Sahara Beck has been named as the recipient of the $15,000 Carol Lloyd Award for 2019, the announcement taking place at the launch of this year's Queensland Music Festival.
The young voices of regional Queensland are about to be unleashed with the release of the very first BIG SKY GIRLS album.
Over the past two years, the BIG SKY GIRLS program run by Deb Suckling and Craig Spann from SUGARRUSH Music has mentored 20 young emerging female singer songwriters from across regional and remote Queensland.
With a team of incredible mentors including songwriters, musicians and producers, the girls ranging in age from 15 – 25 have received creative and professional development over a 6 month period, with workshops and recording trips to Brisbane and online mentoring in between. And more than that, they have received access to writing and recording experiences which are few and far between in many of their regions.
With the support of funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland and APRA AMCOS, the very first BIG SKY GIRLS album was recorded in 2018 and early 2019 across two studios in Brisbane with producer’s Jeff Lovejoy and Brianna Ansaldo.
Featuring voices from Roma to Cooktown, the track list includes songs by The Dennis Sisters (Sunshine Coast), Amber Farnan (Cairns), Zoey Mills (Mackay), Hannah Rosa (Gold Coast), K-la (Townsville), Meg Beth (Toowoomba), Tylah Winyard (Burleigh Waters), Ella Hartwig (Cooktown) and Maddie Thomas (Roma).
The nine tracks featured on the album show the diversity of voices and styles by these young women but there is also another side – the stories of very real issues faced by many young regional people.
“We are beyond thrilled to be able to release the first BIG SKY GIRLS project and so grateful to our team of artists and producers and also to our funding bodies for their support. It is so important that we give young regional songwriters access to studios, to professionals and to hone their musical skills but also that we listen to what they have to say, “ Project Manager Deb Suckling said.
“Songwriting is such an important tool of self-expression for young people and we are just grateful we have been able to offer this opportunity. Working with these young women has been an absolute privilege – we hope people listen up and see what incredible talent is out there in our regions across Queensland.”Deb Suckling
Project Manager, BIG SKY GIRLS
Queensland Music Festival has launched its massive 2019 program. The state-wide program for the festival's 20th anniversary will run 5 July through to 28 July and bring "the gift of music to all corners of the state". Find out what's on and how you can get involved!
Last fortnight Paris Irwin, winner of the Industry Connect ‘Chill with Paces’ mentoring session spent an afternoon at Alchemix Recording Studios with Paces to gain some priceless industry insight, feedback on her songs and whip up a groovy new tune with the Gold Coast based producer.
Tucked away in the mountains of the Sunshine Coast is the picturesque Heliport Studios where for the second year, eight Industry Connect participants will spend four days co-writing and collaborating on new music with the guidance of industry experts.
APRA AMCOS have announced the return of the biennial APRA Professional Development Awards offering nine individual winners $15,000 each. The Smugglers of Light initiative will also return in 2019, providing a promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music or media practitioner with a grant of $12,000.