Our Year 10 student is part of two concert bands and two rock bands and plays more than ten instruments including saxophone, violin, piano and ukulele. And she has the schedule to show it.
This year she has competed at Rockquest with our school band Moon Children, played mallet percussion with the New Zealand Concert Band Association and New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds, and taken part in Stand Up Stand Out – Auckland’s secondary schools’ premier music and dance competition.
But it’s writing her own songs that gets her out of bed in the morning.
Although she is classically trained, Erin now prefers to write and sing her own original songs merging classical and pop music. She recently won the award for best lyricist at the finals of the regional Rockquest competition with her song ‘Lonely Man’ – the third year in a row she has taken out this award.
“I think from all the years I have been singing, I know what kind of songs suit me and what I want to achieve when I’m writing my songs,” she says. “When I was younger I sung classical music and did several competitions and landed some good awards. Now I sing more of a soft pop/indie pop and try to give myself a challenge by writing original songs.”
Erin’s award-winning lyrics are inspired by real things and events in her life, but they’re often disguised as objects or with simile. ‘Lonely Man’ includes lyrics such as “This was the colour of his wedding ring”, “heart strings played like the old guitar” and “unbreathable air, we’re suffocating, what’s the difference than falling in love”.
“I have a pretty messy way of writing songs, because my lyrics and melodies come from whatever and whenever,” Erin says. “I could be sleeping, then wake up and scavenge for a notepad to scribble down an amazing lyric, or I could be playing piano and out of nowhere a melody begins to fall together. But in the end, I record a few ideas then I stitch them together. For me, writing songs should be about an honest experience. All my influences come from people all around me. Whether they’re inspired by a book, a stranger I saw on the street, or myself or friends and fictional stories.”
Erin says her ultimate goal is to let her music be heard. “The fact that people will actually just sit there and listen to your music and your voice,” she explains. “That’s what makes it really special. Everybody has a unique voice and when you learn to express it right, you can go deep into someone and give them enlightenment. When you love doing what you do, everything about it just feels right.”