Australian Artists Unite Bringing ‘Hope For Isla & Jude’

AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS UNITE

BRINGING HOPE FOR ISLA AND JUDE
A collaborative recording of the Kate Bush classic, This Woman’s Work 
to be released by Sony Music Friday December 5th.
Vocalists include:
Sébastien Izambard (Il Divo) * Darren Hayes
* Natalie Bassingthwaighte
Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) Ella Hooper Diesel David Campbell
Alex Lloyd * Christine Anu Luke Steele (Empire of the Sun)
Katy Steele (Little Birdy) * Casey Donovan Damien Leith * Nathaniel
The Australian Children’s Choir
A star studded line up of music artists have united bringing Hope for Isla and Jude (Donnell), young Australian siblings suffering from the rare and fatal disease Sanfilippo Syndrome. The music collaboration will raise much needed funds for a life-saving clinical trial & treatment for Isla and Jude.
Initiated and produced by Sébastien Izambard (Il Divo) This Woman’s Work will include vocals from Darren Hayes, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Flea, Ella Hooper, Diesel, David Campbell, Alex Lloyd, Christine Anu, Luke Steele, Katy Steele, Casey Donovan, Damien Leith, Nathaniel and the Australian Children’s Choir  – joining the Donnell family in their fight to save Isla and Jude.
“As a father of three young children myself, l could not sit back and watch these two precious children suffer from such a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease. This could be my children, this could be any of our children. My wish is to see Isla and Jude grow up and be given a chance at life, a chance every child deserves.

I am so humbled and thankful for the support of the Australian music artists lending their vocals. It is such a unique and beautiful quality of the Australian culture, banding together in times of need and one that every Australian should feel proud of” says Sébastien.

All funds raised by the sale of This Woman’s Work will go to the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation, a not-for-profit charity that dedicates their resources to progressing clinical research into the effective treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis III, also known as MPSIII or Sanfilippo Syndrome.   The Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation was founded by Megan and Allan Donnell, whose children, Isla (5) and Jude (3) have both been diagnosed with this rare and fatal disease.
Sanfilippo Syndrome is a genetic condition with no hope for a cure – until now. Once, a child born with Sanfilippo faced a certain future – slow and progressive brain damage.  Life expectancy for a child with Sanfilippo was between 12- 20 years and their quality of life was devastating.
Today, for the first time, there is Hope for Isla and Jude and other children, like them, who suffer from Sanfilippo Syndrome.  Around the world, researchers, doctors and foundations like the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation have been working hard to change the face of Sanfilippo and in the last 2 years there has been significant scientific progress in the pioneering field of gene therapy. Results from this therapy are showing great promise and as it moves in to clinical trials, an effective treatment is now finally within reach.

Exclusive Special Interview: Damien Leith!

theaussieword.com goes one on one with the great Damien Leith!

What can you tell our readers about Damien Leith? How and where did it all begin? 
I grew up surrounded by music, my mother sings and father sings and plays guitar. We travelled a lot when I was growing up to places like Libya and Botswana so there was always a welcome and farewell party with lots of live music. 

What had you first interested in music? 
Despite coming from a very musical family, my first love was writing plays and acting. At a very young age I was visiting my neighbours houses and doing little 5 min plays I’d written. When I was around 16, the school I went to put on a musical every year and I really fancied my chances of acting in it but that would mean I’d have to sing at the audition. with a lot of encouragement from my mam the night before, I finally plucked up enough courage to sing for the first time – it was nerve wrecking but felt amazing. I got the role of Fagin in Oliver and I’ve been singing ever since.

Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music? 
It’s sounds a little naff but everything inspires me musically – lyrics come from situations, people, stories, events – all sorts of different things. You never really know when you’re going to get really inspired but it feels fantastic when a song comes together. I try to keep learning musically, trying different instruments and techniques.



Tell us a bit about your latest tour ‘Without A Fight’? 
We started in Perth at the end of October and have been playing songs off my new album, Chapter Seven along with old favourites from my other albums – it’s an acoustic intimate tour and t’s been a lot of fun. The  response we’re getting from the audiences about the new album has been great.

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? 
I just really want to make incredible music that can inspire and evoke emotion in people. Music can transport you to a place or time or emotion that you are feeling.

What can fans expect from you in the coming months? 
I plan to be really busy, I’m very proud of my new album and I want to really get it out there. Lot’s of tours, more songwriting and a kids novel also on the cards. 

Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far? 
I think dedication and commitment are vital ingredients to success and resilience. There have been so many career highlights but my most recent would have to be going independent and releasing this album through an independent label – it was a big decision but I’m glad I made it.

Do you have a favourite moment from Australian Idol? 
Definitely the grand final night, riding into the Opera House on a horse drawn carriage and seeing thousands of people on the steps of the Opera House and then when they announced my name – it was surreal.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Joe Melson – Joe wrote classic songs like ‘Crying’ and ‘Only the Lonely’ with Roy Orbison and more recently co-wrote two songs on my new album. I’ve learnt so much from him, he’s really inspiring.


How would you best describe your music to your fans?
Ultimately my music is still very folk – no matter how big the sound, all the songs can still be stripped back to an acoustic guitar and a vocal. My music is melodic and easy listening. 

You recently did an album of Roy Orbison covers, Roy was a legend of the music industry, how did this come about and which track did you enjoy performing from the album?
This album was a few years in the work – it started when Barbara Orbison heard my version of ‘Crying’ on Australian Idol and got in touch to say she really liked it. Fast forward three years I worked with Barbara to record the album as a celebration of what would have been Roy’s 75th birthday. She was an incredible woman who had a passion for Roy’s music and created a strong legacy for him. I especially loved working on all the songs recorded in America from LA to Nashville with amazing producers and musicians some who worked with Roy. It was an exciting experience and a real honour to have Barbara Orbison Executive Produce the album. Unfortunately, Barbara passed away soon after the release.  

What can you tell us about your latest album ‘Chapter Seven’?
Chapter seven is my first independent album which for those who don’t know what that means – It’s an album that I funded. I also produced and recorded most of the album myself so it was in many ways a labour of love. I’m extremely proud of the album and it’s great to be back doing original songs again. Songwriting has always been my main passion and it was time to move on from the big record label and do what I love. I’m a big believer in chasing your dreams and creating your own happiness. I’ve never felt more passionate than I do now with this album.

Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
I’m very busy at the  moment working on a kids novel – watch out next year, should be finished soon! Also, some more songwriting and producing my own and other artists music. 

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
It’s the most unpredictable industry going -time will only tell but I’m very driven so we’ll see. I have a few opportunities overseas so that will be fun to work in other markets. 

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
I’m a big fan of acts like Lior, Wendy Matthews, Jimmy Barnes, You am I… Australia’s got a huge amount of great musical talent, the list would just go on and on.

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?
The music industry is a tough business and certainly not for the faint hearted – despite the many uses of social media, most successful artists still rely on radio play for them to be heard. More than ever, Australian artists need Australian Radio to support them.

Thanks for the interview Damien! It’s been an absolute honour! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
Stay passionate – if you believe in something, chase after it and don’t give up ‘without a fight’. 

New Album & Tour: Damien Leith ‘Chapter Seven’

Multi-platinum singer / songwriter Damien Leith will release a brand new album of original music this Friday, 1st November and launch a national Australian tour.

Appropriately titled Chapter Seven the album will be Damien’s seventh since 2006. Two years in the making, the acoustic pop and folk release represents an exciting new direction for the Australian idol. It is his first as producer and his first independent release with Sydney-based label Social Family Records. Damien penned all twelve tracks on the album, most recorded in a studio he built himself in Sydney.

“In the album I cover a lot of different themes, love, loss and everything in between. But I’ve tried to approach them from a positive outlook. It’s true to the style people know me for,” said Damien.

Chapter Seven also features two songs co-written by legendary Nashville-based songwriter Joe Melson famed for penning a string of rhythm and blues hits with the one and only Roy Orbison, including Only The Lonely, Crying and Running Scared. It will be Damien’s first all original album since his 2009 release, Remember June.

The Irish-born Australian citizen will take the album on the road, beginning a national Australian tour in Perth on Thursday 31st October.  Supporting Damien on his “Without A Fight” tour is Canadian chart topper Andy Brown. The tour will travel to West Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. Tickets are now on sale through various outlets listed below.

Since being crowned Australian Idol in 2006, Damien has enjoyed the most remarkable of music careers, becoming one of the best-selling Australian artists of the modern era, with combined album sales nudging the one million mark. His debut album, 2006’s The Winner’s Journey reached number one in Australia, went four-time platinum and won an ARIA Award for highest selling album. Four other Top 20 albums followed, including last year’s release Now & Then featuring the original single Beautiful, picked up by Estee Lauder in America as the soundtrack to their TV advertising campaign.

The new album, Chapter Seven is available to pre-order now from www.damienleithofficial.com.

Damien first landed on the Australian music scene when he appeared on, and subsequently won, the 4th series of Australian Idol in 2006. Since winning Idol Damien has continued to captivate audiences with his pop ballads and endearing personality with his hit albums The Winner’s Journey, Where We Land, Catch The Wind: Songs Of A Generation, Remember June, Roy – A Tribute to Roy Orbison and Now and Then. To date, Damien has sold close to 1 million records, won five ARIA Awards, had two #1 albums and his original single ‘Beautiful’ has been picked up by Estee Lauder and is currently being used in their worldwide TV campaign for the perfume of the same name.