This year it’s young women who’ll step into the spotlight at Mullum Music Festival with four out of the five categories in its Youth Mentorship being won by up and coming female musicians.
Judges said the extraordinary result ‘reflects the strong representation of women artists at Mullum Music Festival every year, nurturing a music culture that celebrates gender equality. ‘
Winner of this year’s vocal section was Ballina’s Chloe Mason. Judged by Shelley Brown, this 14 year old says ‘Singing is such a big part of my life.’
While she started singing quirky covers, Chloe has just started writing her own music. Her judge and mentor was very impressed ‘Her vocal tone is stunning’ says Shelley, ‘her deliver is strong, unique and relaxed. I chose her because I want to hear more.’
Festival patron Suzannah Espie judged the singer/songwriter section, and chose 15-year-old Byron Bay High School student and Nashua resident, Lorelai (Isabella Cox).
For Lorelai music is a way ‘to express my feelings.’
Suzannah, who will also be Lorelai’s mentor, said she chose her because ‘she has a good swag of songs already that are really nicely recorded, with some great catchy little hooks helping to deliver some tender and personal lyrics.’
The Australian music reviewer Iain Shedden was the guest judge for the wild card entry, which was won by 14 year-old Byron girl Hannah Parrington, who describes her music as ‘folky – pop.’
Iain said he was ‘impressed by Hannah’s grasp of live looping and its role in song structure, but also liked the song and the confidence in her voice.’
Hannah will be mentored by Renee Simone.
For the Band section, Nattali Rize chose Byron Bay High School’s East Atlantic.
This grunge and blues based band feature Maayan Barnatan on vocals and guitar, Vinnie Sebastian on back up vocals and drums and Bon Soric on Bass. Influenced by Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix with a touch of Black Sabbath for good measure, these lads add some serious rock to program.
Chris Mallory of Two Lions judged the under 15 section, won by Byron Steiner student and Clunes resident, Monica Brandolini.
The youngest daughter of music teachers, it seems that every year a Brandolini has won a youth mentorship prize and then gone on to establish significant careers in the music industry.
Older siblings Gabe and Cecelia were finalists on The Voice, and young Monica has been singing with her sibs since she could walk.
Chris Mallory was very impressed with Monica’s flawless live delivery and went on to say ‘What a fantastic song! I love the chordal structure and the surprising melodies.’
Opening night sold out
Festival patrons can hear Monica’s song at on opening night – so long as they have tickets. The gala event, which will be MCd by Mandy Nolan, is sold out.
Under the mentorship program, young musicians from around Australia can submit their applications online to be judged by industry professionals, with the winners receiving an hour with their judge/mentor prior to their 20-minute performance at the upcoming Mullum Music Festival.