Rock­quest supremacy

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MAHVASH ALI

Iris Gue­varra’s ear­li­est mu­si­cal mem­ory was a karaoke ren­di­tion of Hit me baby one more time.

The 7-year-old was ex­pect­ing a stel­lar score for her cover of the Brit­ney Spears chart top­per, but ended up with a ‘‘lousy’’ 60 out of 100.

‘‘And pas­sive ag­gres­sive com­ments, ’keep try­ing’ or some­thing like that,’’ the 18-year-old re­calls.

There was no stop­ping this star in the mak­ing though as on Satur­day she won the Smoke­free Rock­quest fi­nal for sin­gle and dou­ble per­form­ers.

The Avon­dale Col­lege stu­dent goes by the name ‘‘Iris G’’ and says mu­sic al­ways in­ter­ested her but she never thought about pur­su­ing it se­ri­ously un­til she started pre­par­ing for the na­tional con­test.

‘‘I re­alised mu­sic is the only thing that is go­ing to ful­fil me.’’

The tal­ented teen started writ­ing when she was in year 8, and says her songs are about cel­e­brat­ing life.

‘‘My lyrics are mostly about life and friend­ships. I re­ally want peo­ple to lis­ten to my songs and be re­minded that it’s good to be alive.’’

Look­ing back at her karaoke days, the Avon­dale res­i­dent says she now knows why she did not get the score she wanted.

‘‘I do not do well with singing other peo­ple’s songs. I do much bet­ter when I can own the mu­sic and lyrics.’’

Guev­erra per­formed two of her favourite songs at the com­pe­ti­tion. The lyrics were in­spired by two of her clos­est friends. Leilani is about a girl of the same name.

‘‘I was very shy as a ju­nior, she was the one who took me un­der her wing and I gained con­fi­dence through her friend­ship. I look up to her even now.’’

If looks could kill is about a girl Guev­erra had fol­lowed on In­sta­gram and then met at a mu­sic event. ‘‘I was com­pletely in awe of her. Then I be­came friends with her and dis­cov­ered how amaz­ing she is in real life.’’ Guev­erra has won $3000 in Rock­shop vouch­ers, a NZ On Air record­ing, video and promo pack­age, pro­mo­tion on The Edge TV – as well as a photo shoot and brand­ing pack­age. Smoke­free Rock­quest was founded in 1989 and has more than 40 events across the coun­try each year, lead­ing up to a na­tional fi­nal. Replica villa built in 1994 with four dou­ble bed­rooms and char­ac­ter ap­peal.

Sold by Bay­leys One­hunga

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