Changing lives, creating futures……Australia’s Country Music Rising Talent winner will be

Australian country music is older than you think, but some things haven’t changed. From its origins in the folk songs sung from the 1780s to the 1920s, around themes of Australian folklore,
(think bush ranging, loneliness and isolation, endurance, drought, floods, droving and shearing) many themes endure today.

Rising Talent, in it’s infancy, has managed to discover eight country artists who epitomise the Aussie spirit and their stories have inspired us all.

Tracey Rains is no stranger to the world of country music. Performing at festivals, recording in studios and winning awards from her home state of South Australia, to Victoria and New South Wales, this highly acclaimed singer, songwriter hasn’t performed since she lost her (little) brother, Nathaniel O’Brien last year. A rising talent himself, Tracey recalls the moment when they were told he was gone, it was November 8.

“We had just finished singing together at the Burra country music festival, he had another gig he had to travel to so we said our “love you’s” and “see you tonight, have a great gig”……… eight minutes later down the Barrier highway his car hit a tree, he was 19. The news was broken to us all (Mum, Dad and myself) by the police at the festival in front of around 250 people.”

When Tracey saw the competition prize was a trip to Nashville, she had to be apart of it. “My brother and I had dreams of going to Nashville , in fact we were hoping we could in 2017 when he
would have been 21.” Tracey joins seven other finalists in Brisbane, who each have their own story and dreams of making it to Nashville.

Leisa Bye is from Brisbane and has perfected the art of yodelling and is an enthusiastic advocate of Rural Aid’s work, due to her own family experience on the land.

Ali Sacipovic is a Country Music Singer from Boulia, a small country town 400km north of Winton and 300km south west of Mount Isa, Qld. His traditional style has been cultivated through his rural experiences in isolated locations.

Phoebe Jay is an inspiring young lady, whose passion for our farmers created a song, 14 Cents at the gate, tells the story of our dairy farmers financial hardship. Born in Townsville the 14 year old now calls Bundaberg home.

Lilana Crane (Lili to her friends) has been playing guitar since she was nine years old. Now at fifteen, Lili hopes Rising Talent, is her opportunity to “make it big in the music industry” and fulfil her dream of going to Nashville.

Finnian Johnson experienced his first public performance when busking last year before he moved on to paid gigs in hospitality venues around the Hunter Valley. He hopes to make music a career.

Scott Douglas arrived in Australia from America with his own country music flare. For eight years he’s lived on the Gold Coast, performing on the festival circuit and playing with bands. Acclaimed as “one of 2016’s most promising up and coming male country artists”, Rising Talent could be the break he’s looking for.

Qld based charity Rural Aid was created to make a difference to our farming families last year, following the success of Buy a Bale, the charity changing lives donating hay. Charles Alder could never have imagined in just three years, how rewarding supporting rural communities would be. To date 3.5 million has been raised and volunteers help with everything from trade work to hay
bale delivery. But it’s stories like that of farmer Kent Morris from Mitchell, Qld that have motivated him. “While Buy a Bale has successfully become a household name, there are much greater issues in rural Australia than just feed for animals. Mental health, education, services, access to internet and many others. Rural Aid’s focus is on the bush and it dovetails with our overall ambition to develop and support the bush.”

Now he says it’s time to reveal the raw talent of rural youth. “We looked at how many music comps there were for country music artists in Brisbane and found none. So as a way of raising awareness and providing an opportunity, we thought, why not create a platform to discover raw talent. It compliments the theme of the Brisbane race day fundraiser for Buy a Bale on Sept 10.”
The event will become an annual one, bringing the outback to the city, connecting the land and it’s people to those who rely on the food they produce, through music.
A number of Country Music stars have also signed on including, Tanya Kernaghan, Mark and Jay O’Shea, and of course Brad Butcher. The flights to Nashville have been generously donated thanks to Brisbane Racing Club and accomodation from Courtyard by Marriott.

Media are invited to attend the Rising Talent final to be held at Doomben Race Track on Saturday September 10 from 1130.

Complete profiles, including video is accessible by clicking on this link.

MEDIA CONTACTS – Kim Kleidon, Communications Consultant 0417 882 091
Charles Alder CEO Buy a Bale/Rural Aid – 0410 714 379