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Once could be considered a fluke, but twice means Tomuri Spicer has found his forte.
The 17-year-old King’s High School pupil has been named a finalist in the Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition for the second year in a row, with his song Pohutukawa.
"Stoked doesn’t even begin to cover it.
"It always feels good to know that people are enjoying what you make, and then to have it recognised to the point where I’m among the top 50 student songwriters - that’s huge," Tomuri said.
"It’s humbling to know that people find value in my song."
He said the song was inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 - Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day - and was "a love song" about his North Canterbury home town of Cheviot.
"It is basically that story of saying, ‘Shall I compare you to all this beautiful stuff, and saying it doesn’t even come close to you’."
"But it wasn’t entirely [written for one person]. It was just made for other people to listen to.
"I don’t want to make it just for me, for one other person.
"I want to make it so that anyone can sit behind the guitar or the microphone and sing the song, and it will still have the same energy or the same message to whoever they want to deliver it to.
"It’s one of the things I always think about when I write songs."
His song was one of nearly 400 entries in the competition, and one of five from the southern region chosen in the New Zealand top 50 by a panel of industry professionals.
The other finalists were Taieri College pupil Hamish Burgess (Gloomy), Wakatipu High School pupils Greta Balfour (He Knows) and Billie Comer (Troubadour), and Mount Aspiring College pupil Luca Georgalli (When Ever I Fall).
As part of their finalists’ prize, their songs will be recorded in a professional recording studio, and will be released later this year on the Play It Strange compilation.