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'A massive part of my life' - Kiwi soul songstress Bailey Wiley discovered her passion in Taranaki

Taranaki hardly has the same musical gravitas as places like Dunedin or Wellington, but that's where soul songstress Bailey Wiley discovered her passion.

"For me, singing has always been a massive part of my life. I feel like I wouldn't know what to do if I wasn't singing, " Wiley says. 

The echoes of Aretha Franklin, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera reverberated through Wiley's Hawera home in the '90s. This choir of fiery women were Wiley's sirens, and she was hooked. 

"My grandparents put me in singing lessons, I must have been five or six years old, and it grew from there."  

The 27-year-old's got soul. Those female vocals blaring from her stereo, helped sculpt her sound. 

"I used to always think that big exciting musical things don't happen to girls like me because I was from a small town," she says.

But a push from her granddad saw her leave home. She studied in Christchurch before moving to Auckland, then to Berlin. 

Upon returning to New Zealand, she began collaborating with like-minded Kiwis, and the Hawera girl proved her doubtful younger self wrong. 

Wiley is releasing her new EP in May, featuring one of her favourite projects, Zaddy. 

"It's about women. You don't have to be a certain look to be beautiful, and also having men respect and understand that. because if I'm going to make music and I'm going to be a creative, it's important to use my platform to sing and talk about things that I care about," she said.

And it's important to her to mentor young Kiwis.

"I think I could see some of myself in them, so I would want to help them and give them a voice, because sometimes I felt maybe when I was younger I didn't have that voice."

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Now she's determined to help young Kiwis from different backgrounds find their unique voices too. Source: 1 NEWS