Mark Arona – CEO, Illegal Musik
Bio: Mark Arona is the CEO and co-founder of Illegal Musik. Mark has a considerable amount of experience in the industry, managing artists such as J. Williams, K-One and Vince Harder. A talented musician in his own right, Mark started his career in the music industry on the other side of the microphone as a member of the successful rap group Ill Semantics, who had the silver scroll nominated hit ‘Highway’.
Quote: “I’m looking for young, vibrant, talented, disciplined and hardworking young men that are willing to be mentored, developed and produced into the ‘next big thing’”
Vince Harder – New Zealand recording artist and song writer
Bio: Vince Harder’s first venture into the spotlight was landing the role of Simba in the Australian stage production of The Lion King, which then led to the singer entering the first season of X Factor Australia (he placed third). However it was his collaboration on P Money’s #1 single, ‘Everything’ in 2008, which catapulted him to fame in New Zealand. His debut album, THE SPACE BETWEEN US was released last year and in 2012 he was the only New Zealand cast member in the stage production of Jersey Boys – the story of Frankie Valli.
Quote: “I’m looking forward to being part of this new venture, I know there are a lot of reality shows out there already, but I’m hoping to harness some of New Zealand’s best raw talent and help to produce something that we can all be proud of.”
Leon Wratt – Programme Director, The Edge Network
Bio: Leon has been in the radio industry for over 17 years and is the gatekeeper when it comes to radio play on The Edge. Leon has an innate ability to sniff out a hit and has helped launch the careers of such NZ artists as Brooke Fraser, J Williams, Dane Rumble and Midnight Youth among others.
Quote: “Applicants will be asked if they can handle the attention of thousands of screaming fans. If they can, then this is the perfect opportunity to make their dreams come true”
Inoke Finau AKA ‘Nox’ – Producer, Illegal Musik
Bio: Responsible for most of Illegal Musik’s hits, Nox is one of the country’s top producers. Rather than merely supplying artists with beats, the multi-instrumentalist builds the music around the artist to help them find their sound. His eclectic musical taste, which ranges from Steve Vai to Chris Brown and Taylor Swift, has allowed the Illegal roster to spread across the board from soul and R&B, to Pop, Rock, Dance/Electro and even DubStep.
Quote: “This is going to be a new challenge but I’m over the moon and can’t wait for this to unfold. To everybody auditioning, bring your A game.”
J Williams – New Zealand recording artist and dancer
Bio: Acclaimed singer and dancer J. Williams was born to entertain. Growing up in a musical family, J not only inherited a great vocal range, but also developed a passion for dance. In 2006, his dance crew Dziah won the silver medal at the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships. J. Williams’ debut album, YOUNG LOVE (released in 2009), contained a number of chart topping hits, including ‘You Got Me’ and ‘Takes Me Higher’ and made the young star a household name.
Quote: “I’m very excited and am waiting to see what the talent is going to be like. I want to see the all-round package come through those doors.”
Mike Puru – Boyband host and breakfast announcer, The Edge Network
Bio: Mike has been in radio as an announcer for over 17 years and has interviewed countless superstars in the music industry. He is the former host of TV2’s ‘Flipside’ and is no stranger to singing competitions having been a contestant on TV3’s ‘Sing like a superstar’ television show.
Quote: “I’m really excited to be part of the team for Boyband having been on air for 17 years I have seen many bands enjoy the success that has come from a talent search. The time is right! I urge anyone who has ever dreamed of being in a successful group with all the trappings of fame and fortune to audition. With the Edge backing and the panel of experts, it is going to be the best ever opportunity NZ has ever seen to create a truly successful Boyband”