Former M'bah woman reaches new heights
WHEN she was a student at Murwillumbah High School, Bernie Van Tiel loved basketball and performing.
These two worlds collided when she recently had the chance to perform at the half-time entertainment for the Sydney Kings and Adelaide 36ers National Basketball League match.
But this was just the latest in a string of successes for the 24-year-old.
Van Tiel, who has lived in Sydney for almost five years, has been making a name for herself as a beatboxer, rapper, dancer, singer/songwriter and actor and has recently starred in web series Jade of Death, which will be released this month.
Constantly pushing herself to new heights, she said, has been key to her fledgling stardom.
"Since I moved to Sydney I've been going hard on the music and acting circuit and doing what I can to get my name out there,” Van Tiel said.
She said performing as part of the half-time entertainment at the basketball, the first professional match she'd ever been to, was a spontaneous but exciting opportunity.
"It was very last minute,” she said.
"Part of what I do in Sydney is host one of the biggest hip-hop competitions in the world, World Supremacy Battlegrounds.”
She said Marco Selorio, who founded World Supremacy Battlegrounds, which attracts big names from across the hip-hop world, had a relationship with the Sydney Kings.
"Marco has a deal with the Sydney Kings and (that involves) providing the half-time entertainment,” he said.
"He said to me 'do you want to come watch the game?'
"I said I'd love to watch a game, and next thing I was performing.”
Her current career landscape might seem far removed from her Murwillumbah upbringing, but Van Tiel said the Tweed had been an inspiring place to develop her creative skills from a young age.
"The objective has been the same since I was probably 12: do what you love to do for a living,” she said.
"(Murwillumbah) is a beautiful area and people are really supportive, which I really appreciate.
"There's just not much going if you're trying to aim for really, really big heights but it's a beautiful place to develop your talent and hone your talent.”
Van Tiel will next month be taking her music to the Philippines, her mother's homeland, in her first international tour.
She also plans to use her full spectrum of talent to release her own film clips this year.
"The main objective for me is to keep doing what I love, keep getting better and stay humble along the way,” she said.
Follow her on Instagram: @bernievantiel.