It’s been a while but I can’t help but share some of my good news with you.
I write this still buzzing from taking out Music ACT’s best POP artist for 2013! I think I may be secretly waiting for someone to politely tap me on the shoulder and apologise for the whole misunderstanding. But until that happens I am going to savour every moment!
The MAMA’s are MusicACT’s Annual Music Awards and Canberra’s night of night for anyone involved in the Music Industry. It’s a celebration of all things musical and the amazing diversity of talent that we have here in our Nation’s Capital.
The application required to be considered as a finalist was in itself a wonderful journey of self reflection. So often as artists we have a picture of what our dreams looks like, of what we hope our music will become that we can often forget the successes along the way. Reflecting on the highlights of the last 12 months was a glorious boost to the esteem and reminded me that I am moving forward, I am growing as an artist and to enjoy the journey regardless of whether I reach my desired destination.
I thought I would take the time to share some of those highlights with you over the last 12-18 months.
Number 1 is of course having the great privilege of launching my Debut EP Oh My Lullaby to a beautiful full house at the gorgeous venue The Abbey. Having funded my EP successfully through crowd funding I never felt so supported and encouraged to finally share my music and step out as a solo artist. Seeing my crowdfunding campaign featured in an article alongside idol Amanda Palmer in the Sydney Morning Herald only added to my delight. I was also privileged to share the stage that night with now friends and talented local boys Lavers and Matt Amery from Tin sparrow.
Number 2 is the enormous privilege I had of joining Rob Farnham and comedian Doug Chappel to be part of the Forces Entertainment Tour of Timor.
With the International Stabilisation Force operations ceasing on November 21st we participated in final concerts to celebrate the work of the troops and the part they have played in helping the people of Timor-Leste gain their feet as a young nation.
One of the most memorable moments of the tour for me was the time spent singing carols at Camp Phoenix where the troops hosted a Christmas party with 40 children from local orphanages. To see the impact the troops had on these children’s lives and the community as a whole was truly inspiring. Their continuous love, compassion and support touched my heart.
I was so moved by the experience that I invited one of the young locals (pictured below) from the orphanage to join us on stage that night for our final performance. This young boys moving rendition of “Let it Be” backed by our band had the troops on their feet in a standing ovation. There were many tears. An experience I won’t forget for many years to come.
Number 3 would have to be signing a publishing deal with Native Tongue, Australia and New Zealand’s leading independent publishing agency. This signing allowed me the opportunity to write and record with people I could only previously have imagined. That included a trip to LA and sessions with producer Jamie Hartman (Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Anastasia, Natalie Imbruglia, Adam Lambert, Jason Mraz). I also had the great fortune of working with producer and keyboardist Sven Martin and songwriter Todd Wright (placements in Bones, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries, 90210) Both workshops resulting in two fabulous songs that I look forward to sharing with you in early 2014.
I also had the fabulous experience of writing and working with some of Native Tongues local Australian artists and songwriters, spending the weekend at the Corona House in Bryron Bay. I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to be able to sit outside and watch the waves roll in, Corona in hand then duck downstairs to the studio to lay down a track.
I have high hopes for the partnership with Native Tongue and look forward to sharing some success stories with you in the near future.
Number 4 was the awesome opportunity to provide vocals on Steve Balbi’s (Noiseworks) Album Black Rainbow. Steve Balbi, a seasoned performer and formidable songwriter has been a steady mentor and encouragement to me especially in the early years of finding my voice as a solo artist. His long awaited Solo Debut Album Black Rainbow was released Friday 13th September to critical acclaim. Click here to buy.
Number 5 Would have to be the enormous support I have received from Community radio with over 30 stations picking up my EP. It has been a pleasure and delight to chat to many of these stations personally as well as play live to air on numerous occasions. A significant highlight would have to be joining 666’s Melanie Tait on air to share some of my songs.
Number 6 was the encouragement I received from being a finalist in 2 categories in the Music Oz awards, Australian’s Independent Music Awards. Having 2 songs selected as finalists (singles to be launched next year) in the Unsigned Only Song writing competition was also a great achievement. Being selected as an Artist to showcase at Canberra’s first ever RAW event and sharing the stage with visual artists, performing artists, photographers, film makers, makeup artists, designers and so much more was also a fabulous opportunity for not only myself but for our city. Check out an interview I did here with RAW prior to the showcase.
Number 7 is the continuing and amazing opportunity I get to give back to my community and share my gift of music. Fundraising and charity events are an important and humbling part of my musical career and it was a pleasure to participate in Relay for Life, Lifeline Out of the Shadows Walk, Camp Quality esCarpade Final Dinner and Who Will? Fundraiser for orphans of Cambodia.
Number 8 is the chance I had this year to collaborate with some great talents including Canberra DJ – producers Ashley Feraude and D’Opus.
Number 9 last but by no means least is the chance I get to gig and take my tunes from the bedroom to the stage and share with you. Thanks to everyone who came out to a show and to the venues who support original music. We don’t exist without you.
And that concludes my highlights reel. What a year it has been! Thanks for the continuous support and encouragement I receive from you. Looking forward to 2014 and sharing some more thoughts and tunes with you then.