QMusic is pleased to announce the top four finalists of the 2023 Grant McLennan Fellowship: Gabriella Cohen, Jesswar, Tia Gostelow and Katherine Herrington (Full Flower Moon Band).

The four finalists were stand-outs in a year of incredible applications showcasing the talent that is shaping the culture, story and identity of Queensland and will now proceed to vie for the coveted $15,000 fellowship, which will afford them the opportunity to travel to New York, London or Berlin.  

The fellowship was established in 2007 by the Queensland Government in honour of Grant McLennan, a founding member of legendary Brisbane band The Go-Betweens, who was widely acknowledged as one of Queensland’s finest cultural exports. Grant created an outstanding musical legacy, which has paved the way for many great artists that followed. His lyrics captured a unique Queensland spirit, and the band was fundamental in bringing Australian music to a global audience.

The 2023 winner will be announced on 24 August at the QLD Parliamentary Friends of the Music Industry Showcase Event, held at Parliament House.

The 2023 judging panel are: Adele Pickvance, Ian Haug, Seja Vogel and Sean Sennett. 

Past Grant McLennan Fellowship winners include: Sahara Beck, Jack Bratt, Danny Harley (The Kite String Tangle), Jeremy Neal, Hannah Macklin, Timothy Steward (Screamfeeder, We All Want To), Thomas Clader and Seja Vogel. 

The 2023 Grant McLennan Fellowship is funded by the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and presented by QMusic.   


Gabriella Cohen 

Gabriella Cohen struck gold with the release of her internationally acclaimed debut record Full Closure and No Detailsin 2016. After extensively touring the album worldwide, fans and industry alike embraced the dreamy, fuzz-soaked popscapes produced by Cohen and long-time collaborator, Kate Dillon. The Guardian praised Full Closure and No Details as: “Seductive, broody and occasionally sinister,” while it drew four-star reviews from MOJO, UNCUT and Q Magazine 


Jesswar is a Fijian Australian artist based on Yugambeh/Kombumerri country. Emerging into the scene in 2017, Jesswar has quickly established themselves in the industry as a blended powerhouse, weaving lyrical genius and effortlessly merging genres. Stylistically, Jesswar’s debut mixtape, LIFE’S SHORT, LIVE BIG lives out the bold, carpe diem-style ethos implied by its title - apt for an artist whose sound is constantly evolving, always coming into itself. In the years since the release of 2017 single ‘Savage’, Jesswar has accrued support from the likes of triple j, Billboard, them., DIY, Teen Vogue, PAPER, Mixmag, Consequence of Sound, VIBE and received praise from heavyweights such as Ebro Darden, Travis Mills and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, who included the rapper as part of his Next Wave series. Additionally, they have embarked on a sold-out East Coast headline tour, performed at festivals around the country, including Laneway, Splendour in the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo, and most recently debuted their live show in the US, at Austin's SXSW. Jesswar's music has been recognised through the Gold Coast Music Awards (‘Breakout Artist of the Year’), QMA Awards (‘Best Hip Hop’ release) and the APRA Professional Development Awards (Hip Hop).  

Tia Gostelow  

Tia Gostelow is a singer/songwriter based in Mackay Queensland. She matches her unique voice with rich instrumentals to create her distinctive style - contemporary indie rock/pop. A style that earned recognition from Triple J Unearthed, winning their inaugural Indigenous Initiative and, separately, a place in their Triple J Unearthed High Top 5 Finalists, both in 2016. In 2018, Tia released her debut album THICK SKIN, which has collectively gained 35M + streams and has been accredited ARIA Gold along with the single Strangers accredited ARIA platinum, 2019 Queensland Music Awards ALBUM OF THE YEAR recipient and The Triffid Album of the Year.  

Katherine Herrington (Full Moon Flower Band) 

Babyshakes Dillon is the songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Brisbane rock band Full Flower Moon Band. Alternatively deadpan, bravado-fuelled, sinister and coaxing, Babyshakes’ most recently explored themes of hedonism, excess and burn-out in the band's break out sophomore album Diesel Forever (2022). 

QMUSIC acknowledges the many Traditional Custodian groups all across what is now referred to as Queensland. We pay our respect to all elders: past and present. As a peak body we also acknowledge the important role that music has played and continues to play on these lands since the very first sunrise.