This episode from a series for high school music students features Auckland hip-hop act Nesian Mystik who can speak from personal experience about music education after forming at Western Springs College and first making an impression in Rockquest's Pacifica Beats. They perform stripped down versions of their APRA Silver Scroll winner 'For the People', and 'Better than Change' (written by Dallas Tamaira of Fat Freddy's Drop) and emphasise how simple music making can be — they started out with just their voices and a Playstation One programme.
Alien Weaponry shot to prominence in 2016, after becoming the first band to win both the Smokefree Rockquest and Pacifica Beats contests, with their unique brand of te reo-infused thrash metal. The band's debut single 'Urutaa' followed later that year. Released in 2018, first album Tū was streamed over a million times on Spotify in its first week of release. Signed to Austria's Napalm Records, Alien Weaponry performed at Slovenia’s Metaldays festival, plus one of the world's largest heavy metal fests — Wacken Open Air in Germany — fulfilling drummer Henry de Jong's goal of playing at Wacken before he turned 20.
Alien Weaponry’s first single ‘Urutaa’ was released in late 2016, following their triumph at the Smokefree Rockquest and Pacifica Beats. The band won media attention for their inclusion of te reo Māori in metal music. The video sees them performing on a soundstage, interspersed with a pocket watch motif. The watch is a reference to a series of incidents between Māori and Pākehā in the early 1800s, which resulted in an attack by Māori on visiting ship The Boyd. The band used the incident as a metaphor for continuing misunderstandings "between cultures, generations and individuals".
In a television career that began with the TVNZ rock unit, director and producer Mandy Toogood has been responsible for a run of hit comedy shows and live extravaganzas: from TV Awards finalist Pulp Comedy, to NZ Idol, and the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. She's also been responsible for daily production for Trackside and TAB TV as executive producer for the NZ Racing Board.