Singer goes from Westport to the world

She has wowed producers on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and has shot a music video in Los Angeles.

That’s not bad for a songbird from Westport, who took up singing because she wanted something to do after school.

Gemma Rea, 19, has just released her first single, It Was Me, with platinum-accredited Los Angeles-based record producer Andrew Lane.

Rea was discovered by Lane after she auditioned in front of a group of industry professionals for The Event, a Florida-based talent search company, last December.

The Westport teen has been singing since she was 10 years old.

“I did the Smokefree Rockquest and choir at school,” she says.

“At high school, there was always a chance to perform.

“They were quite supportive.”

She also auditioned for New Zealand’s Got Talent in 2012 but did not get into the show.

However, the audition in Florida was the ultimate test.

“I was very nervous. I had never been in that kind of situation . . . That was possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do, auditioning in front of all these people who could actually do something for your career.”

Lane, who has worked with the Backstreet Boys and the Hannah Montana and High School Musical franchises, was impressed by her performance and voice.

He provided the backing music for Rea’s single, while she wrote the melody and lyrics.

“I love writing. It helps to be in a really bad mood when I write.

“I draw from my own experience and feelings, and different situations I have been in or somebody I know has been in.

“A lot of people come to me to talk about specific issues.

“That gives me inspiration. I want to sing about real things that happen to people.”

A teacher at her high school helped her get into songwriting, she says. “I wasn’t that confident about my songwriting ability.

“He did push me a bit.

“After actually writing my song and getting it recorded, I feel a lot more confident.”

Shooting a music video was a “weird” experience.

“It was a completely foreign concept to me.

“They had my music playing next to me and I would have to sort of sing quietly but make it look like I was singing properly.

“They kept letting my song run on repeat while they shot from different angles.

“It was a little bit awkward.”

Part of her wants to go to university like many of her friends. If she weren’t a musician, she would either be studying music or social work.

But, ultimately, being a professional musician is her goal.

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She still keeps in touch with her friends often and they have been very supportive.

Rea’s song is available for download on iTunes but she won’t know how it is doing until next month.