Singer a step in di­rec­tion of dream

Teen im­presses WSU teach­ers with pres­ence and tech­nique

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Tony Bos­worth

PLUMPTON High School stu­dent Elysa Vil­lareal cer­tainly struck the right chord at Western Sydney Univer­sity’s Cre­ativ­ity Un­lim­ited when she took out top prize at the mu­sic event, bring­ing her an­other step closer to a pro­fes­sional singing ca­reer.

The win­ner of the morn­ing com­pe­ti­tion was Ester Gaolo, from Richard John­son Angli­can School in Oakhurst, singing I’d Rather Go Blind (originally a 1950s’ gospel song by Etta James).

Both stu­dents now get the chance to record sev­eral tracks at the WSU’s new state of the art world-class record­ing stu­dios at the Wer­ring­ton cam­pus.

Ms Vil­lareal says she will use the record­ings to help get a pro­fes­sional record­ing con­tract.

“Hon­estly, my win was very un­ex­pected. Ev­ery­one was so amaz­ing and they had a lot of tal­ent and I was very happy to win,” she said.

The 18-year-old Leth­bridge Park res­i­dent per­formed the Boyz II Men hit On Bended Knee and

“I started singing when I was eight and when I saw Jes­sica Mauboy on Aus­tralian Idol I de­cided that’s what I wanted to do.”

By age 14, Ms Vil­lareal was in a Latino band and a year later joined a Samoan group.

She al­ready has ap­peared on The Voice and au­di­tioned for the X Fac­tor.

While Ms Vil­lareal sings cov­ers of pop­u­lar songs, she also writes her own pop, R & B and rap ma­te­rial.

“My dream is to get a record­ing con­tract and make it in the mu­sic in­dus­try. I couldn’t do any of this with­out my fam­ily. My dad takes me to all my events and usu­ally my fam­ily all come along too,” she said.

Ian Steven­son, aca­demic course or­gan­iser and one of the peo­ple be­hind Cre­ativ­ity Un­lim­ited, said WSU had put the call-out to stu­dents all over Sydney and the re­sponse had been re­ally im­pres­sive.

“Def­i­nitely Elysa’s stage pres­ence and tech­nique marked her out,” Mr Steven­son said.

“We strive for ex­cel­lence at WSU and the thing that most im­pressed us is how all the con­tes­tants re­ally em­braced all styles of mu­sic. We had a whole mix — we had bands and soloists and we had classic mu­sic and con­tem­po­rary, and we were blown away by the stan­dard of mu­si­cian­ship.”

WSU’s new $3 mil­lion mu­sic fa­cil­ity opened its doors two months ago.

We strive for ex­cel­lence at WSU and the thing that most im­pressed us is how all the con­tes­tants re­ally em­braced all styles of mu­sic Ian Steven­son

Pic­tures: Peter Kelly

Elysa Vil­lareal per­forms a num­ber and (below) fel­low stu­dent Ryan Park shows off his gui­tar-play­ing.

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