Exciting New Era for Play it Strange Welcoming a Fresh New Team Member – Cam Mansel from ZM

  • Exciting New Era for Play it Strange Welcoming a Fresh  New Team Member – Cam Mansel from ZM
Exciting New Era for Play it Strange Welcoming a Fresh  New Team Member – Cam Mansel from ZM

Exciting New Era for Play it Strange Welcoming a Fresh New Team Member – Cam Mansel from ZM

Play it Strange, a youth organisation founded in 2003 dedicated to empowering young New Zealand songwriters, is excited for the new team to lead the organisation into the future. Stephanie Brown assumed the role of CEO in November last year, succeeding the Founder, Mike Chunn of Split Enz, who now serves as the Creative Director of Play it Strange. In March, Cam Mansel will be joining the team as the new Marketing & Operations Manager.

Stephanie has a background in positive youth development organisations and prior to her appointment as CEO, Stephanie led the Partnerships & Events team at another youth charity, the Graeme Dingle Foundation, and completed her MBA with a focus on organisational structure in not-for-profits.

Mike was CEO of Play it Strange for twenty years, and has been recognised for his significant contributions to music with appointments as Officer and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Cam Mansel, renowned as the host of the ZM Late Show for over seven years, is a passionate advocate for aspiring musicians and is eager to contribute to Play it Strange’s mission.

About his decision to leave ZM and join Play it Strange, Cam says:

“Play It Strange is such an awesome opportunity for young musicians to expand their network and get real life performance experience before they enter the music industry. With Play It Strange the opportunities are endless. Some students enter as singer songwriters and then end up working in the music industry on the management side. Taking part in Play It Strange introduces young talent to other like-minded students who also have a passion for music.

The one thing I love the most about Play It Strange is the ability for young people to build confidence. When you have a dream, it is sometimes hard to know what the first steps are to try and pursue that dream.

I am super excited to be joining the Play It Strange team and look forward to hearing the amazing songs the students create. I hope my connections in the music industry can help get performance opportunities and hope to set up workshops with already established artists who can mentor our Play It Strange contestants to help set them up for a career in whatever part of the music industry they are passionate about.”

Check out all things Play it Strange below:

Established in 2003, Play it Strange runs annual national songwriting competitions, with finalists awarded a day in a recording studio to professionally record their songs. Play it Strange then mentors many students and helps provide them with performance opportunities to launch their career. Our alumni list includes Kimbra, Georgia Nott of Broods, Liz Stokes of The Beths, Annah Mac, Louis Baker, CHAII, Luca George, Ratbag and so many more. While many alumni have turned that passion into full-time music careers, we hear inspiring stories every day from past alumni who now have careers as music teachers, in music therapy, and even teaching music in prisons.

Extensive research highlights the positive impact of music and the arts on emotional well-being, personal development, and cognitive skills in young people. Studies show music education improves academic performance, self-esteem, and social engagement. Our competitions provide young people with this opportunity.