Students follow in Kimbra’s footsteps

St Andrew's College students George White, left, and Luca Newman wrote and recorded their own original songs which will feature on the national Play It Strange Album. Photo: Ken Baker Photography.

George White and Luca Newman (left) are set to have their original songs featured on the same album that helped kick-start singer Kimbra’s career.

The St Andrew’s College students with Rangi Ruru’s Sophie Haley, have earned the chance to have their songs included on the Play It Strange album. A song by Hagley Community College students Rongomai Callaghan and Naish’n Morgan was also selected. The album, of which a new version is released every year, features songs from secondary school students across the country.

Play It Strange chief executive Mike Chunn said he was “amazed” at the talent that came out of Christchurch. “I have the best job in the world, listening to these songs, it’s that simple.”

Several famous New Zealand artists had been featured on the album in past years, including Kimbra, Annah Mac, and Georgia Nott from the band Broods.

Mr Chunn started Play it Strange in 2004. The first album featured 19 songs, and this year’s album will include more than 40 out of the 370 entries.

“Every single day, every single secondary school student will hear a recorded song, and the craft of writing them is completely absent from life at school. Why? So that’s what I thought, let’s do something about it,” he said.

Each finalist has been given funding to professionally record their song to be included on the album, which will be released by the end of the year.