Having just won last year's Young, Black and Deadly competition, Loren Ryan is one awesome young performer. Growing up in Australia's country music capital - Tamworth, Loren was destined for a career in music.
"Living in Tamworth and having a really, really musical family gave me my passion for music. Every January we'd go out and experience the festival and see all the buskers and one year I saw my uncle busking and thought, 'that's what I want to do'. Our whole family just sang all the time and once I got a bit older, I taught myself guitar and started to write songs,"says Loren.
However, despite being surrounded by country musicians Loren opted for a career singing her own original RnB tunes and even though her particular style of music isn't usually featured at the Tamworth festival, she recently starred in the Indigenous showcase. "Tamworth is really demanding about the style of music they want and usually that's country," says Loren. "So for me to be able to do RnB and not country and still be accepted in Tamworth is a pretty big thing," she admits.
"I was singing at a karaoke competition at a local PCYC when Roger Knox heard me and said, 'we've got this elders' gathering happening and I'd like you to come and sing a song with me,"says Loren. "So I did, and then I met Buddy Knox who's now been my mentor and guitarist for the last three years. He spent a lot of time getting me ready and when the year rolled around I performed at my first Indigenous showcase.
.Loren says that her first big break came two years ago when she made it into the top 10 of the Talent Development Project. The project which searches for the best up and coming talent from around Australia, gave Loren the opportunity to not only get used to auditioning, but to access the best music teachers in the country and perform with Idol success stories – Jessica Mauboy and Wes Carr.
"My best gig to date would have to be the Yabun festival in Sydney last year. I only performed one song but it was amazing as I performed it on the main stage in front of over 10,000 people,"" she says.The song, titled 'All There Is', will be the first song from her upcoming EP. While most students studying their HSC barely have time for their homework, Loren, who is in year 12, is planning to fit in writing, recording and promoting her EP.
"My EP is going to be mostly originals, so I have to finish writing a couple of songs before I go into the studio. I am looking to record it with Steve Newton who they say is the best of the best. Buddy Knox will play guitar and I might get some sax and some other musicians in as I want it to have an earthy, acoustic sound with a funk, latin over-tone."
Follow Loren on her website here...
Marlene Cummins is Australia's foremost Indigenous female blues writer and performer. Marlene knows the blues from an Aboriginal woman's perspective in this country and her story is one of vulnerability, strength and survival.
Marlene refined her skills as a blues saxophonist and songwriter at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the mid-90s. She continues to busk a few times a week as she finds this helps her to maintain and develop her feel as a musician.
In addition to her musical talent, Marlene has been regular broadcaster on Koori Radio for years with her renowned blues show,'Marloo's Blues, Marlene won Broadcaster of the Year at the Deadly Awards in 2009.
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