Thirteen year-old Anouk van Dijk wasn’t expecting to win Hook, Line and Sing-a-long 2017, but her entry – inspired by a family holiday – took the top prize in this year’s highly competitive contest. And it’s no surprise – with its soaring octave leaps and clever harmonic structure, “Cape Reinga” has a hook even Maui would envy.
Anouk is the winner of a $500 gift voucher from MusicWorks, and another $500 will be gifted to Onewhero Area School. Plus, the prize of knowing her song will be sung in school Sing-a-longs all over the country on May 31, to celebrate the end of NZ Music Month.
The country music fan and keen horse rider journeyed with her family from their home in Mercer to spend a day recording her winning song at the legendary Roundhead Studios in Auckland. Her music industry mentor was Possum Plows of Openside. Possum was impressed with the young songwriter: “I was blown away by Anouk’s thoughtful and sophisticated songwriting sensibility. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her and help bring the essence of her song to life.”
Anouk was joined in the booth by younger sister Tanika, who sang backing vocals on the track. The siblings, who just acquired a busking licence, perform in public as often as they can, and at home, “sing every moment of the day together.”
We asked what it was like to be a sister act: “It’s annoying but at the same time it’s cool! We fight a lot but in the end, it always works.”
Anouk’s advice for other young songwriters is, “Just express yourself in your own songs. Nobody should judge you. It’s a chance for you to get everything out.”
Hook Line and Sing-a-long is collaboration amongst the NZ Music Commission, MENZA, and MusicWorks to support and celebrate singing in schools.