From hip hop to Christ­mas songs

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

Singer Gemma Copas will be swap­ping hip hop beats for Christ­mas tunes at this week­end’s Coca-Cola Christ­mas in the Park.

The Mt Roskill per­former is a mem­ber of band Fast Crew but will be go­ing solo for the con­cert.

Gemma, 23, sang in Christchurch’s Christ­mas in the Park on Novem­ber 29 and says the show in­volved a lot of hard work.

“We had to go over the show three times in one day. It was a 12-hour day and quite a gru­elling process.”

Al­though she has taken part in the Auck­land show twice be­fore, it was her first time per­form­ing in Christchurch.

“The vibe was so fam­ily ori­en­tated, it was such a nice ex­pe­ri­ence. It was nice to be away and to see 120,000 Christchurch faces.”

This year Gemma is per­form­ing the songs I Saw Mummy Kiss­ing Santa Claus in the chil­dren’s half of the show and Some­body to Love for the sec­ond half.

Al­though she en­joys the singing, learn­ing and re­mem­ber­ing the dance moves over a short space of time is a chal­lenge.

“This year I have lim­ited steps which is great. It takes the pres­sure off and when I’m singing, I can just do what I nat­u­rally do.”

She says the cast of per­form­ers are like a close fam­ily and many have been part of the show for sev­eral years.

“It’s such a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Gemma joined a choir when she was six and started do­ing solo parts in school mu­si­cals when she was at in­ter­me­di­ate school.

“I didn’t know what I was go­ing to do with singing, so I en­rolled in a be­gin­ners’ singing course at The Auck­land Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.”

While there, she au­di­tioned to sing with hip hop group Fast Crew and got the part.

She still sings with the group, which re­cently re­leased a new al­bum, and she is also work­ing on a solo record.

Event man­ager John Searle says the Auck­land show fea­tures 166 per­form­ers.

“It’s a good thing be­cause it’s not just about the big names, it’s also about com­mu­nity. We’ve never had a cast that big be­fore.”

He says the show is about all the per­form­ers get­ting their “mo­ment in the sun”.

Mr Searle is ex­pect­ing around 150,000 peo­ple to turn out for the con­cert.

The show kicks off at 7.30pm at the Auck­land Do­main on Satur­day.


Christ­mas spirit: Singer Gemma Copas will per­form at the Auck­land Christ­mas in the Park.

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