Big fans of Six60 get more from band

Four University of Otago students have hit the right note in their quest to follow in the footsteps of Dunedin musical heroes Six60.

TJ Zimba, Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu and Emily Kerr-Bell have been selected as the first recipients of the Six60 Scholarships, which were launched after the band bought their famous Castle St property earlier this year.

The scholarships include a $10,000 rent rebate, as well as mentoring from the band and access to the university’s new recording studios.

The group gathered together for the first time yesterday at their new home, where they chatted about dishes, room allocations, and late night jam sessions.

Outside their future home after being selected as the first recipients of the Six60 Scholarships...
Outside their future home after being selected as the first recipients of the Six60 Scholarships are (clockwise from left rear) Samuel Leaper, Teone Hotu, TJ Zimba, and Emily Kerr-Bell. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

They all had big hopes for the year, from creating a song together to recording singles and booking festival gigs.

Miss Kerr-Bell said she was emotional when she learnt she had earned a scholarship.

‘‘I just could not believe it, it’s an incredible opportunity.

‘‘I was trying to play it quite cool on the call ... after the call ended I was so, so amazed.’’

All four recipients were big Six60 fans, having attended concerts and collected streams of their songs.

Mr Leaper said lecturers were great, but getting mentored by the band would take things a step further.

‘‘These guys have been doing it, doing what I know I certainly want to do.’’

While all the recipients have a passion for music, only two are studying towards a music-related degree, the other two undertaking a bachelor of science and a bachelor of physiotherapy.

Six60 guitarist Ji Fraser, who along with bass guitarist Chris Mac was on the scholarship interview panel, said the band was impressed by what the candidates produced throughout the process.

‘‘They were all really technically gifted musicians, and we are stoked that we will be able to support them over the next 12 months.

‘‘To know that our flat will have a new creative energy running through it is something were pretty excited about and we can’t wait to see how each of the students progress next year.’’

External engagement deputy vice-chancellor Prof Tony Ballantyne said the intake were part of an exceptionally talented group of candidates.

‘‘We believe the outstanding four chosen will represent both the University and Six60 with pride, and we look forward to following their journey.’’

Prof Ballantyne also paid tribute to the band.

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