13-year-old girls to perform for largest crowd yet
By Deb Alberto
For Hometown News
At just 13 years old, local musicians Anja Conklin and Makayla Burnett have made a name for themselves in the local entertainment industry, performing their own brand of light rock and pop at local events and area pubs.
The two Indialantic girls met during an elementary school talent show and began practicing music together, while still in third grade.
All of the hard work and long hours of practice have paid off for the young duo, as they will take to the stage Saturday, Sept. 28 to perform in front of an estimated 4,000 spectators at Wickham Park Pavilion's "80's in the Park" event.
The hometown musicians said they are thrilled about the event, which will be an opportunity to play in front of their largest audience yet.
Makayla will open the show with the National Anthem - performed acapella.
"It was a major honor to be asked to sing the National Anthem," Makayla said. "That is really special and what I am practicing the most for."
Later, she will be joined on stage by her partner, Anja. The two will be backed by a full band, comprised of Makayla's brother and lead guitarist, Alex Burnett; Anja's brother, Dakota Conklin, on the drums; and Anja's father, Andy Conklin, on bass.
"We are bringing a full band together for the 80s event," Makayla said. "This is our biggest opportunity yet. I don't know the order yet, but I know we are playing on the same day as Quiet Riot."
Makayla admitted that she isn't "super familiar" with the names of the bands that preceded her birth by two decades, but she does know the music.
"Quiet Riot? They're the group that sings 'Come on Feel the Noise,'" she said.
Aside from their unexpectedly mature singing voices, both girls, who are students at Hoover Middle School, play the piano and guitar.
Their largest crowd, prior to the upcoming festival, was about 300 people at a local nutrition conference, but the girls have also graced the stages of Lou's Blues, Boondocks and other local venues.
While they enjoy the local scene, their dreams are to reach more people with their music.
"I would like to taste fame for a portion of a time," Anja said. "I mean, I don't want to be a one-hit wonder or anything, I just think I would like to experience some fame for a while, then one day just settle down with a family and have a normal life."
When they're not practicing music, the two stay busy with homework and sports.
Makayla is learning to surf, and Anja plays soccer.
Attendees of the 80's in the Park event can expect to hear such hits as "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles and Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" among the girls' set.
"I'm nervous and excited," Anja said. "But, I'm just planning to hop on that stage and go at it!"
To hear some of the group's original songs, visit www.reverbnation.com/AnjaMakayla.
For more information about 80's in the Park, visit 80sinthepark.com.