From Maketū to Sydney, via New York - Siena Stone has had a whirlwind 12 months.

It makes Freewheeler a fitting title for her first single.

Freewheeler was released on August 11 and has since been added to Spotify playlists New Music Friday (AU/NZ), Broad Chords, Low-key Weekend, Indie Palace and Heavy Rotation. It had almost 9000 plays in its first three days of release.

The song has been described as a ''wind-in-the hair'' song and you can almost hear the gulls and the waves of Maketū underscoring the evocative melody.


''Hundred per cent - I think most of the stuff that I write is definitely inspired by the vibe of Maketū - it's easy, breezy sort of stuff,'' says the 20-year-old.

Siena spent all bar two years in Canada, her early life in the small coastal town.

''My parents were always really, really encouraging about anything I wanted to do. My dad taught me how to harmonise and my mum is amazing on the harmonica.''

At Te Puke High School she performed at talent shows, and in music classes she wrote songs. She played at Christmas in the Park and in a few local bars, but ''nothing crazy".

''I always loved music a lot.''

She was 11 when she wrote her first song.

''When I was 12 my sister started dating a musician and when he first came round I though 'oh my goodness, what an amazing job to do'.''

Leaving Te Puke High School last year, Siena was drawn to Australia where she continued writing and recording in a friend's bedroom studio just north of Sydney.


''I was in a band that was touring around, up and down the east coast of Australia and that was when it was like, OK, this is something I definitely want to do.''

Armed with a collection of songs, she moved to New York where she teamed up with songwriters/producers, Dan Gibson and Simon Oscroft of Frills, Streets of Laredo and Midnight Youth.

''I had a couple of songs that were in their infancy and I thought 'I'd love to get these recorded.'

''Freewheeler was my first time ever working with producers and that was a lot of fun. It was so good to watch something that was just in my head come out into a song - I was so excited.''

Returning to Australia she signed a distribution deal.

''It took about six months while we took some videos and slowly built to releasing it.''

She's thrilled with the reception.

''I was so, so, so happy to get onto New Music Friday, Low-key Weekend and Broad Chords, they are a bunch of really cool playlists.''

She is also being talked about on blogs - including Emerging Indie Bands and Sniffers.

''[Sniffers] is a blog I've been following for ages and couldn't believe I got on it.''

Siena is hoping to tour in Sydney and hopefully, she says, the rest of Australia, before the end of the year and is getting more and more in tune with big city life.

''When I first got here I was blown way because, well, Maketū is definitely not a city. It shocked me at the start, but it's definitely growing on me. I can step outside my door and there's something new to see everywhere.''

She wrote Freewheeler about a year ago.

''It's inspired by Bob Dylan - just because he is one of my hugest inspirations in music. I thought if I'm going to kick this off, I may as well kick it off right.''