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An acoustic ambition


At just 19, local singer-songwriter Amber Carly Williams is set to perform at the Bay Dreams music festival in Nelson this summer. Metropol catches up with the first-year Ara Music Arts contemporary vocals student about her musical journey.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE AND MUSICAL BACKGROUND?
I enjoy writing and recording my own music – it can often start off a certain feel and end up something completely different, but I tend to go for pop /indie. I like playing solo and using my loop pedal…but I’m also in the midst of forming a band for certain performances coming up.

WHAT DRIVES YOUR MUSICAL PASSION AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CRAFT?
I first started playing guitar when I was 8-years-old, as I was always surrounded with music in the family. My mum passed away when I was young so seeing her do music was quite inspiring for me and I wanted to relate to that part of her. A few years down the track I started singing, just along with the guitar, but then my voice kind of took over and I realised I really had a passion for singing and that’s when song writing came in too. Being able to write my own music and express my thoughts and opinions has become something that has helped me through some challenging times.

WHAT PROJECTS HAVE YOU WORKED ON SO FAR, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP?
I’m in the process of writing new music at the moment and recording it myself in my wee bedroom studio setup which is looking to result in an EP or maybe even a potential album. Over summer I’m looking into gigging more around the South Island in conjunction with my set at Bay Dreams Nelson in January. This will be the biggest performance I’ve ever done by a long shot so this is very exciting!

WHO / WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR WORK?
My dad [Peter Williams of Acoustic Architecture] is my biggest supporter and without him I would’ve had no one to take me to my music lessons and take me to all my gigs when I didn’t have a car and accompany me when I was underage. I take influence from solo performing musicians like Tash Sultana, and some of my favourite artists include Phoebe Bridgers, Jeremy Zucker and Lennon Stella.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC?
Something I really try to aim for is making sure that my music isn’t just a catchy hook. I love being able to put my experiences and thoughts into my music, and it’s important to me that when people listen to it, they can relate to the lyrics in some sort of way or something stands out and makes them think of a time something like that happened to them.


 

Meet the Principal: Nelson College


Richard Dykes – Head Master

 

“My tenure as Headmaster at Nelson College began very recently, in June 2020. My educational philosophy is simple…to make amazing young people even more amazing. At Nelson College, I have seen already that we have impressive young men. They’re confident, articulate and resilient. My job is to provide our students with amazing opportunities, support and challenge – by employing and supporting dedicated teachers. Nelson College is a place where we build a legacy and a future through academic, sporting, artistic, student leadership and service”.

 

 

 

Nelson College Boarding is well known for its welcoming family environment.

This was highlighted when the COVID Lockdown occurred.

Most of our internationally based students chose to stay, along with staff, and form a safe bubble of 80.

This included Year 13 kiwi student Mac Harris, whose parents live in Japan.

When the lockdown happened, Mac thought about going home, but decided it was safer to stay at school. “I wanted to stay here in case things got worse and I couldn’t come back,” Mac says.

“Being in lockdown with all the international students also meant I got to know everyone really well. They’re pretty awesome.”

Nelson College has long been a progressive and innovative boys’ school.

Our learning environment focuses on ‘inspiring young men to take their place in the world by fostering the values of manaakitanga through quality education’.

We take great pride in nurturing each boy’s individual interests and potential across all areas of academia, sport, arts, culture, and leadership.

“Our boarders sit at the heart of the school and we’re incredibly proud of them,” Director of Boarding Samme Hippolite says.

“We know how formative these years are, and we want the boys to have every opportunity to develop their interests. We also want them to have fun, make lifelong friendships and create unforgettable memories within the context of a clear and safe structure.”

Set alongside the main college campus, the college’s two boarding houses – Rutherford and Barnicoat – are large heritage buildings that have recently had major refurbishments.

“Our experienced staff are committed to creating a strong and caring community within the boarding fraternity,” Samme says.

“We ensure that our boys are supported throughout their educational endeavours, and we also make sure that they get to experience everything our beautiful Nelson region offers.