He’s a real chilled-out dude who just goes with the flow. He greets me not with a hello, but a “chur, how are you?” Beau Monga is everyone’s bro.
He was the “middle dude” at school, friends with everyone. Now, the 21-year-old musician from Tauranga has more friends than he can count on his fingers. It’s because he’s Beau Monga, The X Factor New Zealand winner for 2015.
The Ngati Ranginui iwi descendant recently returned to Tauranga, as part of his first-ever national King&Queen Tour.
From busking on the streets of Manurewa, Hamilton and Auckland, the multi-talented beat-boxer, dancer and vocalist is the newest Stan Walker, but with a twist. He’s got style, swagger and sass – all in good doses.
Beau turned heads after winning the X Factor with his distinctive looping beats. But it was no “biggy” to Beau. Nope, he was just doing what he likes doing.
“I was just going with it. I wasn’t really thinking about it in the show, I thought: ‘If get eliminated I do, if I don’t, I don’t’.
“But now that it’s actually happened, it’s made me realise I did really want this. I’m really happy I’m here. I’ve got my foot in the door and I can go for it if I want now.”
He’s not into the trades, nor sitting behind a desk for a living. Music is where he wants to be.
“I feel free as because I’m doing something I like,” says Beau, who was plucked from the X Factor show and dropped straight into the music scene after finding his talent merely two years ago.
“It wasn’t until I finished high school and got my looper that I actually started to realise I wanted to do music,” says Beau.
The ‘looper’ he’s referring to is a loop pedal that allows him to create electroacoustic sounds by repeating a section of sound and patterns.
“I just wanted to make my own stuff and I knew no-one else was doing it here in New Zealand and I was already beatboxing, so I just wanted to try it out,” says Beau.
He had an inkling he’d make it to the big time with his new-found multi-talent, but he didn’t know it would be only a year until he saw his face on the cover of a self-titled debut album.
“I didn’t think it would be this quick,” says Beau. “I just thought if I do it on my own, it would take at least five years. I thought I was going to play basketball to be honest.”
He was pretty good at it too, basketball that is. Beau was selected into the New Zealand Korus basketball team at age 13. “We played hard-out back then until I was about 16,” says Beau.
‘Hard out’ is Kiwi slang for totally applying yourself to something.
Beau’s advice to teenagers with a dream of pursuing a career in music is: “Whatever they like doing, stick with that and just go hard”. That means go for it.
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