Ex-city musician wins Spark Open Audition, $10K in prizes

Niamh Crooks’ cover for her new single Devotion. Photo: supplied
Niamh Crooks’ cover for her new single Devotion. Photo: supplied
Niamh Crooks has sung her way to success.

The former Dunedin musician has won the Spark Open Audition and $10,000 worth of prizes to fund her emerging music career.

Niamh Crooks, 18, was voted winner of the national competition after a performance of her original song Devotion live on the radio.

Ms Crooks, who has been making music since she was 13, said the win still had not quite sunk in.

"I’m still adjusting to it all ... The fact that an album is now a possibility is so exciting."

Combining elements of dream pop with her vocals, Crooks’ sound captured the attention of many.

The competition was open entry, and contestants created "duets" on TikTok with New Zealand rap alumnus JessB.

Crooks was named as one of three finalists and received one-on-one mentoring at BIG FAN music studio from producer and artist EDY.

"Being mentored by EDY was an amazing opportunity. He had incredible insight into how the industry actually works."

A student at the SOLE Music Academy, she was looking forward to honing her craft and hoped to use The Rock Shop credit prize to upgrade her home studio space.

Excited for the next step in her musical journey, she has until March 31 to use the valuable studio time that was part of the prize.

She credited her supporters here in Dunedin for clinching the win.

"They told me that voting was really strong in the South ... I’m so grateful to everyone back home who supported me."

Since her win there has been a whirlwind of media attention, including an appearance on The AM Show.

Now based in Christchurch, she said she would love to perform in her hometown again soon.

The former Bayfield High School pupil will open for R’n’B artist Meghan Meraki tomorrow at the Darkroom in Christchurch.

By Rafael Clarke