(September 29, 2023) “As a daughter to immigrant parents who have made Australia their home, I feel so proud to share that I’ll be singing the Australian National Anthem at the Australian Open on Australia Day!,” the 12-year-old Indian-origin singer announced excitedly on social media earlier this year. One of the fastest rising talents Sienna Katelyn is a gifted young singer and dancer who made her remarkable debut on the television screens in 2022 when she became the youngest ever grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent at the age of 11. She had released her first album when she was just 10.
The talented singer actively contributes to the music community in Australia and has showcased her talents by singing the National Anthem at prominent events such as the Australian Open on Channel 9, Channel 7’s Good Friday Appeal, and Adelaide Carols by Candlelight, among others.
Currently, she is neck deep into a prestigious project playing young Tina in the megahit ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,’ which features the musical legend herself and depicts her life from humble beginnings to transforming into a rock ‘n roll star.
Sienna, a Melbourne girl is living away from home for the project. “I have been living in Sydney since March of this year and will be here until Jan 2024 for the musical,” she tells Global Indian adding “I have been doing online schooling through Virtual School Victoria.”
A musical prodigy
Sienna started singing when she was just six. Always an audience lover, she performed in community events whenever there was an occasion. Gradually she started participating in competitions like the Fast Track competition, which was founded in Melbourne in 2013 by co-founders Christine Collyer and Ben Brazil. It quickly evolved into the largest non-televised talent competition in Australia. Sienna won the overall prize in her age group in 2019.
The singer achieved a remarkable feat in her musical journey when at just 10 years of age, she released her first original song ‘CRY’. It was an impressive musical endeavour at such a young age. Her song is available on all major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play.
What touched the chords of the audience was that while the song addressed the important topic of bullying, the video took a light-hearted approach, featuring Zoe, Sienna’s younger sister, in the role of an annoying sibling. Diana, Sienna’s mother remarked, “We had to intersperse humour into the picturization of the song because a child was attempting to convey a message.”
The family was delighted that Sienna’s teacher distributed the music video to the entire school.
After gaining stardom Sienna has been excelling at her studies via homeschooling which she has been doing this year. “She is very self-driven which has made it a smooth transition for her. Her school supports her by providing a flexible approach, which allows her to do her shows sometimes during school hours. The musical’s team also has a tutor that visits to further assist the learning as required,” her mom shared.
Music in the family
Sienna’s musical journey can be attributed to her cultural background and musical environment at home. Her Anglo-Indian family who hails from Chennai, shares a deep passion for music. Her father Mario and his side of the family have a strong musical inclination. Everyone in the family either plays a musical instrument or enjoys singing. It’s not an uncommon sight that after every gathering, someone inevitably grabs a guitar to play.
Talking about her guitarist dad Sienna said, “What I love about him most is how he is an inspiration to others, and how confident and brave he is. This inspires me to become like that as well.”
Mario has a small studio with some instruments at home. Both he and Sienna have spent a lot of time in the music room working out songs since she was young. As singing is her passion Sienna aspires to make a career out of it and wants to be a leader and a role model to inspire people.
The singing sensation
Sienna grabbed the limelight when she became the youngest ever grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent at the age of eleven in 2022. Although she did not win, she became an overnight singing sensation. “I was not there to win but to share my talent with Australia and the rest of the world. I am happy,” she remarks.
For her auditions on the show, Sienna performed ‘If I ain’t Got You’ by Alicia Keys dedicating the song to her family. Her dad, Mario, had accompanied her on the guitar and the father-daughter duo had received a standing ovation from both the audience and the judges. Not just Australian nationals but participants from around the world were part of the auditions.
Encountering stiff competition from talented co-contestants reaching the final at just the age of 11 was a big achievement and the entire Australia took notice of the star in the making.
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There has been no looking back ever since. The little singer has been part of major singing events in the country. Talking about singing the Australian National Anthem at the Australian Open on Australia Day, she remarked, “It was surreal and I enjoyed the experience of so many people watching me sing. It was a great experience.”
What Sienna loves most about her musical endeavour is that she gets to meet new people on stage and otherwise. “I am looking forward to meeting more new people in the industry, making friends with people who love music and have the same passion as me, and getting more opportunities to sing,” shared the grade 7 student who loves sipping lemon and honey ginger tea before her performances. “It’s all about staying at it and working hard and making sure to follow your dreams and never give up,” she remarked talking about her mantra for success.