'I think they thought it would just be a phase': Staffordshire songwriter Rheana Forrester hopes for competition glory (video)
TEENAGE musician Rheana Forrester hopes her songwriting skills will propel her to the finals of a national competition.
The 15-year-old, of Waterhayes, has reached the regional finals of TeenStar – a contest to unearth the best young talent in the country.
And the Sir Thomas Boughey High School pupil has her eyes fixed on stardom after impressing judges in the auditions.
The teenager, who took up the guitar only 18 months ago, performed her song, I'm Not The Girl, during the auditions at Manchester's Palace Hotel this month.
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Rheena, left, of Langley Close, said: "I always feel more comfortable doing my own songs rather than covers. I write songs about things that happen to me and other people and I find it really inspiring."
The former St Chad's Primary School pupil first showed an interest in music at the age of 10 when she took up the piano.
Now on grade four, Rheana, who performs under the name Narn, hopes to become as accomplished on the guitar.
She said: "I had been asking my parents for a guitar and one day my dad came home with one. I think they thought it would just be a phase but I haven't stopped playing it since they got it for me." The songstress takes inspiration from U.S. artist Taylor Swift but admits to enjoying a broad range of music.
However she is yet to finalise which piece she will perform at the regional finals at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music on April 7.
She added: "Since I did the auditions I have really got into performing. I am going to play at a corporate event and a birthday party and I will see what feedback I get from those songs before deciding what I will play in the next round."
The TeenStar competition is divided into categories for 16 to 19 year olds, 13 to 15 year olds and a section for pre-teens. The grand final of the contest will be held at London's O2 Arena where a £20,000 prize pot will be split between the winners.
Rheana's dad Steve, aged 54, who works as sales manager, said: "I always wanted to play the piano but didn't get the chance so I wanted to make sure Rheana did.
"She has also picked up the guitar really quickly – like a duck to water."
Mum Jayne, aged 45, a finance collector, said: "She loves to perform and we got her some time at the Modern Wave Studio in Leek where she recorded a couple of CDs."