Auckland’s vibrant and eclectic street culture has found an unexpected musical hero in Celine Dion, as her powerful ballads become the anthems for a unique and burgeoning subculture: siren clubs.
This unlikely pairing has transformed the very nature of street battles in the region, bringing a fresh and innovative perspective to the urban soundscape.
The S.W.A.T. Team’s Siren Jams
The S.W.A.T. Team, one of the 20 prominent siren clubs in Auckland, is at the forefront of this musical transformation. Their siren jams, a blend of high-pitched reggae remixes and public address system acoustics, find a harmonious match in Celine Dion’s soulful tracks. It’s a Sunday afternoon, and the air is filled with anticipation as members of the S.W.A.T. Team gather in Māngere for an intense session of musical expression and competition.
Celine Dion: The Siren's Choice:
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but Celine Dion’s music, characterized by its high treble content and clear tones, is the perfect fit for siren jams.
Her song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ is a particular favorite, not for its romantic allure, but for its acoustic properties that ensure clarity and precision during the siren battles. These battles are intense competitions where the clarity of sound is paramount, and any distortion can lead to disqualification.
Participating in siren jams requires a high level of technical skill, from wiring sirens and amplifiers to producing dance remixes.
It’s a testament to the dedication and creativity of the community, as they utilize their skills in welding, mechanics, and even electronics.
Mark Leleifi, another leader within the S.W.A.T. Team, sees potential for career growth in this unique hobby, drawing parallels between the wiring of sirens and the work of electricians and other trades.
Challenges and the Path Forward:
Despite its positive impacts, the siren club culture faces challenges, particularly regarding noise levels and the quest for a safe and legal space to practice.
The Auckland Council and local boards are requiring formal permissions and noise mitigation strategies, a bureaucratic hurdle that the community is eager to overcome.
Conclusion: Celine Dion’s music has found a new life on the streets of Auckland, serving as the unexpected soundtrack to a movement that is transforming street battles and fostering positive change.
The S.W.A.T. Team and the wider siren club community have embraced her songs, finding in them the perfect blend of clarity, treble, and emotional resonance. As they navigate the challenges ahead, they carry with them the power of music to unite, inspire, and transform.
See The S.W.A.T. Team prepare for battle: