This year has had its fair share of highs and lows accompanied by some of the most incredible experiences of my life thus far. I turned 20, meaning I was no longer under the security blanket of teenage hood and I was finally a 'real' adult.
The year of the Rooster started out full steam ahead. I attended the Senior Course of the CMAA Academy of Country Music in Tamworth, where I met lifelong friends, learnt invaluable skills and immersed myself in Country Music for two weeks. The Tamworth Country Music Festival followed straight after and it was my most successful to date. I gigged around Tamworth with one of my best friends, Laura Byrnes. We were provided with so many great opportunities which not only gave us the confidence to keep performing but offered us irreplaceable experience.
My biggest achievement to date occurred on the 24th of January when my Debut EP was released. I launched the EP at Simon Johnson’s Hillbilly Hut Showcase in Tamworth in front of family, friends and strangers alike. It was the most surreal feeling finally having music out in the world for all to hear, and I still get excited every time somebody new messages me mentioning they’ve purchased a copy.
This year also marked my third year of University, where I study a dual degree of Business and Journalism. There were times that I wanted to throw in the towel and focus solely on my music, but I’ve come this far and with only a couple years left it would be a shame to quit now.
In March came my 20th Birthday as well as my official EP Launch at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall in Brisbane. The venue was unbelievable and I couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate this milestone with my closest friends and wonderful family. I remember standing up on stage before the final song and feeling an overwhelming sense of love and warmth radiating through the room. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my family, so a huge thank you must go to them for their unconditional support.
Sadly, March also brought the untimely death of my best friend and our beloved four-legged friend Snowy. We miss you more and more each day Snow.
I feel fortunate to have been provided with many incredible opportunities throughout the year. Lee Kernaghan was incredibly kind and asked me to open six of his 25th Anniversary Concerts across QLD and VIC. A highlight would be performing before his slot at the Big Red Bash in Birdsville in July, right on the edge of the Simpson Desert. I am forever grateful to Lee and all he has offered me, I could never have imagined having half of the opportunities I had this year if it wasn’t for his generosity.
The rest of the year flew by, being made up predominantly of University study and gigging regularly around the Gold Coast at venues including O’Reillys Vineyard.
However, in late November my Dad and I travelled to Nepal to embark on a two-week trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. This was undoubtedly one of the most mentally and physically challenging experiences I’ve ever faced. Nepal is an incredible country and it’s so easy to fall in love with the people, their culture and the breathtaking scenery that makes you feel like you’re on a movie set. Dad and I were successful in reaching Base Camp, however we were both plagued with a stomach bug which resulted in an early return home. We are so thankful to our guide for including us on this once in a life time trip.
2017 is almost over, and with a new year comes new goals and aspirations. I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions however I promise I’ll try harder with these blogs.
You should be all caught up now on my year. I’m so excited to see what 2018 holds and share my experiences with you along the way.
Thank you for all your support this year (or more if you’ve been around longer). If you came out to a gig, purchased my EP or even just liked my Facebook page your support means more than you can imagine.