The sound of success
Although contention was fierce for the top slot in Queenstown's Songstars event, winner Tai Forrester won top votes in all three nights of competition.
The Stewart Islander-turned-Queenstowner aced the annual original songwriting and performing contest with a polished, soulful rendition of his ballad to girl troubles, Guilty, claiming the $10,000 recording package prize.
Although he wasn't gunning for a win at any cost, the recording package at Auckland's Studio 203 with producer Andrew Buckton left the singer-guitarist "beyond stoked."
"The show itself was awesome to be a part of and everyone got comfortable in their roles really, really quickly," he said.
"I think all of us that were competing made some really good friends. Thinking about the $10,000 worth of recording with Andrew is amazing because he's worked with so many great artists. If I do a good job of the song then there's all sorts of connections that could be made and doors that could open."
Buckton has worked as an engineer and producer with established names including Crowded House, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga and Supergroove, but also with indie acts like Head Like A Hole, Clap Clap Riot and The D4.
"I'm hoping to get a bit of recognition for Queenstown's original music scene, and hopefully make some contacts that could lead to doing an opening or support slot for a higher profile artist."
Second place winner Thomas Brinsley was also consistent on the voting front, with his song Icarus gaining second tier with the audience vote on every night of the three night performance run.
The third prize went to Queenstown brother and sister duo Isla and Finley Brentwood for their song Something New.
The Southland Times