A Gore High School band has struck the right note in this year’s Smokefreerockquest regional division.
46 South placed second when results for the Southland division of the nationwide youth music competition were announced on Friday.
Vocalist Ella Cupit and bass player Elijah Thomas were pleased with the result.
“It’s cool to know there’s someone else out there enjoying your music,” Elijah said.
Covid-19 had presented challenges for the group.
Instead of going to Invercargill and performing live, the band, which also included Hamish Waddell and Angelo Rosario, had to submit an entry video.
“We were quite fortunate we had the chance to do it in an actual studio,” Ella said.
“We were already recording.”
The band won a recording session in Invercargill’s Little Fire MusicWorks studio as a prize for winning last year’s Sound Quest competition.
They used the opportunity to make their Rockquest submission, in which they performed two original songs.
In a live performance equipment such amps would have been provided, Elijah said,
“All you have to do is turn up and play.”
Equipment was hard for young people to source and it was a reason why this year’s competition had relatively few entrants, he said.
The pair both preferred the adrenaline of playing live.
“I love performing,” Ella said.
It brought out a “super happy and confident” alter ego, she said.
The band would have the chance to compete live if it made it to the national finals.
A new video submission was due next Friday for all first and second placed regional finalists.
From this, the top 10 bands would be chosen to compete in Auckland.
The band members were keeping their expectations modest.
“There’s some really good musicians our age in New Zealand,” Elijah said.
46 South was a hard rock band.
Ella was awarded the Smokefree Best Vocals Award for the same submission.
Courtney Love from Hole was an influence, she said.
“There’s not a whole lot of female rock singers.”
New Zealand band Devilskin, which also had a female vocalist, was another influence for the band.