Folk singer rides solo


Jenny Mitchell has perfected the art of being in two places at once – on stage and finishing her last year at high school.

This weekend Gore’s golden girl is playing The Sherwood Queenstown, for her second time, at only 17 years old.

Despite a busy life juggling school and being a musician, Mitchell seems to handle it with ease.

She even landed the prestigious title of head girl at St Peter’s College this year.

The country folk singer is no stranger to a crowd, having made her first appearance on stage at the age of four – with her trusty side-kick and dad, Ron.

Last time she played The Sherwood she was the opening act for The Warratahs – but this time she’s riding solo.

The young songbird released her debut album The Old Oak last year and has since been playing throughout the country – when she’s not finishing school assignments.

She takes it all in her stride.

“It means a few extra hours here and there to catch up but it’s all about time management and remembering that if I want to do the gig I’ve still got to get up for school the next day to keep things balanced,” she says.

As Mitchell embarks on her last year of school she’s faced with having to decide what happens next.

Luckily she knows whatever it is, music will always play a big part in her life. Eventually she hopes to get over to Nashville – the home of country music.

Mitchell has already started working on new material for her second album.

“I’ll definitely continue next year and I’ll have the freedom to travel more to get my music out there and really start pushing my career.”

Mitchell writes her own music with a wise head for such a young lady – covering themes of love, grief and infidelity.

“My writing is all based on personal experience or the experiences of people around me. It’s my way to express how I’m feeling and I find writing a great way to process whatever it is that’s going on in my life.”

When she was 14 years old, Mitchell came third in New Zealand’s Got Talent, playing her original songs.

One, No More, ended up on her album.

However it’s the title track, The Old Oak, that she adores the most.

“I love the way it’s produced and it’s a very personal song to me so I love the story it tells.”

Being a country folk artist in New Zealand can sometimes be a struggle, Mitchell says, but she reckons the genre is on the rise.

“I think people are giving our kind of music a second look far more often these days.”

Jenny Mitchell plays The Sherwood Queenstown this Saturday. Tickets $15 through Eventfinda or $20 on the door. Doors open 8pm

DISCLOSURE: The writer is Mitchell’s cousin