|KENT BLECHYNDEN/Dominion Post|
Nine-year-old Lily releases album
SINGER AND COMPOSER: Lily Rench, 9, of Waikanae shows her style. She has released a CD of songs she composed and sings. “Some songs take ages, and some songs don’t take ages,” she says.
Pop rocker Gwen Stefani may have been Just a Girl in the 1990s, but a nine-year-old Waikanae star is set to elbow her off the airwaves with a debut album of the same name.
After months of composing songs on her mum’s trusty Technics keyboard, Lily Rench has recorded her first album in the same Kapiti Coast studios as Kiwi soul singer Hollie Smith – and is already scoring airplay on local radio stations.
Lily, a Waikanae Primary School year 5 pupil whose hobbies include writing, dancing and playing instruments, penned all 33 minutes of music herself. From her first single Just a Girl – with lyrics “I’m not what people think/I’m not what people say/I’m just a girl” – to her favourite songs Life and Memory Lane, Lily likes writing about what matters to her.
“Some songs take ages, and some songs don’t take ages,” she said. “Life is obviously about life and stuff and Memory Lane is just, I’m not sure, really. Memories.”
A fan of Celine Dion, she also loves pop stars like Miley Cyrus and has modelled herself on Disney group The Cheetah Girls because “they have good music and they’re really nice”.
She had fun recording the album, which features pop, rock, country and hip-hop, and said she did not mind how it was received. “I’m only nine so I don’t expect it to go really far. If it goes far it’s awesome but, you know.”
Lily’s music-teacher mum, Malu Jonas, encouraged her to work towards the album, after walking past her daughter’s bedroom and being impressed by tunes that would rival musicians twice her age.
“When I heard the songs through the door I thought, `This is worth looking at more seriously’,” she said.
They enlisted local recording artist and musician Steve McDonald, Hollie Smith’s stepfather, to produce the album.
Lily, who began begging her mother to teach her the recorder at three, can also play the flute, piccolo, violin, percussion and keyboard.
“She’s a pretty bright nine-year-old – that’s my girl,” Ms Jonas said proudly.
Just a Girl is available from Paraparaumu’s Kingdom Music