KEANA Reinu (doesn’t her name sound like Keanu Reeves?) posted a video of her covering Train’s Drive By on YouTube with no particular intent. But a few months after that, she found her video shortlisted as one of the six finalists of a contest organised by the band – coincidentally for the best cover of the very same song.
Keana, 19, uploaded the video with no inkling of any contest. It was a follower and subscriber of Keana’s YouTube channel who was impressed by her Drive By video who encouraged her to join Train’s contest. Even then, Keana didn’t expect to do well.
“I had no idea I had been chosen as one of the finalists until Sony Music highlighted that a Malaysian had been selected as a finalist.”
It was only then that Keana found out that she was that Malaysian. Her video was featured on Train’s official website, as well as on a website of an American independent band called Check In The Dark.
Although she did not win the contest, it’s an indication of how talented Keana is.
Keana was the runner-up and the youngest finalist in Malaysia’s first ever online talent search called the Dentyne Terrar-oke competition where she covered an a capella version of Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning.
The various competitions Keana participated in are stepping stones tin her singing path.”I can’t actually remember when I started singing, and I have never gone for vocal lessons. But ever since I was young, I have always loved singing along to the radio and that’s how I started.” said Keana.
She picked up the guitar at 13, and started writing songs at 14. “My real start to singing was when I joined the Dentyne Terrar-oke Internet sensation search. This was when I did my first singing/performance video and uploaded it online. It was also my first live singing performance during the finale. This all happened when I was 18, just last year.” shared Keana. She was the runner-up at the competition, but garnered the highest votes.
After doing well in the Dentyne Terrar-oke competition, Keana continued to showcase her talent through Youtube; taking the route that has brought fame and acclaim to artistes like Justin Bieber, Kina Grannis, and Greyson Chance. “I like posting videos on YouTube, and I’ve gotten many good feedbacks not just from friends, but from strangers.” said Keana. “I was surprised to get such feedbacks because I barely promoted my videos and people started liking them on their own, so I was really grateful for that.”
The positive feedback to her music has encouraged Keana to go on singing and chase her dream.
“I really don’t believe in spamming people with my videos; I believe in people finding my music on their own. I’ve been on YouTube for less than a year now, and it’s been going well.”
Keana describes her music as a fusion between soul, R&B, and some blend of electro. “Think Ellie Goulding, Florence And The Machine, and Rihanna’s music style all mashed into one with my own vocals to it.” As she writes her own songs, Keana is planning to release a demo which is expected to be out in the next few months. She already has up to 15 songs, and plans to go on making YouTube videos and experiment with covers and observe which interpretation her viewers respond well to.
To catch Keana in action, go to www.youtube.com/keanareinu or www.soundcloud.com/keanareinu