Singing since she could talk, Annie Webster takes every opportunity to be musical.
The consequences are two-fold, she is getting into trouble for writing songs in class and scored a slot in the Smokefreerockquest Regional finals last weekend. But it has paid off as she came second in the strongly contested competition.
After a brief stint making music with her classmates at Feilding High School, Annie is happy with her solo success and since January, her performances have been strictly solo.
"I never try to be something I'm not. What you see is what you get and the audience will always just get me," she said.
Despite her nerves, she said she always looks foward to performing on stage, only having had the opportunity to do so a handful of times.
She is hoping Rockquest will allow her to broadcast her music to a wider audience, including her extended family in England.
"If I win, it'll be massive," she said. "I'll be on television and I've never even got in front of the amount of people I was in front of at the Rockquest audition."
The Feilding High School student plays guitar and sings, citing pop-soul songstress Amy Winehouse, and Kiwi Gin Wigmore as key musical influences.
Comparing her voice to the two, she said, "I've not really got a proper voice and there's no-one in Rockquest that's got a similar voice to me."
Annie's solo project gives her a sense of freedom, allowing her room to experiment and do something for herself.
So far, she is pleased with the result, writing about things she otherwise has trouble talking about and being inspired by her best friend killed three years ago.
"She inspires me and it feels like she's still here.
"She was the one who always said, `push yourself into it' and I think she'd be quite proud of me at the moment."
Musical success runs in the famil; in Britain, Annie's cousin Olly Murs was runner-up in X-Fa ctor UK in 2009.
Annie sits NCEA Level one music this year but said it was tough as she hadn't previously learned musical theory.
"I love performing," she said. "I had my music exam (last week) and it was terrible but I love performing."
Last year, Annie was in the news regarding a fundraising concert at Ohakea Air Force Base; she performed as a member of The Impediments.
She also raised $1700 and shaved her head for the Child Cancer Foundation.
- Manawatu Standard