Kim Copedo

Singer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, Entertainer.

2011 NZCMA Songwriter of the Year.

Kim Copedo was born in a small town called Te Kopuru. I am always surprised at the number of people I meet who were born there. Te Kopuru is south of Dargaville which is west of Whangarei which is north of Auckland. Once upon a time someone in their wisdom called this region North Auckland, now we are known as Northland, much better.

I grew up listening to country music, my earliest memories are of listening to my nana playing piano and button accordion and singing along to the tunes she played. Many people used to visit my grandparents to have a cuppa, sample nanas’s baking and enjoy an afternoon of music. I also remember playing 78rpm records on the old wind-up gramophone and being warned “not to wind it up too much or you will break the spring.” A couple of the artists I listened to were Gene Autry, PeeWee King, The Carter Family and Hank Snow.

I attended Te Kopuru primary school. I did not consider myself a great scholar just a normal average student. My interests were more towards sporting activities like rugby and cricket, which was similar to what my friends were into. During this time 45rpm & 33rpm records became available. Now days not many kids would know what they look like. I remember listening to the records my parents had and I guess this was the start of my real interest and love of country music (the biggest influence on me being Jim Reeves.) Once I had bought my own stereo I would sit for hours listening to and singing along with every Jim Reeves record we had. Other singers I listened to were Hank Snow, Charley Pride, Eddy Arnold, Roger Miller and Slim Whitman.

It was now the 1970s and in 1975 I started at Dargaville High school, still just the average student more interested in sport than anything else. However, the athletics coach was also the music teacher and he made sure all members of the first XV were also in the school choirs. He was a big American guy so no one argued with him.

I was still singing country music but still just to myself, then sometime around 1976 we joined the Northern Wairoa country music club and I won the award for ‘Most Improved Vocalist’ (I still have the trophy.) I also started to teach myself guitar, which is something I am still doing mainly because I got tired of not knowing which key I was singing songs in.

In 1980 I left school and had a couple of jobs which included farming, banking and cable jointing. I got married, had a family and didn’t do much country music but performed in shows for “WAODS” now known as The Whangarei Theatre Company. I had 4 years of vocal training and competed in the Northland Performing Arts Festivals.

In the late 80s I joined the Whangarei Country Music club and in 1989 entered the Northland Regional Awards which I won. This made me eligible for the NZCMA Entertainer of the Year Awards (I remember Dennis Marsh winning that year.) Then in 1995 I moved with my family to Palmerston North where I joined the Fielding Country Music Club. I have a lot to thank this club for; they taught me a lot about performing and enjoying country music. There was also a new sound to country music which I liked and similar to many others I was influenced by artists such as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Joe Diffie, Ricky Van Shelton, Randy Travis and Vince Gill just to name a few.

Since then I have had a great time singing and writing country music. Since 1997 I have been a finalist 8 times in the NZCMA E.O.Y, a finalist 5 times in the NZCMA E.O.Y songwriters Award and a finalist 6 times in the Norfolk Island Trans-Tasman E.O.Y Awards. I have also been lucky enough to perform on country music shows and charity concerts with well known N.Z country music performers including Patsy Riggir, Dennis Marsh, Joy Adams, Jan Cooper, Roger Tibbs, Marion Burns, Gray Bartlett, Jody Vaughn and Brendan Duggan.

For me, I guess my biggest achievement was releasing my first CD in 2004 – something that I am very proud of. I would like to sincerely thank those of you who have bought it and for your continued support and positive comments. Thank you.

That’s about it so far – stay tuned, the journey isn’t over. There’s more country music to be enjoyed.