Rotorua's Lizzie Marvelly has been entertaining us for 10 years and in that time gathered many unforgettable moments.

She says performing at the Sydney Opera House at 19 is one of the biggest, followed by a performance at the Royal Albert Hall a year later. It's also hard to go past singing at the Cricket World Cup Final last year, and the Rugby World Cup.

She was a teenager when we first heard her sing alongside Dame Malvina Major and Sir Howard Morrison, and for many, it's hard to get our head around the fact she's all grown up. But she has, and her 10-year tour showcases the diverse musical road she has climbed.

Lizzie has toured in Europe, Asia and Australia, sung and collaborated with artists as diverse as P-Money and Paul Potts. On the outside looking in, her life on the international stage appears to read almost like a fairytale.


But in fact, behind the polish of her early years, nerves were actually distracting her from the performance to the point where "my stomach would almost eat itself".

It got so bad that one night she was so relieved to be off the stage, she completely forgot to show up for an encore, leaving Dame Malvina languishing on stage by herself. At first embarrassed by the debacle, the error later became a freeing experience for her.

"I realised the sun still comes up. The world hadn't stopped, my career hadn't ended." Lesson learned. Nerves banished for good.

The performance in the city this week will be an eclectic mix of songs, "anyone who has followed my musical trajectory knows I have never been able to make my mind up about genre" and it will also showcase new material she has written.

"How I write is at the piano and vocal based. The songs are quite pure, without any kind of artifice. The point of my song writing is just being authentic and organic.

"I love listening to all kinds of music, but sometimes I get sick of listening to songs that are ultra produced."

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As she has matured, authenticity and embracing imperfection has become more important. Unlike many people decades older (and who theoretically should know better) she has learned that imperfection is in fact a human quality that often leads to magic.

"Across my entire life I used to chase perfection in every area. That is so futile. Perfection is a farce. Thank God because how boring would that be."

Lizzie has a double degree in English and Psychology, and as well as her musical career, she is a feminist columnist and social campaigner. She is currently working with a team of people on a child poverty campaign and said she enjoys the creativity of working with people on issues.

Anyone who has read her columns would probably find it hard to believe she once feared speaking up about her beliefs.

But meeting Ariana Huffington of The Huffington Post vanquished that fear.
"I was lucky enough to meet her. It was amazing. We had lunch and visited art galleries with her and her daughters in Auckland.

"It made me think you can dream the impossible. It is hard for me to wrap my head around. I'm in a privileged position to dream the impossible - it made me take the first step and put my opinions out there.

"I don't apologise for having opinions. I feel compelled to engage with the world around me. Being young and outspoken is not really a big deal at all. Why shouldn't we?"

It's refreshing, but not surprisingly that the people who inspire her are not necessarily other performers. Instead, she cites, Huffington, Helen Clark and other feminist writers as people she looks up to.

She says she wants to be part of a change where being a young person expressing an opinion is the norm, rather than the exception.

"I want to be part of that change that brings more of it to the fore."

"You get to the point as a young women where you reach that tipping point. You think these people are all telling me to be this way and that. You realise you can't win and I might as well say what I think. It actually frees you."

Concert details
What: Lizzie Marvelly - The 10 Years Tour
Where: Rotorua Civic Theatre
When: Friday, 16 September, 7.30pm - 9.30pm