By CASS MARRETT
Arts and cultural hub Te Atamira is paying homage to New Zealand Music Month with a line-up of Queenstown’s best up-and-coming artists.
Opening today, there’ll be two performances per week kicking off at the Remarkables Park facility on May 20 with Wakatipu High student Billy Carey, followed by Filipino-Canadian musician, Oliveye (Stephanie Severino), on May 21.
It was The Lord of the Rings that brought Oliveye to Queenstown in 2019, keen to explore the country and culture.
‘‘Growing up I just saw the beautiful landscape and it really drew me in.
‘‘Every Christmas, it would be tradition to watch the whole [Lord of the Rings] trilogy … it was a long day,’’ she laughs.
Oliveye released an EP, Coming Undone, in 2016, which will feature heavily in her upcoming performance at Te Atamira, among some well-known cover songs for the audience to sing along with.
‘‘My EP, when you listen to it, [the songs] are all quite different.
‘‘Each song has a different kind of style, there’s a, like, a reggae rhythm in there, then there’s a little bit of funk and then there’s soft rock,’’ she says.
The show itself follows the story of an introverted young woman who tries dating for the first time and realises her search for love and happiness was somewhere she least expected.
‘‘I’m drawing from my own experiences and lessons that I’ve learned in life as well as creating a story about relatable topics that people go through in life,’’ Oliveye says.
The musician certainly lived an interesting life before making the move down under, having attended Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts Triple Threat programme, where she took classes in different types of singing, dancing and acting.
She also performed at The Roxy and The Media Club — venues where singers such as Sia and Carly Rae Jepson performed earlier in their careers.
‘‘It was nice to see where big musicians have started … they don’t become as big as they are unless they started somewhere … I can see myself going in their footsteps in a way,’’ she says.
Oliveye grew up around music — her mother also sang and was a fan of Broadway and she would perform with her two sisters.
‘‘I grew up watching a lot of Broadway and Disney … there’s a lot of Broadway incorporated into Disney during the ’90s and [my mum] was the one who encouraged me to keep performing and using my voice.”
While in Queenstown, Oliveye’s working as a waitress, is working on some new music and hopes to release a full album ‘‘hopefully’’ by next year.
‘Many Dates, Many Lessons’, Te Atamira, Saturday, May 21, 7pm, tickets $16 via eventfinda