to the stage at Raggamuffin.


It's also cemented a decision for the five to study music in Auckland next year while trying to make it as a band, instead of going their own ways to pursue different study paths.

Forrest said the band's hopes weren't overly high ahead of the Pacifica Beats competition because it was a cultural competition. However, he said they incorporated more of a Maori aspect into their music and ended up being one of the most cultural groups there, even picking up a lyrics award.

The Raggamuffin spot they won as part of the prize package is shaping up to be one of the big highlights of 2014 - with the group sharing the stage with some music legends such as Shaggy and Damian Marley, who they'll also sound check with.

While it might sound daunting, the five aren't too worried.

"We're pretty confident. We've realised we can play good, we just need to be in the right mindset."

Shaun said one of the big challenges facing the band next year was developing an audience base in Auckland and making the step up from being a "high school band".