Original song wins second and spot in regional finals
Could she be the next Kimbra?
Feilding High School student Katherine Keana recently took out second place in the Manawatu¯ regional heats of Smokefreerockquest.
The song she had written for Smokefreerockquest was her first original performance.
Katherine stood centre stage and gave the contestants an insight into her heart, signing an original song called Mr Not Right Now.
The 16-year-old began to get serious about music in her second year at high school when she auditioned as a vocalist for a school production.
It was after that Katherine’s music teacher encouraged her to join a band.
“I heard the phrase Mr Not Right Now, and I found myself writing it at midnight one night,” she said.
“It’s about observing someone caught in a friend zone and watching as they go out of that situation.”
She said it was nerve-wracking performing an original song in front of a crowd.
“It’s different from performing someone else’s song. The words were mine; it’s a daunting thing,” she said.
Katherine was surprised when her name was called out for second place in the heats.
She was humble about the win and said it wasn’t expected.
“It was my teacher that nagged me to join,” she said. “But I am extremely grateful.” She said that though she didn’t see herself as a singer-songwriter, she does have hope to progress into music therapy.
“Music gave me confidence in those first scary years at high school,” she said.
“If I can show people how to use music as therapy, to relax and find confidence, that would be fulfilling.”
This year celebrates 30 years of Smokefreerockquest, a national music competition that fosters the original musical skills of high school students across New Zealand.
Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aradhna, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, The Black Seeds, The Naked and Famous, Devilskin, Bic Runga, SteriogramOpshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88 and more.
Smokefreerockquest founder Pete Rainey says Smokefree is about recognising that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future.
SMOKEFREEROCKQUEST Katherine Keana from Feilding High School placed second for her original solo performance, winning her a spot in the Manawatu¯ regional finals.