Leanne Tennant is the recipient of the second annual Carol Lloyd Award.
Cairns-based blues-rock indie musician Leanne Tennant is the recipient of the second annual Carol Lloyd Award, which supports emerging female artists in any genre, from anywhere in Queensland.
Leanne plans to use the $15,000 prize money from her win to record a third album. “I’d love to have a strong team around me to help put out this record and make it something that Carol Lloyd would be proud of,” she says.
With the financial support she will receive, Leanne says the recording process will be easier than in the past. “I’ve been an independent muso now for awhile and it's tough, it really is.
“It’s stressful and it’s a lot of work. I don’t have management. I don’t have a booking agent. I am that person. Being a mum and working a lot of hours, it’s pretty stressful.”
Back in Cairns after a trip to Brisbane last weekend to accept the prestigious award, Leanne says it is an honour to receive the industry recognition. “To be recognised for some of the slog I’ve been putting in over the years, it is a really great feeling.”
While she never had the opportunity to see Carol Lloyd (who passed away last year) perform, Leanne says she understands the weight of Carol's presence in the industry and everything she did to advance the cause of women in the Australian music scene.
“I was very, very well aware of Carol Lloyd and what she has done for a lot of women, emerging musicians in particular. She was kind of the mother figure of emerging musicians and a strong woman.”
While she doesn’t have a name for the album yet, Leanne (who won the Blues & Roots Award at last year's Queensland Music Awards) doesn’t plan to wait around. She plans to jump in the studio as soon as possible with singles out before the end of the year and the album released early in 2019.
The style of the new record will likely stay in the same alternative blues and roots vein as her previous albums: ‘Pull Up Your Britches’ and ‘Red Wine, Late Nights’.
But Leanne doesn’t rule out a stylistic change. “I’ve got a few songs completed, ready to go and a few that are quite open. I’m hoping to play around with them once I’m in the studio and see where they go.”
In addition to the help of the grant, Leanne finds inspiration in her peers as much as anywhere else. “Sahara Beck who was another one of the nominees for the award, she’s a great friend of mine and a really, really great musician.
"I’m constantly inspired by original songwriters that are playing their own music. Getting out to see them inspires you to write some great stuff.”
Leanne couldn’t be more deserving of this award. Outside of her own musical work and raising her five-year-old daughter, she works to help other emerging musicians from Far North Queensland to realise their dreams through workshops with industry figures and by helping organise live performances. “It’s a dream job.
“I’ve worked a lot of jobs and it took me a long time to fall into something like that, so I’m pretty blessed.”
The other 2018 finalists for the Carol Lloyd Award were Sunshine Coast songstress Sahara Beck (who now calls Brisbane home), Brisbane vocal powerhouse Rivah (Bec Laughton), Brisbane indie-pop artist Harriette Pilbeam (Hatchie) and Toowoomba country crooner Sue Ray.