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Draper Journal

Willow Canyon second-grader wins national Reflections, wants to win ‘America’s Got Talent’

Jul 12, 2021 02:30PM ● By Julie Slama

Willow Canyon second-grader India Boyé (center) doesn’t need “America’s Got Talent;” she recently was awarded the top prize at the national Reflections award in music for her entry, “Indi-rap.” (Photo courtesy of Julie Boyé)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

A Willow Canyon second-grader has big dreams.

“I want to be on ‘America’s Got Talent’ so badly. I hope to get the Golden Buzzer when I go.”

Don’t count out India Boyé to accomplish that goal. The second-grader recently won the national Reflections award in music for her entry, “Indi-rap;” it was her first time entering the PTA contest that has more than 300,000 students in pre-K through grade 12 annually create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. 

“My dad said (maybe I can be on it) when I’m older,” she added about the TV show that scouts for talent.

Her dad, Alex Boyé, is an accomplished British-American musician of his own right and performed on the show, but India wrote and performed this song on her own; it’s a rap about herself and her family.

“I made this song actually up and it was really fun. It’s what my whole life is about. It says my mom is white and my dad is brown, so I might talk to you about my family and how my life and everything like that and I’m doing compliments and I matter because I matter,” she said, tying the song into the Reflections theme: “I matter because….” “I just love making stuff up. It’s really fun to make up a song.”

Her mother, Julie, who also sings in a harmony group, adds: “India always beatboxes around the house. She raps all the time with things on YouTube and things she sees on, well, just bloggers she watches and commercials she hears. She loves the rhyme and makes harmony. It’s a little skill that not many her age have. This girl is a spitfire and has a huge personality and is just not afraid to talk about it.”

India wasn’t alone in her talent as one brother entered visual art and another made a film to enter in the school Reflections contest. However, India is the only Willow Canyon state winner, her principal Marilyn Williams said.

“We had a celebration in her class; her parents participated virtually,” Williams said. “Our PTA gave her flowers, a treat and a trophy. She performed the rap for us in class when we were celebrating. It’s a very inspirational rap about equity and family—amazing insight for a second-grade student. We are very proud of India.”

India said she was excited, yet uneasy about performing her song in front of her class.

“It was kind of embarrassing, but really fun. It was scary; I was just kind of nervous. I’ve only done it in front of my grandpa and grandma and my family before,” she said, adding, “But I sing it every day.” 

However, she has cherished her award.

“It’s my first trophy. I just think what happy memories it’s given me, and I was like, ‘oh my gosh’ when they came in to school and everything was so much fun,” India said.

She also was honored in the Old Dome Meeting Hall in Riverton on May 11 along with other state award winners.

Along with India, Canyons School District had several students honored at state including Hillcrest High’s Haley Fries, who won the photography category and Amber Parker, who received an honorable mention for literature; Corner Canyon’s Isablla Pulley, who received an award of merit in photography; Brighton High’s Andrew Jensen received an honorable mention for 3D art; Butler Middle’s Makella Wright, who received an award of merit for dance; Draper Park’s Max Stephens, who received an honorable mention for music and Asia Olcott, who received an award of merit for visual arts and for 3D art; Midvale Middle’s Ava Townsend who received an award of merit for visual arts; Altara Elementary’s Nazareth Diaz received an honorable mention for dance; Quail Hollow’s Evelyn Boardman received an honorable mention for music; Butler Elementary’s Lydia Jensen received an honorable mention for photography and Dakota Brown received an honorable mention for 3D art; Brookwood’s Judd Pohlman received an award of merit for 3D art; Oak Hollow’s Adalyn Olcott received an honorable mention for 3D art; Lone Peak’s Sawyer Arnold received an award of merit for visual arts; and Sunrise’s Scarlett De Agostini received an honorable mention for visual arts.

PTA Region 17 director Terri Francis said that typically Canyons District does well in Reflections.

“I’m always extremely impressed with the originality of ideas students come up with that tie into the theme,” she said. “We have some pretty talented kids, and the number of entries was 19% higher than usual. I think the online submission made it easier for students to do it on their own and families to submit them.”

Haley’s state-winning photograph is of a row of green chrysalises, with one black, ready to emerge into a butterfly, she said.

The Hillcrest High student compared that chrysalis with herself: “There was only one and that only one is of me.”

Haley said that she and her mother were walking around a garden when she saw it and thought it would make a good Reflections entry.

“I really like to play with perspective in my photo and I saw it and I was like, that would be a really good photo and a really good representation,” she said.

This was Haley’s first time entering Reflections; she studied online this past year. It was through a PTA email as well as the school website posting results that she found out that she won.

“I think it’s crazy; I didn’t think I’d make it this far,” she said. “It was like really unexpected.”

India placed her state trophy alongside some medals she received in gymnastics—and now, her silver medal for winning national Reflections.

For winning nationals, she also will receive a certificate, a $200 Young Artist Scholarship, and have her work featured in the traveling exhibition.

Singing for a talent show isn’t the only thing India wants to do so maybe television baking contestants should be wary.

“I want to bake at my house, but not actually as a job—and I want to sing,” she said.

Then, she continued.

“I’m wanting to do Reflections again for sure. I really like to sing, and I do it a lot. I’m wanting to do another rap. My dad, I like doing harmonies with him too,” India said, adding that she may ask him to record with her next as they recently sang a song together. “I don’t know what it’s called, but it goes: ‘We like to cherish these days.’”