Céline Dion Is At The Centre Of New Zealand's Siren Battles
Céline Dion has become a problem near a small town outside of Auckland, New Zealand. The Canadian superstar's music is a popular choice for the ongoing siren battles currently plaguing the community.
The battles consist of cars tricked out with numerous loudspeakers (industrial speakers, loudhailers and sirens) gathering in parking lots to have noise competitions. Recently Dion's music has become a favourite for the drivers.
“We hold battles and compete for different titles and categories. The battle involves three rounds which are scored by judges and one of the main things judged is the clarity – so any distortion or reverberation will make you lose," explains Paul Lesoa, a founder of the S.W.A.T. (Switching Without A Trace) Team.
“Celine Dion is popular because it’s such a clear song – so we try to use music that has high treble, is clear and not much bass," he adds. "Reggae is our go-to as it has nice beats and doesn’t sound distorted.”
The siren battles have become a nuisance local residents, with the cars cruising around late at night blaring their noise. Anita Baker, the mayor of nearby Porirua, is looking to put a stop to the terror caused by these "siren kings."
“We need to find somewhere alternative for these people to go or they need to stop,” Baker tells the Guardian. “It’s vibrating all over the city wherever they do it because we’re in a basin. It’s really frustrating.”
“They play half a song and tweak it on their things and make a screeching noise so it is not like you’re even listening to good music,” Baker continues. “I don’t mean to be awful but it’s not even a complete song.”
Lesoa, however, feels these battles keep a lot of the drivers out of trouble, be it from violent clubs or gang activity.
“We just love music, we love dancing, and doing this is better than night clubbing or drinking in a bar in the city, where there’s fights etc.,” Lesoa says.
Listen to music from Celine Dion