Six months on from the release of her debut EP, 'Thrush Metal', Western Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly is perched happily on a pile of award nominations.
The young, rising star has already racked up six nominations
for the upcoming Western Australian Music Awards (WAMAwards) as part of WAMFest, yet remains politely humble about her unexpected success as a solo artist.
“To me, to have the recognition already of getting those nominations is a real blessing and I'm really in shock about even getting the nominations,” Stella says.
“If I do take out a prize I'll be absolutely stoked, but there are a lot of artists who didn't get nominated who I believe could have and should have.
"Awards are great, but really it's about what you're doing and how you contribute to the community with your music.”
As well as her heft of award nominations – including Best EP, Best Folk Act and Best Single – Stella will also be performing as part of the live entertainment at the WAMAwards that also features Riley Pearce, Demon Days and Sydnee Carter, among others.
“I've had the experience of being able to play on the stage, which I'm very lucky to have had that and that was really fun,” she says.
“This year being able to take those experiences, but also add my own flair to it will be really fun. It's going to be on the main stage, which is going to be pretty hectic because that's always a bit nuts by that time of the night.
“I'm intrigued about how the audience is going to take to seeing me on the stage singing the songs I have.”
Stella released 'Thrush Metal' in April, a five-track collection of songs that had been written over a period of two years.
Stella explains how the EP reflects the different experiences she had during the extended writing process. “I write a lot and those songs were handpicked from a little cluster of tunes that I have, to be a little representation of me in a way,” she says.
“There's some earlier songs I've written, being 'Mean To Me', 'A Poem' and 'Grey'; 'Mean To Me' was written when I was in a toxic relationship with someone. I guess I became more of who I am and had more experience, which then led me to write 'Mechanical Bull' and 'Boys Will Be Boys'.”
Stella elaborates on the development of her songwriting over this period and how she was able to start working with subject matter closer to her heart. “I'd always had these feelings, particularly with 'Boys Will Be Boys'.
“I'd always felt a certain way about victim blaming and the rape culture in Western society, but I didn't have the eloquence or the smarts to be able to articulate those things.
“Playing in other bands and immersing myself in the scene, listening to more music and reading more feminist literature helped me improve my writing and be able to articulate more serious topics.
"That's not to say the stuff I'm writing next is going to be more like that; I think I still have silly things to write about and fun things to write about.”
2017 WAMAwards take place at Gate One Theatre at Claremont Showgrounds (Perth) 2 November. Stella Donnelly plays WAMFest at Lot 10 South (Perth) 4 November. She also plays Mojos (Fremantle) every Wednesday in December.
Thu 16 Nov - The Milk Factory (Brisbane)Fri 17 Nov - Mullum Music Festival (Northern Rivers)Sat 18 Nov - The Plot (Sydney)25-26 Nov - Queenscliff Music FestivalThu 30 Nov - The Toff In Town (Melbourne)Fri 1 Dec - Waves (Wollongong)Sat 2 Dec - Porchland (The Range, SA)Thu 7 Dec - Brighton Up Bar (Sydney)Fri 8 Dec - The Newsagency (Sydney)Sat 9 Dec - Fairgrounds Festival (Berry, NSW)Sat 16 Dec - Rosemount Hotel (Perth, supporting Polish Club)Sat 20 Jan - Sugar Mountain (Melbourne)
Stella Donnelly Shows