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BHS has talent

Students of BHS express themselves through social media

Julia Murray, Staff Writer

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Kendra Cote and Riley McNeil love to explore and express themselves by singing and posting videos on social media for anyone who wants to see, without caring about other people’s judgments.

When entering high school, fitting in becomes a top priority. Knowing that you’re different and could be judged for it is scary. For senior Kendra Cote she does her best to push herself outside her comfort zone and show people her ability to sing. It all started when she was just a little girl and her mom would sing around the house for her. Her mom encouraged her to be herself and “belt it out.”

“I grew up with my mom always singing,” said senior Cote. “I guess I just started singing one day.”

Cote has had a love for people that did covers of famous songs since she was young. She would scroll through YouTube and see kids her age singing and thought that she should try it herself. She ended up posting her first video on Instagram in 2015, where she sang the song “Take Me to Church” by Hozier.

“The first one was weird because I didn’t know how people would react to it,” said Cote. “Then people started commenting, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re really good!’ so then it kind of boosted my confidence.”

Senior Riley McNeil went through a similar experience with becoming interested by singing. She became intrigued by social media and how kids were becoming famous just by posting videos of themselves doing whatever they wanted. McNeil then started posting her own videos in 8th grade on Instagram. She ended up deleting most of them because she felt no one would see them.

“I did it freshman year more because Instagram wasn’t really popular,” McNeil said.

For Cote, she has been inspired by many ordinary people and famous stars but her favorite kind of music is country music and is in love with the country lifestyle.

“I’m really into country music,” said Cote. “My favorite artist is Michael Ray just because his music’s really good.”

She also looks up to Demi Lovato as a role model who is an American singer. Lovato does numerous charity work for children’s hospitals and speaks out about her personal experiences to raise awareness against bullying.

“I love Demi Lovato because she does a lot for a lot of people, and she always tries to make the world better around her which is really cool,” Cote said.

While Cote is into the top hits and popular singers and songs of 2017, McNeil takes a different approach and is more into rock n’ roll and songs from the 70’s.

“My favorite artist… I have a lot, but I like Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, and The Rolling Stones,” said McNeil. “My favorite time period of music is the 70’s. It’s like the peak of rock n’ roll I think, all the best [songs] were out then.”

For both Cote and McNeil, they have never professionally performed in front of a crowd before. They mostly sing to their friends or family. They both agreed that they would rather sing in a band or possibly an a cappella group rather than be alone on stage.

“I would be more comfortable singing in a group because I do have stage fright,” said Cote. “Having people beside me would be better for me.”

McNeil agreed with the same fact as Cote, but instead she dreams of one day being in a band. She would most likely prefer singing covers of artist that were popular back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

“I would love to be in a ‘Fleetwood Mac’ cover band,” said McNeil. “If I was ever to pursue a career in music I would want to do a cover band of different bands and do their music.”

She also once entered herself in a singing contest for a radio station that was giving out free tickets to go to a J. Cole concert. McNeil ended up getting a direct message on Twitter saying she won the tickets and she got to see J.Cole with her friends.

“There was this contest my sophomore year. They were giving out tickets on Hot 104.7 and were saying, ‘Sing your favorite J.Cole lyrics or rap your favorite J.Cole lyrics and post the video and we’ll pick a winner everyday for a week,” said McNeil. “I was like, there isn’t a lot of people doing it so what do I have to lose? I already post videos of me singing and I could win tickets to go to a concert and so I won.”

McNeil also has had awkward encounters while filming her videos. Sometimes family members would come into her house and spy on her or interrupt her by saying funny things while she tried to sing.

“One time, I was playing the piano, and I was singing along with it,” said McNeil. “My dad was at the front door [while] I was singing and then I stopped, and heard him whisper, ‘Oh she stopped’. He was on the phone with somebody showing them [me singing] and I got that on video.”

Most people are really supportive for McNeil and don’t give her much criticism. Her biggest supporters are her friends. They continually help her and give good advice on when she wants to post a video.

“They’ll tell me to post [them],” said McNeil. “I’ll usually send my friends videos first and ask them what they think of it.”

Although both the girls are faced with possible judgements, they choose to continue what they love doing. They know it takes a lot of courage for people to put themselves out there on social media, especially in high school.
“The whole point of social media is to express yourself,” said McNeil. “If someone judges you for expressing yourself and putting yourself out there that’s their own personal issue.”

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The student news site of Biddeford High School in Biddeford, Maine
BHS has talent