With over 50 awesome musicians of the highest calibre applying for the 2019 Carol Lloyd Award, we had our work cut out for us! After long, enthusiastic deliberations, our expert judges managed to come up with a shortlist of 5 incredible artists. Just over a month out from announcing a winner, now’s the time for you to get to know these fantastic acts!
Brisbane bombshell Sahara Beck is back and set to shine even brighter with her new red-hot release, ‘I Haven’t Done A Thing Today’. Sahara’s actually been doing plenty lately. Since the release of ‘Here We Go Again’, she’s starred at the Bigsound festival and sold out her headline show in her hometown on her national November tour. The song also scored big love from Triple J and community radio nationwide, as well as coveted spots on Spotify and Apple’s new music playlists.
It’s an inspiring evolution for a girl who wrote her first song at 12 and an exciting new page in a CV already overflowing with achievements. We’re talking one album to date, two EPs, coveted festival appearances at Bluesfest and The Falls Music & Arts Festival support slots with Bishop Briggs, Ball Park Music and Paul Kelly, and a few Queensland Music Awards to boot. Brimming with infectious energy and playful abandon, this nomination is the next sparkling step in Sahara Beck’s musical journey.
Despite being only in her mid-20s, Angharad Drake is brimming with experience. Drake’s life as a new mother only seems to strengthen her folk storytelling and lullaby melodies. From her new home on the coast, Drake has returned to a more stripped-down way of making her music: just her and her guitar, both more natural and more intimate. This new approach serves to emphasize her powerful voice, and, with vocals that are “full to the brim with emotion and intent” (FBi Radio), Drake’s lyricism shines through.
Drake is a fresh voice in a sometimes formulaic landscape of singer-songwriters. Her songs are atmospheric and poignant, full of delicate daydreams and desire. Her haunting lyrics balance the yearning of young love with honest introspection and a realness that’s hard to match, and her melodies are the kind that you find yourself humming in your own contemplative moods with all the bittersweet complexity that this assurance entails.
Award winning songwriter & performer Ella Fence is a power-femme electro pop artist who has toured and performed in USA, Berlin, England (including Great Escape Festival, Alternative Escape), Canada (Canadian Music Week), and Norway, as well nationally across Australia.
The last 12 months have been huge for Ella – working hard on her debut album and growing her live show and band for a string of exciting live shows including performing at Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 supporting Kate Miller-Heidke and Regurgitator.
Asha Jefferies is the enviable type of youngster a lot dreamed of being. From a very early age, she’s written mature, introspective songs and pricked ears with the kind of voice that will stop you in your tracks and songwriting well beyond her years.
Since triggering national attention with her goosebump-inducing single ‘Honey, Save Me From My Falsehoods’, Asha’s impressive list of accolades has grown to include being shortlisted for the Vanda & Young’s Songwriting Competition for her 2017 single ‘Chaos’, winning the triple j Unearthed NIDA competition, Queensland Music Award nominations and hefty community radio support and triple j rotation for latest singles ‘Everybody Talks’ and ‘It You Were My Hero’.
On the live front, she has played shows with Stella Donnelly, Polish Club, Thelma Plum, Bec Sandridge, Oh Mercy, Radnor & Lee; entranced audiences at Woodford Folk Festival, Mullum Music Festival and Byron Bay Bluesfest and most recently played to a sold-out hometown crowd for her EP launch in Brisbane in February.
Andrea Kirwin is one of the Sunshine Coast’s hardest working singer-songwriters. As a Fijian/Australian originally born in Townsville, she brings her laid-back sunny personality into everything she does. She puts her heart and soul into every show and has travelled the country and overseas working as a full-time musician playing her original tunes. Andrea is a great supporter of the Sunshine Coast music scene and touring artists through her record label and agency Peace Run Records. She also holds music workshops at schools and is a music teacher at the School of Rock in Eumundi.
A great encourager of young musicians, women in music and self taught songwriters, Andrea is an example of building a career from scratch on talent, hard work, patience and positivity. She picked up a guitar at age 21 and has produced 3 independent albums. Andrea believes music can impact the world through sharing stories that help us connect, heal and lift each other up in our communities both locally and globally. She hopes to keep sharing her music with people for many years to come.
These five amazing women represent the wealth of musical talent alive and thriving in Queensland, and any one of them would fit perfectly within Carol’s legacy. Check them out, show them some love and keep an eye out for incredible things to come from all of them. We’ve even put together a playlist featuring our favourite tracks from each finalist, so give it a listen below and fall in love with these fantastic Queensland artists!
Stay tuned as we announce a winner next month!