Songwriters invited to Beehive

ADAM ROBERTS
Last updated 13:00 04/12/2012
Jessie Leov
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ
CHOSEN SONG: Nelson singer/songwriter Jessie Leov, 17, is off to the Beehive to perform.

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A contingent of Nelson songwriters are about to head to Wellington for a parliamentary performance after performing well in a national songwriting competition.

Nayland College student Jessie Leov, 17, is preparing for a trip to the Beehive, to perform as part of the concert at the Beehive tomorrow.

She will join two fellow Nelsonians Georgia Nott and Maria Schryvers to perform songs submitted as part of the annual Play It Strange songwriting competition.

Jessie said she had heard the singers would be performing a Nelson singers segment, with songs from those from the region who had made it into the top 25.

She had been shocked when she saw how well she had done. "I didn't think I was going into the top. I thought I had recorded that song and thought I would enter because it was fun."

One day she checked the Play It Strange website and saw her name.

"It was a bit of a shock. It was actually really exciting."

She had been writing songs over the last few years, but not seriously, she said. "It's always been a goal."

Her song Divine had a "cheesy" story behind it.

"One day I was just upstairs just looking at the sunset and it was really pretty."

She initially recorded the song herself, and then once she was among the finalists she received money to record it professionally. "That was really good, a really good experience."

She started playing piano when she was 7, and began singing shortly afterwards. Since she was 13 she has sung with the Nelson Bays Harmony group.

Music had always been her thing, she said. Now she plays regular shows around Nelson, performing at events and festivals or at bars at weekends.

"It's really been good just helping me in my performing in general. You have to learn quite a lot of songs to play for two or three hours, and you make connections with other musicians."

Next year she will study a Bachelor of Music majoring in popular music at Auckland University.

Her study will be aided by scholarships from the Adastra Foundation and the university itself.

"That's going to help with the financial side of university. It's been a very good few months."

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- The Nelson Mail

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