Winnipeg is well-known for its arts and music scene, and it’s no wonder. From the Folk Festival to Rainbow Stage, there is no shortage of entertainment and talent in our city. But the real treat is finding out that an incredibly gifted young artist lives right in my own neighbourhood.
At just 17, Mikayla Zacharias not only sings and writes her own music, she also plays the guitar, piano, banjo, saxophone and clarinet. Despite her young age and the relative newness of her musical passion, (she didn’t start singing and studying music seriously until the age of 13, after she had earned a black-belt in taekwondo), Mikayla not only has a number of self-written songs to her credit, but she recently had the opportunity to perform her songs at the Winnipeg Folk Festival as part of the Young Performers Program.
I recently met with Mikayla, her mom, and her younger sister Sabrina, 15, in their Windsor Park home. At my request, she shyly acquiesced to an impromptu performance in her living room. With just her guitar and her beautiful, pure voice, Mikayla sang Merry Go Round, a song about the ups and downs of relationships that was partly inspired by a summer job she had working at Tinkertown.
Sounding every bit the star, like her idol Taylor Swift, her performance gave me goose bumps.
Between her music, work and school it’s hard to believe that the Grade 12 Glenlawn Collegiate student has time for much else but she assured me with a smile that she makes time to hang out and go to concerts with her friends.
As for what the future may hold for this promising young artist, right now Mikayla told me she is happy performing at places like The Forks and the Travel Mug Café and is looking forward to finishing high school and pursing a music degree. She anticipates recording a her music in the near future.
And what does proud mom think of all this?
"I am so lucky to have two incredibly talented daughters," Mrs. Zacharias told me, referring to both Mikayla and Sabrina, who is a budding writer.
"I can’t wait to see where their lives are going to take them — it’s going to be exciting!"
To learn more about Mikayla Zacharias or listen to her original music you can visit her website at www.reverbnation.com/MikaylaZacharias.
Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.