Nominations are now open for the 2018 Carol Lloyd Award, a $15,000 grant supporting female singer-songwriters from Queensland.
The award is in honour of Australia's first 'rock chick', the inimitable Carol Lloyd who fronted 1970s rock group Railroad Gin and sadly passed away early last year.
Leanne de Souza is a music management professional and also serves as a member of the judging panel, and says the award is a fitting tribute to an industry trailblazer.
“I knew Carol as a colleague and also as an artist, so it was nice to be asked [to judge] as a way to keep not so much her memory but her spirit and fight alive,” Leanne says.
“It was a great process and it's a good balance of people who are committed locally and have invested in the music community.
“She'd be really proud of the calibre of women applying and because it is one of the only awards that's not just about emerging artists or young people, you can be at any stage of your career and apply for this.
"That's something that Carol did so well; she was still making music and mentoring right to the end, which is pretty amazing.”
Last year saw the inaugural award presented to Georgia Potter, who also works under the moniker of Moreton, and has used the money to complete her next EP.
Leanne says the vital factors in weighing each application is not just what is produced, but how and why the project is significant. “For me I'm a big 'process' believer,” she says.
“The process to me is as important as the outcome. It's definitely about the excellence in the music and the art that's being made, that's a given, but Georgia wasn't alone there.
“We have to make a case and argue for why we think someone is deserving, so taking in that excellent music and art is a given for those people that get into the top ten per cent, then it becomes a whole conversation about the criteria of the grant and that legacy of Carol.”
Leanne brings a wealth of industry experience to her role as judge, having worked in artist management and music business administration for over 20 years.
Both Leanne and Georgia have said the most important thing is to already have a project that you would still continue with, even if you don't win the award. “The question we'll often ask is: will this project happen without the money?” Leanne says.
“And it doesn't necessarily mean you will or won't get it, but it is definitely considered. That's momentum and that's why the right grant at the right time can carry that momentum for an artist to really help them get to the next level.”