Nelson Singer/guitarist Estella Romagnoli. Photo: Dave Thomson - Imaginary Friends.

Estella crowned rockquest champion


Nelson singer/guitarist Estella Romagnoli has smoked the competition, coming away with first place at this year’s Smokefreerockquest finals.

The Nelson College for Girls student sung her heart out on Saturday night in Auckland against two other soloists in the solo-duo category, to claim first prize. She also won the Lowdown Best Song Award.

The judges all agreed that Estella was a standout performer, in spite of being up against electronically-assisted competitors.

Estella said she was feeling “pretty great” and is looking forward to what the future will hold after competing against such quality artists.

“The competition was amazing, I felt pretty sick from the nerves while I was watching the other solo artists but the whole night was pretty amazing.”

Judge Anji Sami said she loved everything about Estella’s performance.

“The way she paired vocals and guitar, the conviction of her delivery and the strength of her songs – she had it all.”

Estella walks away with $3000 in musical equipment from the Rockshop, plus a recording and music video grant from NZonAir and a branding package from Imaginary Friends.

She says her mum has suggested getting a new electric guitar which she says is a “pretty good idea”, but says there’s something else she has her eye on.

“I really want to get into doing some performances in Nelson, it’s what I love, so I think I might get a PA system to help me get going with that.”

Estella also gets to record two songs as winner of the best song award, which she says is “extremely exciting”.

A total of $22,000 worth of equipment was won by the top bands and solo/duos.