Local songstress seeking help to advance in contest
Lots of young girls like music, but Sophia McKee, 9, takes it to the next level.
Passionate about singing a variety of genres, McKee, a Grade 4 student at AE Bowers, is a born performer.
On top of her twice-weekly voice lessons with two separate Airdrie-based vocal teachers, Sophia has recently entered the Virgin Radio Little Stars contest.
The contest features performances by kids ages 12 and younger who must receive a number of viewer “likes” in order to move on in and win the contest.
“From when she could talk, she was singing,” said McKee’s mom, Grace. “She sings from the minute she gets up.”
McKee’s performance of Selena Gomez’s Love You Like a Love Song is sung A capella and features her rich voice. McKee also performed two songs in the Rotary Music Festival last week including Dumb Dog from the musical theatre Annie.
McKee first started taking voice lessons at age four after her parents realized how well she picked up new songs.
“We thought we would put her into something structured to help her learn to sing properly,” said Grace. “Her voice is very versatile.”
McKee sings pop, musical theatre and classical and Grace says her instructors are very careful to teach her daughter proper technique to avoid vocal problems later in life. She has performed in two music festivals and in front of several groups of people.
McKee said she loves singing, which is what gets her through the pre-performance nerves.
“It feels good,” she said when asked how singing affects her. “I like how my voice sounds.”
Grace, a pianist who hails from a self-described musical family, said her daughter wants to be a doctor but also wants to sing.
“She… thinks she would like to be the next Selena Gomez,” said Grace with a laugh. “It is her passion.”
Grace encourages residents to check out her daughter’s performance at calgary.virginradio.ca, and if they feel the song warrants it, “like” it to give her an opportunity to proceed in the contest.
“It is judged on number of ‘likes’ until May 7,” said Grace. “After that, if she has enough ‘likes,’ she would move into the finals.”
The three finalists with the most feedback are judged, with the winner receiving the grand prize.
If she wins, McKee said she will save a good portion of the $10,000 for her college fund and will donate money to people in Afghanistan.
She will also treat herself to a new outfit and give her little brother, Sam, a share in the winnings.
“Can you please vote for me?” asks McKee of Airdronians. “It is my passion, I love it.”