Girls on TV quest
School’s out for musicians Anna Robinson and Livvy Nott, and the talented pair are starting their gap years with a bang.
The duo fly to Auckland on Saturday, a day after Anna’s last exam in media studies, to take part in the X Factor New Zealand live auditions.
Other musicians from the Nelson region will join them, all hoping for national exposure and a lucky break.
All up, 300 people from around the country will take part. The show starts early next year.
‘‘For us it is really exciting. We’ve done Rockquest but X Factor is different,’’ Anna says.
Livvy says they hope they to show people what they can do and to ‘‘get noticed maybe’’.
‘‘It’s a bit harder to do it when you are just doing gigs around a small town.’’
Their college days are over but Anna and Olivia – who perform as ELAE – will take the encouragement and tutorage of Garin College teacher Kyle Proffit with them on to the stage.
‘‘We wouldn’t be here without him,’’ Livvy says.
‘‘He’s probably the best music teacher in New Zealand. He’s just amazing. He’s really connected with his students and takes the time of day,’’ Anna says.
‘‘He’s just really, really good and he really cares what his music students are doing.’’
Kyle had encouraged the girls to play together, and has helped them believe in themselves.
‘‘To have that extra person telling you are are quite good, you can to this if you want to . . . ’’ Livvy says.
ELAE is the latest of a line of great young talent to come out of Garin College, which straddles the border of Nelson and Richmond.
This year’s Rockquest regional winners Oh Blok were from Garin and the school has produced a number of other top acts.
Most famous are Livvy’s older siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott who form the successful pop duo The Broods.
The Broods were named breakthrough artist of the year prize at the recent New Zealand Music Awards, and the band has had a whirlwind rise in the industry after the release of their single Bridges last year.
Livvy says it is inspirational to see what her siblings have achieved.
‘‘It’s exciting to try and do what they are doing. Just to get into the same sort of world as them and experience it would be be cool.
‘‘It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen,’’ she said.
The girls are both taking a year out, and seeing where their music takes them before committing themselves to concrete plans.
‘‘We both don’t know what we want to do at university yet, so it is not really the right time for us.’’
The pair play original songs, and mix it up, both singing and playing the guitar. Anna plays the piano and Livvy the synth.
For the X Factor they will be singing their arrangements of covers.
They say it will be interesting to discover how a duo goes on the show that traditionally has favoured singers.
‘‘I think it is a bit different, but difference is always like a good thing I suppose,’’ Anna says.
‘‘It will be interesting to take the journey and see what happens.
‘‘It’s something very new to us.’’
Kyle says X Factor is another chance for the girls to show what they can do, this time their ability to cover and arrange other people’s music.
‘‘It’s a great place for them to get some exposure and just another chance for them to play their music together.
‘‘They love playing their music, to be able share it with others is a really cool opportunity.’’
He said whatever the outcome, auditioning for the show would be a good experience.
‘‘I don’t think they enter these things looking to do really well. I think they just seek out the opportunity to play their music. It’s not always about winning a competition, it’s about enjoying playing music together and sharing it with other people.’’
Kyle likes working with teenagers as much as they appreciate him. ‘‘I love working with them and getting them inspired and encouraging them with their music.
‘‘I think that’s what music is about. It’s about having a great time and it’s a good chance for teenagers to express their creativity.’’
He said seeing the success of current and past students did motivate students.
‘‘I call it a cycle of inspiration. Our new students are coming in, they feel inspired by what people are achieving and they aim that much higher.’’
On the rise: Garin College music teacher Kyle Proffit with Garin College students Olivia Nott, left, and Anna Robinson. The students are trying to get on the X Factor.