Golden award for Molly G

Though keeping up her passion for music, Molly Goodeve will be shifting her focus to school work this year as she prepares for NCEA Level 1.

It was a case of déjà vu for Cambridge’s Molly Goodeve when she took to the stage as overall winner at the 2018 New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards on Queen’s Birthday weekend.

The Year 11 student from Cambridge High School, also known as Molly G, had already won the junior country rock section of the same competition in 2015, and last year became world champion for her age group at the World Championships of Performing Arts. Add that to her raft of other awards, including NZ Rising Star at the 2016 New Zealand Benny Awards and Entertainer of the Year in 2014 – just a few months after getting into music – and it’s safe to say it was familiar territory when Molly accepted the overall supreme winner award for the 13 – 18-year olds age group at the event in Gore on June 2.

She also placed second for the same overall award, performing with her friend Hayley Monaghan as a duo, as well as picking up the winning trophies for the instrumental, traditional and vocal soloist categories.

“It was pretty unreal…I wasn’t expecting it whatsoever,” a modest Molly said. “I’m never out to win, I suppose that’s not the best attitude! But I’m always in it for the good time. It’s so cool catching up with everyone again (at the competition) … so that was just the icing on the cake.”

After accepting her other awards for the night, Molly almost left before they announced the overall winner because she didn’t think she’d get it.

“When they said, ‘from Cambridge, Molly Goodeve’, I was like, no way, I just looked at (Hayley) and she started screaming and gave me the biggest hug, we were jumping up and down for a bit until she told me to hurry up and go get the award.”

After accepting the big title, 15-year-old Molly had to perform the song that had helped her win, Jessi Colter’s I’m not Lisa, but couldn’t exactly pull off its usual solemn feeling. “It was funny because I was so happy, but I’m singing this sad song with the biggest smile on my face, it made no sense,” she laughed. “It was just crazy.”

Along with the award, Molly received a prize package which includes recording an acoustic track to be sent to the country music capital of the world – Nashville, Tennessee – where it will be edited and produced to world-class quality. “That’s pretty cool, that will be coming out later this year,” said Molly. “I’ll probably be trying to release as many singles throughout the year as possible… we’ll see what happens, because the first year of exams is super important, and school’s always been a first thing for me.”

Despite having what will no doubt be a life-long passion for music, Molly plans on focussing her career on media, eventually hoping to become a television presenter. But in the meantime, she’ll be heading back to Tamworth, the country music capital of Australia, where she attended a two-week course in January at the Senior Academy of Country Music (usually R18). This time she’ll be playing banjo in the studio, helping some of the friends she made there with their album work.

“Other than that, I’m just focusing on school,” she said. “I’ve been so lucky, all the people I’ve met… The hardest part is that I haven’t had much time with my friends… But the opportunities I’ve gained, I wouldn’t change for the world.

“Short terms goals are just to keep on improving and try and put my own music out there over this year, and then long term, I don’t know, I’ll just see where it goes and keep on improving.”

Also at the 2018 Golden Guitar Awards, Cambridge-born Nick Brightwell won the Senior Instrumentalist Category for the second consecutive year.

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