Wintec music student Brendan Pyper, 24, has won the Waikato Young Singer's award jointly with Lou'ana Pereria-Dinnan.
After walking away from numerous singing competitions in the past where he was told to try another time because he wasn't good enough, Brendan was more than excited with his win.
"It's really vindicating to go to something like this, and win it," he says.
The competition hosted about 25 to 30 singers who each had to perform two contrasting styles of contemporary music.
The contestants were judged on their vocals and how well they could bounce from one genre to another.
Brendan's winning performance, which included a jazz-styled song and a cover of Australian band, You and Me at Six's song, Stay With Me, netted him $1250 in prizemoney.
Having a passion for music throughout his life, at 21 Brendan decided it was time to do something about it.
"Singing was too much a part of me that I couldn't just get on with life and forget about it. I wanted to pursue it and do as much as I can because I knew it was what I was really meant to do."
Brendan started travelling to Auckland every Tuesday for two years to have singing lessons.
Last year, he signed up at Wintec to do a Bachelor of Music.
He is now in the second year of his degree and the lead singer of The Latest Fallout, a punk/pop/alternative band.
Brendan says he has reached a milestone. When he started singing he was terrified to perform in front of anyone. He will continue to enter competitions as well as focusing on his band.