Busy singer back home

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

New Zealand will soon be­come a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion rather than a home if ev­ery­thing goes ac­cord­ing to plan for Es­ther Melody.

The Porirua singer-song­writer is not long back in the coun­try after a trip to Nashville, in re­sponse to an in­vi­ta­tion from the Amer­i­can Gospel Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion to at­tend the Im­merse con­fer­ence and com­pe­ti­tion.

Last year, the Es­ther Melody Band were an out­stand­ing suc­cess at Im­merse, winning best band and vo­cal­ist and coming third in the song­writ­ing cat­e­gory.

Ms Melody also took out Mao­rioke on Maori TV last year and penned the of­fi­cial song for the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships, hosted by New Zealand.

Melody told Kapi-Mana News go­ing back to the United States this time was ‘‘a real hon­our’’ and a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to make more con­nec­tions in the gospel mu­sic in­dus­try, with a view to even­tu­ally sign­ing with a ma­jor la­bel.

‘‘It was great. Nashville is such a fun place and we had a blast per­form­ing there and meet­ing with record la­bels, which we’re tak­ing slowly.

‘‘We met some amaz­ing folks in the US but some of them say, ‘We will make your dreams come true’ a bit too eas­ily, so we need to be care­ful. Ev­ery­thing is on such a big­ger scale over there, which is hard for us Kiwis to get used to.’’

Melody also got a chance to work with renowned vo­cal coach Brett Man­ning, who has coached Hay­ley Wil­liams of Paramore, Tay­lor Swift and Mi­ley Cyrus.

She says he ‘‘will go on record to back us’’ as she and her band seek a visa to live and work in the US.

‘‘We’re try­ing to get that visa sorted; we’re pretty much ready to sub­mit. It’s quite dif­fi­cult to get,’’ she said.

‘‘We need a lot of sup­port in writ­ing and ref­er­ences, so it’s great to have some­one like Brett be­hind us.’’

For now, Melody and her band are tour­ing New Zealand and record­ing a new al­bum. They hope to go back to the US in Novem­ber, then back to our shores for Christ­mas, be­fore play­ing dates in Bri­tain. It sounds like a rock’n’roll life­style and there are likely to be heady days to come, but Porirua will al­ways hold a place in her heart.

‘‘ There’s al­ways some­thing spe­cial about get­ting back to your roots.’’

Vi­brant per­former: Es­ther Melody has re­ceived rave re­views at the past two Amer­i­can Gospel Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion com­pe­ti­tions, for her dy­namic singing style and range, and her on­stage en­ergy.

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