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Captivated lives up to its name

Students by day, rock band by night, Wairarapa teen band Captivated certainly did its name justice.

Captivated, the four-person rock band made up of year 11 Wairarapa College students held opening honours at this year’s Summer Hummer in Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park.

The band consists of drummer Chester Thawley, lead singer and rhythm guitarist Rebekah Brown, bass guitarist Nikhil Satya and lead guitarist Daniel Hansen.

The group warmed up the ever-growing crowd, playing a mix of ‘90s rock classics and originals.

Already this year, Captivated has won the Regional SmokeFree Rock Quest, and at Talent Wairarapa, they landed first place and People’s Choice awards.

Nikhil said the group were taken aback to be asked to open the event.

“It was a bit scary y’know, knowing how big this event’s been in the past,” he said.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure when you have to be the first people to go out in front of a big crowd,” Chester said.

“You’re like the icebreakers, you have to get the crowd loosened up for the other acts.”

The other acts included Wairarapa local talent: Dragonfly, Maceo, Sinner Man Saint, Deluxe Edition, Tin Palace, and Auckland rapper Kings.

Captivated has been together since the students were in year nine, and meets up weekly for two-hour-long jam sessions.

“We just jam along and write some songs down and get some covers done,” Nikhil said.

“We like to do covers of pop songs and make them into rocky songs and add in a bit of grunge and fun to it.

“We just love playing gigs as much as we can, and also writing originals is a big focus of ours.”

Rebekah said that writing original tracks starts with one person’s idea.

“Then from that idea, we all work on it together, and we basically work on our own parts as a band,” she said.

Although practice is important, Chester admitted there’s no real story behind the band name, Captivated.

“We might have just used a band name generator online, I’m pretty sure that’s how it came about,” Chester laughed.

“Either that or someone just went into a dictionary and found a random page and then just read the first word they saw… it was pretty funny.”

Thanks to Chester’s involvement in Masterton Youth Council’s community work, the band was called in to play at Summer Hummer in support of the planned youth hub next to Masterton’s skatepark.

“Originally, it was going to be done by today, but it got delayed,” Chester said.

“We had planned to have a big opening with local bands and a few other acts to celebrate the opening of the skatepark, like a skate competition etc.

“And then that idea got passed on to some other people who pretty much turned it into Summer Hummer.”

Summer Hummer organiser, Stella Lennox, said it was about celebrating Queen Elizabeth Park and the skatepark.

“Just to bring some more activities back to our youth, because it’s been lacking for a long time,” Lennox said.

“We’re going to put [Summer Hummer] on the calendar.

“We’re aiming for the first Saturday of December every year.

“I’ve given it five years, it might go on longer, but I’m wanting to keep it around for the next five years.”

And while Masterton may be as big as it gets right now, Captivated has big plans for the future, citing Hollywood Bowl and Glastonbury as dream venues to perform in one day.

The band’s single, ‘Control’ will be available on Spotify from December 9.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.

Ellie Franco
Ellie Franco
Ellie Franco is Wairarapa’s Local Focus video journalist. She regularly covers in-depth stories on arts, culture, people, health, and the occasional pup.

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