Local singer/songwriter Helen Dawson will today release her first EP called Bones, which was created after a major health scare brought to the forefront the importance of following her passion.
Helen said she had always loved to sing and write poetry and wanted to further concentrate on those skills after a heart attack in 2015.
“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was write songs or sing at least, so I've always been a poet,” she said.
“I had a heart attack back in 2015 and had a double bypass which made me realise that doing what you really want to do should take priority over everything.
“A fellow, Pete Lyons, had taught me how to play guitar, naturally I started to try and convert my poems to songs.
“I quickly realised that it wasn't that easy!”
Soon after, Helen signed up to songwriting workshops to finetune her ability, and then, through a Bundaberg Regional Council Regional Arts Development Fund grant, was able to produce her EP.
RADF promotes the role and value of arts, culture and heritage as key drivers of diverse and inclusive communities and strong regions.
The initiative invests in local arts and cultural priorities, as determined by local communities, across Queensland.
Securing a RADF grant allowed Helen to employ two industry professionals, Melinda J Wells and Harry Wells Koala Studios, to engineer her original songs to industry standard with instrumental and backing tracks.
Melinda also mentored Helen in ‘assertiveness and building self confidence’ for Helen to be able to achieve accepting new opportunities to run workshops and mentor other local song writers.
The singer said her Bones EP featured five songs about various instances and moments she had personally experienced.
“The songs are about life issues, but you could also take that they are about ‘the bones of life',” she said.
Helen officially launches Bones today on ABC Wide Bay with her EP available to download through Spotify, Apple Music and more.
Residing in the small Bundaberg regional town of Tirroan, with a population of only 165 people, Helen said she was thrilled that this funding opportunity was available to explore her passion.
“This whole experience has given me a feel for what it was really like for an artist,” she said.
“I couldn't be happier.
“This is me getting my music out to the world; it's sort of like part of my legacy.”
Arts Queensland is proud to partner with local government to support quality arts and cultural experiences across Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).
Related: How to apply for RADF