A competition on The Breeze Hawke’s Bay radio station, sponsored by EIT’s IDEAschool and Hawke’s Bay Music Hub, has kickstarted the career of an aspiring musician described as having a unique tone with a hint of grunge and soft country rock.
The competition was open to local musicians and saw their songs featured on The Breeze Hawke’s Bay. Seventeen-year-old Kenya Boerman says winning The Breeze Live Lounge, and a single release pack including a photoshoot, studio recording session and PR package, is “really exciting”.
“It’s just amazing. It’s getting me as close to where I want to be in the future,” says the Napier Girls’ High School student.
Her parents heard about the competition through a friend and encouraged her to enter.
“I always believe that if there is a competition, I might as well put a song in. So, this one popped up and it sounded good.”
The competition saw her first submit a song before it went to public vote. Fellow Napier Girls’ High School student Ella Pollett, and 25-year-old former Napier Boys’ High School student Nick Herbison rounded out the top three.
For Kenya, hearing her song on the radio was “surreal”.
“I got butterflies in my stomach. It just felt so cool to hear myself on the radio.”
Kenya recently travelled to Auckland where she recorded her original song Let Go.
“It was such an amazing experience; just seeing how they do it all and being able to record my own song. It was just amazing.”
She wrote the song during COVID-19.
“The song is probably more about being stressed and having all these things happening in your life and you really just want to hit pause, turn around and just walk away from all your problems and everything happening at the moment. So, it’s kind of an angry emotional song.”
Despite her age, Kenya has already built an impressive resume of live performances including live gigs around Napier, weddings, and other live performances.
“I’ve always loved music since I was little girl, playing with my dad with guitar and everything.”
She grew up listening to a range of music, but credits American singer-songwriter P!nk as her inspiration.
“I just loved like everything about her, how she was different, how she showed herself through her music and didn’t follow all those trends.”
Kenya, who will complete her final year of high school next year, says she hopes to travel and share her music with the world after school.
Rochelle Street, Hawke’s Bay Promotions Coordinator for Mediaworks, which owns The Breeze Hawke’s Bay, says: “Supporting our Hawke’s Bay community is super important to us here at The Breeze Hawke’s Bay. As NZ Music Month was approaching we knew we wanted to do something to help our local artists which meant this competition was really important to us.”
“Kenya absolutely blew us away along with all the other artists who applied, we have some serious talent here in the bay and we were so happy we could work with EIT’s IDEAschool and Hawke’s Bay Music Hub to give multiple artists airtime during the month-long promotion.”
The Acting Head of EIT’s IDEAschool, Cherie Freeman says: “EIT offer a range of programmes in Music from certificate through to degree and so we were delighted to work with The Breeze Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay Music Hub to sponsor this competition.”
“The number of entries and quality of the work shows how many talented musicians are out there in the community. Kenya has a bright future as a songwriter and performer. We look forward to watching her career grow and develop. EIT would also like to acknowledge The Breeze Hawke’s Bay and HB Music Hub for making this competition possible.”