About the Mentor
Seth Haapu is an Auckland-based pianist, guitarist and singer/songwriter who names The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and James Taylor among his early music influences. Seth is a modern-classic image of South Pacific identity who writes, produces, and sings with a velvet voice, reminiscent of R&B intimacy.
For the last five years, Seth has worked quietly behind the scenes; writing and producing music for the likes of Stan Walker, Sons of Zion and Maisey Rika, all the while forming a ripple effect of anticipation for his own art. As a collaborator, he conserves a self-effacing presence, producing under the name K?hua, translated as ghost (writer) in Te Reo M?ori.
In 2016 Seth released Volume I; his second EP followed in 2017. By virtue of his nature, both works were an exercise in catharsis, revealing discoveries around his Polynesian heritage. Haapu, meaning refuge, is a village originally built over water on the island of Huahine, Tahiti; the home of his bloodlines before their passage to New Zealand. Despite minimal exposure, both volumes went to #1 on iTunes NZ Singer-songwriter chart, with nominations for APRA's Silver Scroll Award, worldwide performance invitations and support slots for James Blunt and John Legend.
Today, Seth is combining origins from New Zealand and Tahiti and delivering an experience in and around water like the islands he comes from. His latest offering, ‘New Wave' is about the journey to embracing new things. Seth says of the song "It draws on the ocean as a metaphor for finding peace in the calm before a break, diving in and coming up renewed on the other side". Sonically, ‘New Wave' is led by Seth's voice, piano, ocean field recordings and Polynesian percussion including Pahu - the heartbeat of the South Pacific.
Seth Haapu describes a new wave of South Pacific artistry and he rides on the crest of this wave.
Cathy Trueman of Stratford High School says,
"Seth has a really warm, positive but not gushy approach to students. They felt safe with him and were willing to be vulnerable in his presence. The boys in particular really grew in confidence and skill."