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Rawiri Kapa-Hakeney from Hamilton was the winner of our 2011 Singout4Justice competition, with his song, What's it all been for?
This song is inspired by the idea that our world is being polluted and destroyed by chemicals being filtered into the earth. I have specifically chosen world farmers as a target. They have massive herds of cattle and sheep that stampede the earth every day, and like anything living, our planet is getting old and tired. To feed their livestock, farmers feel the need to speed up the growth of the grass with dirty polluting chemicals known as fertilisers.
I wrote this song because I think strongly about this issue, but also to give a sense of hope, so that the future generations might live in a world with the ... qualities much like ours .
When I was practising my song in the garage, singing the lyrics, I used a standard nylon string classical guitar. But when it came to the recording I had the drums, three different guitars, and keyboard, a bass guitar and the lead vocals.
[I was] inspired to do great things with this song and it will continue to help me venture into the wonderful world of music in the future.
A great vocal performance with a simple strong idea. The story structure is basic but strong. There's some anger and strength, originality and confidence, which is why I like it a lot. Here's a songwriter that's taken the brief, and decided to make the song feel like a call to action, rather than a melancholy sigh.
In the competition, Year 7 to 10 students were invited to write a song on environmental justice linking to the Caritas Lenten theme 'United by our common humanity'. Thanks to all those who entered – we had a number of high quality entries but there can only be one winner! Of the entries in general, Don says:
It's really exciting to hear young people working so confidently with verses, choruses and arrangements. I was really encouraged by the quality of these entries. Every one of these song writers has the potential to go on to write strong, unique songs that can capture an audience, deal effectively with important issues, and sound like they come from this country. It seems like the future of music here is in good hands!
Runner up for the 2011 Singout 4 Justice competition was Rebecca Toimata of Thorndon school, Wellington. Listen to her song, The Climate's Changing here.