How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I grew up playing country music because of my parents! When I was 8 we started playing in a travelling country family band called ‘The Lees’, and by the time I was 12 we were living in a caravan on the road, playing at pubs and clubs on the weekends, and home-schooling on the weekdays.
Part of my schooling was to work on the business side of things with my dad, so I was really lucky to experience both sides of the music industry – performing and songwriting, along with the music business side too.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
I always want to challenge myself to be a bit better than yesterday. I don’t really focus on what other people around me are doing as we are all different, plus comparison can get really toxic. I just focus on making music that I’m proud of and is authentic, and hope that other people can resonate with it!
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
My biggest goal would be to have a long-term, sustainable music career where I stay true to myself while continuing to push the boundaries of what I’m comfortable with musically. I also hope that I can bring my fans along with on the journey.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I’m about to go out on my first ever headline tour, promoting my brand-new album Finally Clear (out April 16). We’re plauing Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Parkes! I’m also on the road with Adam Harvey all year, opening up for his national ‘Highway One’ Tour! Super grateful to Adam for taking a chance on me and welcoming me out onto the road.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
I’ve been waiting to release ‘Finally Clear’ since early 2020 and so to be finally putting it out into the world is just incredible. This album is all about the journey I took to reach the point of deciding to give music a real shot. It’s the story of insecurity and anxiety, but also the message of hope in overcoming all of that by being brave and taking a chance. I found a lot of healing in making this record and I hope it does the same thing for everyone who hears it.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Often I will go months and months without writing songs, but then I’ll sit down and write 10 in a week. I really need to be living life and processing it fully without the pressure of creating something, so that I can then return to it later and put it into song. I mostly like writing by myself as I find it to be a very personal process, but I’ve got two co-writes on the album with Colin Buchanan and also my husband Ben Whitchurch.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m a real over-explainer. There’s even a line in my song ‘I Found Home’ that says “I always say just what I need to say” and so I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t many hidden messages in my lyrics.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Being content in all that you do.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Making my album with Matt Fell, having a top 10 radio hit, hitting 200k streams on spotify with ‘My Father’, and going on tour with Adam Harvey!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I find Joy McKean really inspiring. Often people see her as the woman in the background to Slim, but she is such an incredible songwriter and wrote a lot of his biggest hits, while helping to grow his career. I find it inspiring to see a woman from that time who was leading the way as one of the best in the field in the Australian Country Music industry.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Hopefully working on my second or third album and touring Australia!
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
My favourite part is playing live shows, and my least favourite part is being away from my kids while I’m playing live shows. Most things in life have a positive and a negative.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Fanny Lumsden, Colin Buchanan, Felicity Urquhart, Kasey Chambers, and Michael Waugh.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
My focus is all on Australia right now, especially given the way the world has been for the last year. There is so much to explore right here and so many people who know nothing about my music yet.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I’d love to collaborate with Ruston Kelly and Jason Isbell.
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Make your own path, don’t follow in anyone else’s footsteps. Figure out what you want, what you won’t compromise on, and don’t be afraid!
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
I love chatting with fans on Instagram, and of course at live shows.
Friday 20th August – NQ’s Rockin’ Country – Mackay, QLD
Thursday 26th August – The Gympie Muster – Amamoor, QLD
Friday 1st October – Savannah in the Round – Mareeba, QLD