You might be wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. Or probably not, which is understandable. I’ve had a massive year, and it has been non-stop up until now, when I promised myself I’d take time off after semester 1 year 12 in my school break to just chill out. It’s been really nice, I’ve just been writing music, hanging out with family and friends and trying my best to appreciate this Canberra winter. I thought I’d write something literal to record what I can remember about my year for myself, and for you to have a read about what I’ve been up to if you’re interested.
So as of July 2nd it’s been a year since the grand finale of the Voice 2017.
’The Voice Alumni. Where are they now?' - a common question asked. I always wondered what happens to these people who are intensely advertised to us on the radio, TV and in magazines for about 3 months year. Where do they go? Where are their albums? Where are their tours?
But now I kinda get it. When the hype has faded, we go back to working for the next big break- except for we no longer have a million dollar production behind us to broadcast everything to the world. My fellow Team Seal mate Rennie Adams travelled to the US and UK and has written and created a fantastic EP (which he just released the lead single of - it’s called Strangers and it is AMAZING, please check it out). Rennie also went on tour with Seal in the US! Hoseah has been in the UK a lot, after his winners’ single Paper Planes cracked number 3 over in the charts over there AND he did an absolutely gorgeous duet with JP Cooper (HOW COOL!) which was a mashup of September Song (JP’s song) and Paper Planes. Judah made an album and released some cracker songs and has been gigging, travelling and sharing his incredible voice with the world. My beautiful Sally Skelton went back on the show and DID THE MOST INCREDIBLE JOB. Claire has been doing some amazing makeup work and working in the studio. My folky friend Benjamin Caldwell has been writing, travelling Europe with his Folk Road Show and having a ball. The list goes on and on and on. Everyone’s still killing the game, but unfortunately you don’t hear about it as easily :(
For me, a lot has changed in my life and a lot has changed within me since a million or so people saw me have an emotional breakdown on live TV for the first and last time on Grand Final night due to my emotions being completely overwhelmed (and not personally thanking mum and dad for being the biggest champions in the whole world in my thank you speech because my mind was just going at a thousand miles per hour). After the show wrapped up and we sorted our lives out, we got to go to an after party to celebrate with the cast, crew, coaches and top twelve. It definitely took my mind off things for a little while. I’ll tell you what, being the only person under eighteen and therefore the only one in the whole room not consuming alcohol is a wild time. Delta gave me the most motivational pep talk on being outside of the box and staying true to myself. Niall Horan (one of my many celebrity crushes that I had at age twelve) was there, and I accidentally told him ‘I missed your performance because I was in hair and makeup’ when he said he liked my song (yikes), but Niall was just so lovely! I had a dance with a lot of my fave crew members and mama and papa. I got real emotional with everyone and cried to Seal about my life. It was emotional. I also got to keep my clothes from the show (even the infamous eye pants).
The next few months were very tumultuous in my personal and school life, and a lot of things happened in my music life which were incredible and I still pinch myself they happened. I found myself meeting the best friends I’ve ever had, fell into the books of a major label and saw the end of a beautiful 2 year relationship. I’m attempting to squish an entire year into a post here so I’ll be as brief as possible.
Getting to be back in my own house was the best. I missed my bed, my dog and Canberra traffic. It was also nice being in suburbia again. I got my Ls and started learning to drive (my Ps test is booked for August…. get ready world). I went and saw Kinky Boots at Capitol Theatre with all my best friends. The live finals started a week before exams, so I had to spend about two weeks studying once I got home from Sydney and then went straight into exams. Trying to recall an entire semesters worth of content for six subjects that I hadn’t attended a class for in six weeks wasn’t the easiest, but I got through it! My school were super amazing and supportive with it all, which I am so grateful for.
It was so exciting getting to come home and start playing intimate gigs that I could pick my own songs for and play own music at again. I played about thirty gigs, big and small at the end of 2017. My favourite had to be my show at the Street Theatre in Canberra. I had my incredibly talented friends Sophie Edwards and Amber Nichols opening, making it an all female lineup (who run the world?). It was my first time playing my own songs with a band and other musicians, and hearing this music I’d written at the piano come to life was one of the coolest experiences. First time I rehearsed with the band hearing Almost Empty Glass with lead guitar, keys, bass and drums felt like an out of body experience, I’ll tell you that. ALSO, you guys went and sold the show out for me, and made me feel so special. I can’t thank you enough! Seriously :)
On top of that, my recording and publishing services were optioned by Universal off the show and now I guess I can kinda say I’m a recording artists and songwriter with Universal Music Australia- WHICH IS INSANE. I can’t believe it. I’ve been up to Sydney to work up there and done some writing already, and I can’t wait to release some music for you all! I also got to work with Supre and had lunch with Supre GM Elle Roseby. These are definitely two events filed in my brain under ‘things-I-can’t-believe-actually-happened’.
Come 2018, I did a bunch of amazing gigs like getting to play for the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony, National Multicultural Festival, Canberra Women’s March and ACT’s first Reconciliation Day in the Park. One of the best ones was definitely Canberra Day in the Park - I shared a lineup with freaking Ali Barter, Nicole Millar and Sheppard (WHICH WAS INSANE). Sheppard are just some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met and so was their beautiful mama. Cheers to the Canberra community for giving me the opportunity to do shows like this, I am eternally so grateful for how wonderful you are.
However, I think the coolest thing that has happened is that I am finally at a point in my life where I am only surrounded by good people, and I finally feel okay about myself. To every single one of my friends, whether I’ve known you since preschool or I met you a few weeks ago, thank you for letting me be a part of your life and thank you for being a part of mine. To my teachers, thank you for always being there to give me advice- whether it be about math or boys. To my amazing family, you freaking rock and I feel so lucky that life blessed me with giving me you- thank you for everything. And to everyone reading this, thank you for supporting my music in some way or another, whether it be by sticking around to listen to a song at a gig or reading this far on this essay blog post. It is because of every single person I’ve listed just now that I am able to do what I love. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And most of all, thank you for making me feel loved and for making me feel okay with myself, who I am and what I do.
If there's anything I want you to take away from this post, it's that everything works itself out. Right now is one of those moments that I look back on my life and think about every hard time I went through and realise that you can either let it defeat you, or strengthen you. I'm lucky that my family and friends stuck by me and helped me be able to get back up each time so far that I fell, because now I get to do what I love (music). Everything happens for a reason.
ALSO- if you're reading this, you'll be one of the first to hear this. I am doing a concert with the Canberra Youth Orchestra at Llewellyn Hall on Sep 29th! I'll let you know about ticket details etc., as soon as I know but basically I'll be singing a bunch of new and old songs I've written on stage with some of Canberra's best young musicians. I also am in love with orchestras so this is actually one of the most exciting things for me. I hope you'll be able to make it x
I put this post in word counter just then and it was about 1700 words. So thank you for reading this far. I love you and thank you for reading this.
Have a wonderful week xx
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