In May, 17 year old Sonatane Kaufusi, an up and coming singer / songwriter, took the stage at Zeal Hamilton in a completely youth-led event.
The Year 13 Manurewa High School student plays the trombone, bass, guitar and piano, singing and writing his own music. He won both Stand Up Stand Out and the Smokefree Rockquest solo / duo category in 2017. Sonatane’s debut single, Birdie, is #1 in the NZ Spotify top 50.
Sonatane is usually shy, but having a guitar in his hands boosts his confidence. “It just gives me something where I can just express my feelings, without being judged, because everyone loves music,” he says.
Over 50 people came out to see Sonatane perform, with 10 Zeal interns / youth running the event on the night.
“The best part to see was the youth participation,” says Jason, Zeal Hamilton intern. “Young people running the cafe, training others in barista, serving coffee, running the sound.”