This week, 10 performers will bare their souls at the
Queenstown Memorial Centre during the 2014 Songstars
competition, when they perform their original songs, to be
judged by Queenstown audiences.
The winner of the competition, now in its fourth year, will
have their song professionally recorded at Auckland's York St
All songs will be recorded and included on a souvenir CD
being sold at the show, with proceeds going back to the
Songstars opens on Thursday night at the Queenstown Memorial
Centre, with performances on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets ($40 adults, $20 16 and under) are available from
Isla (26) and Finley (23) Brentwood, of
Queenstown, performing as Brentwood.
Song title: Something New.
Inspired by: Initially, the song was inspired by a
''terrible boss'', which evolved into a song about being
taken advantage of.
Performing experience: The siblings are not new to
performing in front of audiences, with Isla a student of the
National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (Nasda) and
Finley a graduate of the New Zealand Broadcasting School.
Songstars experience: While they may get ''a bit
nervous'' they are also excited to debut the first of what
they hope will be many songs written and performed together.
Erin Crowley (27), originally from
Song title: Good Night Baby (Can I Say I Love You
Inspired by: ''Falling in love''.
Performing experience: Full-time professional touring
Songstars experience: ''I feel like we're already all
winners - we're all getting to meet each other and get a lot
of industry advice.''
Harry James (22), originally from
Song title: Harry's Got Guns.
Inspired by: ''There's a lot of songs about how
shallow the guys are, but I think girls are shallow, too.''
Performing experience: Open mike nights and busking.
Songstars experience: ''I'm pretty nervous ... [but]
I'm just excited and happy with everything that's
Jake Channer (26), originally from
Song title: Just For The Record.
Inspired by: ''I was in Australia at the time ... I
ended up hooking up with a girl ... it went wrong. It's about
accepting it was karma getting me back and me being OK with
Performing experience: Open mike nights, formerly
performed with a metal band.
Songstars experience: ''I'm excited ... It's not
really hit me, to be honest. I don't think it will really
sink in until Thursday.''
Joe Cowie (37), of
Song title: Home and Found.
Inspired by: The southern South Island landscape
Performing experience: Performs with Queenstown band
Killer Seas but has never fronted a band before.
Songstars experience: After originally auditioning
with fellow contestant Tai Forrester as a duo, Mr Cowie said
he was ''really surprised'' to have been selected to perform
on his own - which will be a first.
Margaret Amor (37), originally from New
Song title: Nga Taonga o Nga Tupuna (Treasures of
Inspired by: ''Every single one of us is a treasure of
the ancestors ... sometimes people forget that. You are a
treasure, you're perfect and you're amazing ... stand strong,
stand with love and stand with courage.''
Performing experience: Ms Amor is used to singing in
front of the children she teaches, but says singing publicly
was one of her fears. ''It's important I lead by example and
face my fears.''
Songstars experience: ''I just feel really blessed to
meet all these people who love music and love writing songs.
To perform with them is a real blessing.''
Peter Caulton (59), originally from
Song title: 1500 Breweries, 5000 Beers.
Inspired by: Having lived in Germany, Mr Caulton
''fell in love with beer'' and loved songs about beer. His
SongStars entry is inspired by the English translation of a
German beer-festival slogan.
Performing experience: Fulltime professional musician.
Songstars experience: ''I think it's a great idea. The
problem with being a songwriter is, if the songs aren't being
recorded and played on the radio, it's hard to get people to
listen to them.''
Tai Forrester (27), originally from
Song title: Guilty.
Inspired by: ''A girl. I planned to go out with this
girl, I went out with her and it didn't go as planned.''
Performing experience: Singer in the Killer Seas and
also performs as half of the acoustic solo duo Tai and Peti.
Songstars experience: ''It's all good.''
Tania Carter (50), of
Song title: What Drives You.
Inspired by: ''My son who is an ironman. Supporting
him in his competitions and wondering what gives him the
strength to push through the physical barriers that he
Performing experience: Musical theatre, former lead
singer of a band.
Songstars experience: ''It's really exciting. It's
like baring your soul to the world really, when you write a
*Absent: Thomas Brinsley, of Queenstown.