McKayla Prew, a multi-talented Walled Lake Northern High School graduate, recently was crowned Miss Oakland County.
The competition, which included a field of 78 contestants, took place at the McMorran Entertainment Center in Port Huron on May 28.
Prew was elated at the end of the pressure-packed competition. “It was an absolutely incredible feeling walking across the stage at Miss USA and being able to represent my county as Miss Oakland County,” she said. “Going up to the microphone and being able to introduce myself was very exhilarating.”
She’s competed in pageants since she was six years old and has been singing and writing her own songs since the age of 11, including country music. She said, “As I got older, my writing skills advanced and my songs began to take on new meaning. I take great pride in writing all my own music and lyrics as it makes my songs a million times more meaningful, as a lot of singers don’t or only co-write on their songs and producers arrange the music.”
Prew has learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way, culminating with the Miss Oakland County event. She explained, “The most important thing I have learned from this competition, specifically, is being sure of yourself and your capabilities. Going on stage in front of a whole auditorium of people competing against a lot of other amazing women can be quite intimidating. I learned that as long as you are confident in yourself, you will succeed with leaps and bounds.”
Prew credited her parents, father John and mother Jennifer (who’s also her manager), quite literally with setting the stage for her success. “My family is my rock. I am truly blessed to have parents that believe in me and support my music career.” She added, “One thing I have learned from my parents is believing in myself and giving me the confidence that I can whatever I put my mind to if I achieve work hard enough for it.”
Competing onstage in pageants while on Northern’s swim and golf teams and serving as the 2021 Senior Class President were key ingredients to her overall success.
“Being an athlete has definitely helped my mental and physical endurance,” Prew stated. “In order to get better at a sport, you have to practice. That leads into my career, as I constantly have to practice my vocals, guitar, and songwriting abilities to keep growing as an artist and a healthy human being.”
Serving as president of her senior class “really taught me how to grow my leadership abilities and handle stressful situations and interact and represent a community of people. When you are leading a student body, you learn the importance of listening to everyone’s concerns and contributing them to a greater good.”
She is credits one of her former WLN teachers with significantly influencing her success both on and off stage. “My 10th grade honors English teacher, named Ms. Haagen, truly left an impact on me when it comes to my songwriting abilities,” explained Prew. “She taught me immense knowledge of poetry and the English language that has made me the songwriter I am today.”
Prew has become an accomplished singer; she first performed on stage at the age of four. From the age of four, I participated in musical theater, in school, starring roles as Annie in ‘Annie,’ Sharpey Evens in ‘High School Musical,’ Elsa in ‘Frozen’ at the Starlight Theater, in ‘Snow White’ at the Marquee Theater.”
She’s also performed at Milford Memories, the Waterford Harvest Happenings and at the Dream Cruise.
Prew’s future is bright as she looks down the road into the new year. “Into 2023, I am going to be continuing to release new music that spreads across all different genres. I will also be starting up my YouTube channel with covers and blogs, a gaming channel, a podcast, and Twitch live streaming, all while attending Berklee’s College of Music.”
She learned a number of valuable life lessons as a result of COVID-19. “One thing I have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is everything is transient. Push and fight for what you love to do and make it your career. Always listen to your heart and its calling because it knows best. Do what makes you happy in life and love and appreciate the ones around you.”