The X Factor (NZ) - Benny Tipene Audition

Television, 2013 (Excerpts)

Before he became a chart-topping singer, Benny Tipene was a hopeful entrant on the first New Zealand series of global talent show The X Factor. For his audition in front of the panel of judges — including singers Stan Walker, Ruby Frost and Daniel Bedingfield — Tipene works his understated, folky magic on Outkast's 2003 party hit, 'Hey Ya'. It more than does the trick. Tipene would eventually come third; but he impressed enough to get signed by Sony Music and released a platinum selling solo album in 2013. 

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The Rickshaws

The Rickshaws owe the completion of their line-up to an ad placed at the Rockshop on Auckland's K-Road; 'desperately seeking singer'. Enter, Rita Steel and the five-piece punk rock funksters were ready to roll, releasing their first EP in 2007. Debut single 'So Free' produced by Chazz Hill-Hayr (The Rabble), followed. In a titular riff the band describe themselves as "quite literally a vehicle of human strength".  

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Sarah Brown

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