Our Very Own Superstar - Ameya Kohli!
‘TeenStar’ competition is the UK’s biggest search for teenage and pre-teen singing acts with a list of previous winners including the Brit Award nominee Birdy, X Factor finalist Lucy Spraggan and X Factor runners-up Jahmene Douglas and Luke Friend.
Run by Future Music, the national contest attracts over 10,000 acts each year and sees the judges travel across the country in the search for the UK’s best teen and pre-teen singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists.
With a focus on developing acts with feedback and live performance experience, the contest’s prize list includes a £5,000 advance for the overall winner, recording studio time, singing lessons and music development classes. The prizes might be fantastic but competing in such a high profile event involves standing up and singing in front of huge audiences and critical judges. A competition such as this requires more than just raw talent; it requires courage, resilience, perservence and nerves of steel so we are absolutely delighted to congratulate one of our brilliant Year 6 students, Ameya Kohli, who not only showed the gumption to enter this competition but battled through to reach the Regional Finals in London where she performed in front of 400 people!
E-news managed to track down our eleven year old star in the making to hear all about her fantastic adventure.
Congratulations on such a fantastic achievement Ameya, did you feel nervous about performing in front of so many people? At first it was really nerve wrecking but once I started singing I became more confident.
Tell us about how you entered the competition? My Mum is very supportive of me and my singing and when she saw the competition online she immediately filled in an application form for me.
What did you sing for the first round of the competition and how did you know that you had got through to the regional final? I sang ‘Valerie’ by one of my favourite artists, Amy Winehouse. The lady told me straightaway that I had got through and that I would be singing to an audience of 400 people in Camden.
Who went with you to London and what did you sing? I was very lucky that my Mum and Dad, Grandma, Aunty and cousins all came with me to London. I chose to sing ‘I love the Way you Lie’ which my Mum managed to rewrite to make it personal to me.
How did she do this? I have Aspergers and some learning difficulties and I tell my Mum all about how I feel. My Mum is amazing at poetry and adapted the words of the song to make it relate to me and make it more powerful.
Did you know that April was Autism Awareness month? Yes, I think it is brilliant that the charity is doing this work to raise awareness so that people understand.
We think you are brilliant, Ameya; to be able to stand up in front of all those people and perform is so brave, you must have found it very challenging? I have been recording at studios and building up my confidence in small steps. I felt more confident standing in front of all those people whom I did not know than I would if I was standing up in front of a class at school, even though my school and my school friends are very supportive of me and always have been.
Do you know what career path you want to follow when you grow up? Yes, I want to be a professional singing artist and I would like to write songs too.
Who are your favourite artists? Sia, Paloma Faith and The Fugees. I like all genres of music; I am quite jazzy but pop is definitely my favourite. My favourite song at the moment is ‘Elastic Heart’ by Sia.
Do you sing much at home? Do you have other hobbies too? I sing a lot at home, in front of my Mum and Dad mostly. They are so supportive of everything that I do. Low key (centralto) is my favourite and I like key-challenging songs. I also like drawing and anything creative really.
Do you have anything to say to other children who might be scared of going out there and chasing their dreams? I believe that it is always good to give it a go! If it doesn’t work out it is not the end of the world but keep trying.
What did you all do at the end of the competition to celebrate your achievement? We all went out for a lovely meal in London. I want to thank my Mum and Dad for all their support; they are always there for me and always encourage me in everything I do.
And we think you will join us in thanking Ameya for being such a super star and for inspiring us all!