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Strange advance of a tweet queen

LAURA BAZIUK, QMI AGENCY
Local English product Kieran Strange is ready to hit the big time online. (CARMINE MARINELLI, QMI AGENCY)

Local English product Kieran Strange is ready to hit the big time online. (CARMINE MARINELLI, QMI AGENCY)

She's only about a year into her musical career, but Kieran Strange is already ranked among pop heavyweights such as Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.

So it's not the Billboard charts, it's on what's been called the "Twitter Oscars".

The 21-year-old local singer-songwriter is among the top musicians nominated for the third annual Shorty Awards, a New York ceremony honouring the best personalities on social media sites.

"I try and be active. I try and talk to a lot of people," the pink-haired pop rocker told QMI Tuesday. "I always try and follow people back because I'm just as interested in them as they are in me."

Strange (her real name) says her more personal touch - talking to her Tweeps one on one - has put her ahead of international superstars like Gaga, whose followers number in the millions.

"It's definitely not all about me," she said. "Music is about the fans."

As of Tuesday afternoon, she ranked No. 17 out of 1,700 artists - trailing Paramore and Marianas Trench.

Strange was born in southern England and came to Vancouver two years ago to put together an EP.

"A lot of people say my music is like My Chemical Romance and The Used, and they both got it on with Paramore," she said.

She's put out two singles, Good Intentions and Merry Undead Christmas, which can be found with many other songs on her YouTube channel.

Her demo album, to be released next month, covers her journey of self-acceptance.

"I was bullied through high school. It's the traditional, sad, bullied-kid story," Strange laughed. "I spent my break times picking chewing gum out of my hair."

She decided to no longer be ashamed of her quirks, and turned them into tunes.

"I have a song called Too Lazy to Know. It's about being really ambitious and really smart and just being lazy and not finding the go-ahead to just go for it," she said. "It explains how I felt when I wanted to do the musician thing, but I just couldn't find my grip."

Strange suspects the PR machines of the more famous artists will knock her out by the time the Shorty winners are announced in the coming weeks (Justin Bieber already has a stranglehold on first place).

But she thanks her friends and supporters nonetheless.

"Just being pushed to the top 12 was incredible," she said. "Twitter is a force to be reckoned with."

To vote for Strange, go to shortyawards.com/Kieranstrange.