Haeata Community Campus students Evile Laloata and PJ Iva have been hard at work in the recording studio after their success at Smokefree Rockquest Christchurch. Evile and PJ placed second in the solo/duo section of the competition, and received the Tangata Beats Award with their original song "‘Samoa e, you are my heart''.
The Tangata Beats category promotes the use of Pasifika and Māori language and cultural elements within performances.
PJ and tutor Vai Punivai worked mostly on the music while Evile wrote the lyrics and set the melody. “When we sing the song it reminds us of our island, of all the sun, and the friendly people,” PJ says. He credits Evile’s passion during the performance as a key part of them gaining the Tangata Beats Award.
Taking the stage at Smokefree Rockquest Christchurch was nerve-racking for the duo but the support from their kaiako, Sue McLachlan and Seta Timo, as well as all the other Haeata kaiako and whānau who came along, helped to encourage them. “I didn’t really look at the crowd ‘cos I was so nervous,” PJ says.
Since their Rockquest success, PJ and Evile have spent time at Orange Studios recording their songs for the Tangata Beats final. “We did this last year, and now we know to come prepared to the studio and do our best to nail it on the first take,” PJ says.
From here the recordings go forward for their entry into the Tangata Beats final. PJ and Evile are also preparing for the video round of Smokefree Rockquest’s national final. For this they will submit four original songs in the hope of being selected for the top nine.