Orig­i­nal song wins sec­ond and spot in re­gional fi­nals

Manawatu Guardian - - STEPPING OUT... - By ASH­LEIGH COL­LIS

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.

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