Love, loss and heartbreak are some of the themes being explored in the music of the winners and runner-up of Stormfront Productions’ 2018 Whyalla Recording Scholarship.
This year two singer/songwriters have been selected as winners – 19-year-old Shakira Fauser from Whyalla and 17-year-old Liberty Tuohy from Port Neill, while the runner-up is 15-year-old local Jaylee Daniels.
Over the ensuing months Shakira and Liberty will work with Stormfront to record and release their original debut single and music video.
This will be supported by 12 months Digital Distribution and professional industry support. Jaylee will also have her song recorded, and receive on-going support to launch it and manage her music.
A pop and country singer, Shakira was inspired to write a song about child loss and miscarriage by friends in her life who have gone through the pain of losing a child.
“One of my friends who went through it would listen to ‘Small Bump’ by Ed Sheeran over and over and over again, and she said it was mainly because she couldn’t find many other songs like it,” she said.
“I decided to help and write my own.”
Shakira said the scholarship was a ‘huge step forward’ for her music career.
"I’ve never really done professional recording so it’s pretty cool to have a song I’ve written recorded and shown to the world,” she said.
Singing and songwriting has been a part of Shakira’s life since a young age. In Whyalla she was tutored by Stormfront Productions, then after she moved to Port Lincoln Shakira performed music at high school.
Now back in Whyalla, Shakira is excited to launch her song “I Miss You” to the world.
This year the scholarship was open to musicians from Regions stretching from Tumby Bay to Mount Remarkable.
Liberty Tuohy took this chance with open arms, and is keen to get into the studio to record her music.
“I’m totally dedicated to my music but I’ve been lacking a professional product to sell and promote my music through. The Whyalla Recording Scholarship will now produce that,” she said.
Growing up, Liberty started her music journey early – having her first piano lesson at age 5. Her parents being very much into music also helped foster her own love for it.
Liberty lists folk rock singer-songwriter Jack Johnson and alternative multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana as the main influences behind her music.
Her song, “Time Stays the Same”, is based on her life experiences – both good and bad. It was inspired by the song “7 Years” by Danish soul-pop band Lukas Graham.
“My song is about my life growing up. It talks about my parents’ divorce and then me going through bullying when I was younger,” Liberty said.
“Then it comes back to how I’ve fallen in love.”
Lastly, Jaylee Daniel has been taking music lessons from Stormfront Productions for several years. She was a finalist in the previous Whyalla Recording Scholarship, and this year has achieved an even better result.
“I was so happy to be a WRS Finalist last year and I came back this year with a new song and some new ideas. To know I’m now going to have my song recorded is a dream come true!” she said.
An Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift fan, Jaylee’s song “Country Life And You” focuses on cherishing the memories of loved ones who have passed. It was inspired by the loss of her grandfather.
“Everybody can relate to it if they’ve had a loss in their lives,” she said.
“I spoke to my Nanna about different memories we had with him, and then put the memories into the song.”
Judges for WRS 2018 were Mark Tempany and Alison Hams from Stormfront Productions, acclaimed singer songwriter Megan Laurie and last year’s WRS winner Breeze Millard.