Bundaberg musician Keely Sliwka has strummed her way to success, taking out first place at the recent Ekka Country Music Showdown.
The win has seen Keely awarded a cash prize, along with a new guitar and the opportunity of a lifetime to be mentored by a number of country music legends in Tamworth as part of the Troy Cassar-Daley scholarship.
Keely said the chance to perform at the Ekka was fantastic and she did not expect she would come away from it with such success.
“I entered the year before last but the Ekka got cancelled due to Covid, so we saw the entries come out again and I put through a couple of songs and I got accepted and made it to the grand final,” Keely said.
“At the final we got a band to play with and we had a bit of practice time with them first then we got straight into it and performed.”
Ekka Country Music Showdown scholarship a boost
As part of her prize, Keely won a Troy Cassar-Daley Scholarship which will see her travel down to Tamworth for a week and take part in song writing workshops.
“I won $500, a recording spot, a guitar and an academy scholarship,” she said.
“I am going to go down to Tamworth and will write songs for a week and get mentored by many artists who are considered some of the best in the country music business.
“It is very exciting and something I have been wanting to do since I was 12 so it is a great opportunity.”
Keely said the prize would help her to get a start on writing her own songs.
“I am hoping to release music of my own and release my own songs into the world and show who I am as an artist,” she said.
Keely encouraged anyone who was wanting to take part in competitions like the Ekka Country Music Showdown to “just give it a go”.
“If anyone is thinking about entering a similar competition, just do it as it gives you a lot of confidence,” she said.
“Obviously, it is all about the experience but when you get your first win it really makes you want to work harder!”
You can find out more about Ekka Country Music Showdown winner Keely here.
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