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One fast-talking girl a closet rapper tries out for national stage

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Sina Holwerda auditioned for 'America's Got Talent' earlier this month. Her rapper name is Wynne.Sina Holwerda is one fast-talking girl.

The Lake Oswego High School sophomore is a rap artist and goes by the name Wynne when she performs. She recently auditioned for the next season of “America’s Got Talent.”

“I had been planning to audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’ or another talent show for about a year, so when I learned they were coming to Portland I was pretty excited,” Holwerda said. “I had about two weeks to prepare. I was rapping 24/7 to get ready.”

Holwerda said she has been a “closet rapper” since she was in fourth grade. She learned the skill by listening to and imitating rap artist Eminem. The rapper’s music has been criticized for his offensive lyrics.

“I’m the exact opposite of him,” said Holwerda, whose clean-cut, wholesome appearance doesn’t match that of a stereotypical rapper.

Holwerda learned about the audition from a friend on the Laker dance team, which was invited to audition for the show as well.

“Overall, the experience was really cool,” Holwerda said. “We were put into a holding room and it was exactly like it looks on TV.”

She, her father and her best friend were then ushered into a second room where she waited with two other rappers, a couple of comedians and a hip-hop dance group. There she met Mighty, a 24-year-old rapper from the Gresham area.

“He killed his audition! He must have said 100 words in 40 seconds!” she said. Mighty was equally impressed with Holwerda’s performance and afterward told her that he was a rap instructor.

“He told me he had never heard a 15-year-old white girl who could do that,” she said proudly.

Rap, or hip-hop music, is described as chanted, street poetry. It can be accompanied by music and by beatboxing, basically vocal percussion. The music genre originated in the mid-1970s among black and Hispanic performers in New York City. While some listeners are put off by the music, others credit many rappers as having an acute social and political awareness.

“I love words,” Holwerda said. “It’s actually harder to write rap than you think.” Because of its speedy delivery, more lyrics are needed to fill a song.

Holwerda first performed at a talent show at LOHS; when word got out about her impressive talent, she was invited to perform at the school’s May Fete and Poetry Out Loud, which helped bolster her confidence.

Will her classmates be watching her on “America’s Got Talent” next season? The answer will be determined soon. A producer from the auditions asked for a video, and Holwerda hopes to hear more from show officials by the end of January.

In the meantime, she’ll keep practicing her fast-talking rap.

To view a video of Holwerda rapping, go to youtube.com/user/sinawynne?feature=mhee.




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