Hanging out in Parramatta after school is something Liaana Pokoina and her mates do pretty often. Singing with Kelly Rowland? A little less often.
“I was in the square hanging out with my friends this afternoon as I usually do,” Liaana said.
“I asked what was going on when I saw the stage, and when I found it was a live concert featuring Kelly Rowland I couldn’t believe it.
“I love her,” she said.
Kelly was in town to help bring Australia’s first taste of Coke No Sugar to the people. Coke No Sugar is the new permanent member of the Coca-Cola family designed after years of research to offer a no-sugar option to lovers of the classic taste of Coke.
Her live appearance was actually a surprise for anyone lucky enough to be in Parramatta on June 15.
“I had a great time at the launch of the new Coca-Cola No Sugar in Australia. I jumped on stage and performed a surprise track for the crowd which was a lot of fun,” Kelly said.
Road trip with a twist
A Coca-Cola delivery truck was the first vehicle to arrive in the square in Parramatta. Comedians Lana Kington and Madison Lloyd of SketchShe buckled up to take a road trip from Northmead with Australia’s first samples.
Fans followed the team on Facebook Live as they made their way to Parramatta, picking up a few friends along the way.
Singer and songwriter Tom Jay Williams was the first to hop in with his guitar in hand. He let everyone know he’s just moved to Sydney and sang a bit of a love song.
Next up YouTube gamer ChampChong got on board for some laughs and a blind taste test between Coke Classic and the new Coke No Sugar.
Once the van arrived in the square, Nova 96.9 newsreader and MC Matt de Groot invited the crowd to compete to be the first to taste Coke No Sugar.
It was at this point Liaana knew it was her moment to shine by belting out her opera-trained singing voice. Her song choice? The Kelly/Nelly duet ‘Dilemma' of course!
“Everyone knows the song is my jam. Like most kids of Islander descent I grew up on late 90’s, noughties R&B,” Liaana said.
“I have a whole routine I do and everyone does their part to join in.”
When Kelly Rowland heard lucky Liaana had some chops, she gave her the chance to sing the classic track in front of her hero.
“I’m still pinching myself,” Lianna said “It’s a dream come true”.