Country sensation Kiara Rodrigues admits her head is still spinning after the huge success of her debut single on iTunes almost a month ago. Her original track “I’m Gonna Be Fine” peaked at No.5 in the Australian Country charts, at the time out-ranking even international star Taylor Swift.
Despite this soaring success, 17-year-old Kiara has her feet planted firmly on the ground. She’s just finished high school but declined to join the Schoolies antics in favour of attending musical workshops and preparing for the FREE Christmas by Starlight community concert at Cleveland on December 7.
“I will now be taking a gap year and trying to break into the industry,” says the girl industry insiders have described as a “petite package of dynamite”.
“I will be performing at Tamworth for the eighth time in January and I might go to Melbourne for a while to pursue some opportunities down there – I will be doing everything I can to break into the industry.”
Her comments defy her success since she began singing as a seven-year-old: Kiara was crowned the Junior Country Entertainer of the Year in Tamworth in 2011. More recently she wowed the audience and the judges on Young Talent Time, and her song “I Don’t Love You Anymore” won the Open section at Mildura CMF song-writing competition. In May she won Voice of Urban Country, which came with the recording contract for “I’m Gonna Be Fine”.
And then there’s the international stage. In 2010 Kiara represented Australia at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood, claiming three Gold, two Silver and two Bronze medals. She was crowned the Triple Junior World Champ in “country, rock and gospel”.
She plays guitar, keyboard, ukelele and mandolin.
So, how much practice does it take to position yourself for a career in Country? “I guess I’m always singing,” says Kiara. “I really enjoy it – in fact sometimes Mum and Dad have to tell me to shut up!”
Kiara will join a cavalcade of local talent entertaining up to 15,000 people at Christmas by Starlight, including former Sheldon College student Connor Crawford who performed to critical acclaim in the Australian tour of Jersey Boys.
This free Christmas by Starlight concert at Cleveland on December 7 is expected to draw up to 15,000 people to enjoy an evening of family festive fun.
There will be children’s entertainment from 3pm, a special children’s concert from 5.30pm, and traditional twilight carols from 6pm as well as a spectacular fireworks finale at about 8pm.
The event is run by Redland City Council, with the assistance of confirmed supporters Energex, Bayside Bulletin, JJ Richards, Fiteni Homes, Stradbroke Flyer, Viking Rentals, SS Signs, Mr Fireworks, Koala Graphix and Christmas Festivities.
Check www.redland.qld.gov.au/cbs for a full program and details of free transport.
Christmas by Starlight is an alcohol-free event
Christmas by Starlight
Norm Price Park – Redland Showgrounds
Long Street, Cleveland
Saturday – December 7
3pm to about 8pm