Niamh Beatrix Smith’s latest single is once again proof that you don’t have to win a talent search competition to secure your singing career.
RNews reported that 12-year-old Niamh (pronounced Neave) made the top three of the Irish leg of the Junior Eurovision contest in October, but Jessica McKean was eventually named the winner. According to the Irish media, it was a narrow victory. Jessica will now represent Ireland at the Junior Eurovision contest in Nice, France.
However, new musical horizons are already beckoning for Niamh, who on Tuesday released her first original Afrikaans single, “Kersfees in die vrede”, just in time for Christmas.
She created the song in aid of the charity organization Reach for a Dream, and what makes the release even more special is that for the first time in five years, Niamh and her family will be celebrating a real Summer Christmas on home soil.
The young singer began winning local hearts earlier this year with her version of the hit “Klein tambotieboom” from the alternative group Die Heuwels Fantasties. The song was viewed more than 5,000 times on YouTube within a week.
Niamh’s family is originally from Welgemoed in Cape Town, but moved to Ireland a few years ago. It was during this time that she found a safe haven in the new and strange environment through her music.
Alda, Niamh’s mother, says she has been singing since she was a child, but only really began to flourish with her singing talent since the family’s emigration.
“Although Niamh clearly has a deep love for Ireland, she has not forgotten her South African roots,” said Alda.
The producer of the song, Riaan Steyn, from Traxstudio in Cape Town, says Niamh’s Christmas song is one of a kind. “It mixes Celtic and South African sounds in a unique way.”
The clip, in which the South African Youth Choir can be heard, depicts how Christmas is different and yet the same for people around the world.
“It’s about how Christmas, just like music, can bring people together – regardless of their culture, country or language.
“I specifically chose Reach for a Dream to benefit from the song because the organization makes an unforgettable difference in the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses – children who very often have to spend Christmas in the ‘unknown’,” says Niamh about the song she composed herself.
Carla van Eeden, a 10-year-old girl from Cape Town who has been fighting cancer for more than a year, was the inspiration for the song and fundraising project. “Carla is the bravest and most loving child I know and she deserves to be mentioned over and over again.”
“Niamh is an example of hope and her courage to continue to make her and others’ dreams come true is inspiring,” says Natalie Lazaris, business manager of Reach for a Dream. “We are grateful that she has chosen to support our foundation through her music, as it will help those who are fighting their greatest battles to achieve their dreams. We are fully behind Niamh and look forward to supporting her through this incredible journey.”
Niamh also released two other tracks this year in aid of Make-a-Wish Ireland. To add further momentum to her fundraising efforts in Ireland, Niamh also worked on an original English Christmas song, “Christmas All Year”. Written and composed by Niamh and in collaboration with Niamh Noade, a 14-year-old singer from Northern Ireland, also known as The Girl with the Harp, “Christmas All Year” will soon after “Christmas in the Strange” also on all major music streaming platforms be available.