Tanika van Dijk is following in her sister’s musical footsteps after taking out the student category in the 2017 New Zealand Ukulele Festival Songwriting competition.
Her 14 year old sister, Anouk, won the competition at the same age, an achievement both Onewhero Area School students are incredibly proud of. Since then, Anouk’s music has gone from strength to strength. Now Tanika, aged 12, hopes to follow suit.
“I didn’t think I would get anything because the age group category changed to under 18, and it was for the whole country. But I didn’t want to give up hope. Then one day while I was at school, mum called me and told me I had won. I was super excited and I couldn’t wait to tell my friends.”
Tanika says she is inspired by her older sister. She also agrees that they have similar interests and get along ‘most of the time.’
“Anouk started writing songs, and I wanted to give it a go too. I started writing a few songs but I could never end them until half a year ago, when I wrote Eyes of Aotearoa,” said Tanika.
The inspiration for her song came from a school project.
“My class was researching about the rubbish in New Zealand and how we could stop it. I started writing a simple song about that for my part of the project and never finished it. Then a few months ago I thought ‘well I’m going to write a song, but what about?’ Then I remembered my project and instead of writing a song about the rubbish, I wrote a song about how good it is here.”
Expressing that healthy sibling competitiveness, Tanika says she is looking forward to not always playing her sister’s songs.
“Now I also have one of my own, and she does the harmonies for me and plays with me. Until now it’s always been the other way around,” she laughed.
However, just like her sister, Tanika will keep singing and songwriting as a hobby for now.
“I would like to thank to my previous teacher Mrs Kanon, who is the reason why I am doing this right now and inspired me to play ukulele. Also, thanks to my friends, family and my sister, Anouk, for supporting me all the way.”
CAPTION: Tanika van Dijk (left) is following in her sister Anouk’s musical footsteps after winning a national song writing competition.