Young Invercargill artist shines at rock quest

00:20, May 16 2014
the veldt
THE VELDT: (drums) Quintin Blaas, Rhys Blaas, Michael Zhang and Conor O'Neill.

Invercargill singer-songwriter Khellsey-Anna Atley has taken out one of the top spots at the Smokefreerockquest Southland regional finals for a second year.

The 17-year-old Southland Girls' High School student was announced winner of the solo/duo category at the Civic Theatre last night. She also won the Smokefree award for women's musicianship.

"I feel honoured. I feel like I'm doing Girls' High and my mum proud."

Khellsey-Anna Atley
KHELLSEY-ANNA ATLEY: "I feel honoured. I feel like I'm doing Girls' High and my mum proud."

Atley, who performs at weddings and Invercargill gigs, will study contemporary music at Otago University next year and plans to continue "doing what I love to do" professionally.

The other top spot of the night went to Invercargill band The Veldt. Second place in the band category went to The Philadelphia Experiment and third was Acetylene.

The band is made up of James Hargest College students Michael Zhang, 16, Rhys Blaas , 15, Quintin Blaas, 16, and Conor O'Neill, 16.

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The Veldt was established just two months ago and describe their music as indie rock.

Band members were shocked by the win.

"We thought winning was impossible because of the genre."

Quintin Blaas also won the MAINZ musicianship award last night.

Smokefreerockquest South Island organiser Dan Kendrick said about 100 people enjoyed the warm and encouraging atmosphere at the Invercargill Civic Theatre.

About half the acts had never performed on stage but there was a lot of support on and off stage, he said.

Competitors were from James Hargest College, Southland Girls' High School, St Peter's College, Verdon College and Gore High School.

The Southland Times