10-year-old Toronto girl wows Perez Hilton with powerful vocals
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Monday, July 21, 2014 2:22PM EDT
Winning a world-wide singing contest is an impressive feat for a 10-year-old girl, but maybe even more so when she didn’t know she was a contestant.
However when Aja Neinstein left for summer camp a few weeks ago, her parents decided she would make a good entrant in a singing contest hosted on no less public a forum than PerezHilton.com.
By the time they went up to see her on visitors’ day last week, they were able to tell her she had won.
“I didn’t know and then my parents entered and then I won,” Neinstein told CP24 Breakfast host Steve Anthony Monday, describing the news was “awesome on top of awesome.”
Neinstein won one of Hilton’s “Can You Sing’ contests after he saw a video of her singing a cover of Sia’s “Chandelier.”
However the fact the video existed was in itself a fluke.
“We were originally really just doing it because we wanted to have a song for Aja that was more challenging because of how talented she is,” Vocal coach Marla Joy told CP24.com.
Joy, who meets with Neinstein weekly to work on her singing, contacted Jody Litvack, who had worked with Aja in the past. He set about producing the video of Neinstein singing a stripped down piano version of the song.
Shortly after they finished shooting the video, Neinstein left for sleepover camp. It was then that the pair discovered they had inadvertently created the perfect entry for Hilton’s competition.
“As we finished editing it, we were staring at the screen and there was literally a ‘Can You Sing ‘Chandelier’ competition,” Joy said.
There was just one problem: the contest required a video introduction.
Wanting to keep the entry a secret, the pair got in touch with counsellors at the summer camp and asked them to get Neinstein to read a script on-camera, pretending that it was for a camp skit. They then sent it back to Litvack, who tacked on the intro and submitted the video.
A short time later, the two got their own surprise when they saw that the views on their YouTube submission had jumped by a few thousand overnight thanks to a tweet by Hilton.
Describing Neinstein on the contest page, Perez said the young girl brought something special to the song.
“Our first ‘Can YOU Sing?’ (sic) cover competition in a while has yielded something real special,” the blogger wrote. “We asked the world for their best covers of Sia's ‘Chandelier’ and we got Aja Neinstein! She's 10 years old and our winner!!!!”
While there’s no prize for the contest, so far it’s paid off in spades in terms of exposure.
To date, the video has been viewed more than 14,000 times and Hilton has even tweeted at Ellen DeGeneres to suggest that the talk show host have Neinstein on as a guest.
While the attention might seem like a lot for a 10-year-old to handle, Neinstein takes it in stride, saying it’s part of her goal of ‘becoming famous.’
In addition to singing, the 10-year-old also does gymnastics and acts. She recently starred in an episode of “The Strain,” which airs on FX specialty channel and in an episode of the new PBS show, “Odd Squad.”
She cites power-vocalists Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera as singing influences.
While those might sound like tough acts to live up to, the 10-year-old also says she’s not afraid to work hard.
“It was challenging and it wasn’t an easy song you could do just for fun,” Neinstein said of her song choice for the video. “I like working for things.”
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