After countless hours of listening to incredible music, months of searching and a stint at Boot Camp, we’re absolutely wrapped to announce Liv Cartledge and Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt aka Merpire as the 2015 Telstra Road to Discovery winners and Will Anderson as the People’s Choice Award winner!
When asked how she felt her performance had changed since the Semi Final, Cartledge said, “I remember going onto the Semi Final stage and I couldn’t hold my guitar properly because I was shaking so much, but this afternoon, Ross James said to me – and I think it was an Andy Bull quote – “be the best version of yourself out there. Be Liv Cartledge”, I thought about it for a while and was like, right on.” Clearly it’s winning advice!
As part of the winning package, Liv and Merpire have both won a $15,000 music development grant and a return trip to next year’s Americana Festival in Nashville to perform their music to some of the biggest names in the international music scene.
“I kind of didn’t want to think about it [winning], in case it didn’t happen!” said Merpire. But now that is has happened, what comes next? “I think the first plan is to have a plan,” she replied laughing.
Find out more about our winners below:
I’m a 19-year-old gal; born and bred in a little town in northeast Victoria called Beechworth. Two years ago I packed my bags and made my way to Melbourne, after my first taste of city life I was hooked and have been an St Kilda resident ever since.
I remember learning my first guitar chord sitting in my Gran and Pop’s lounge room, wedged between my dad and uncle. It was an E minor, and I’m pretty sure I played that chord for three days straight.
I was always the three year old with a tambourine up on stage next to dad banging away to whatever he was playing (‘Dumb Things’ by Paul Kelly, most likely)… Writing, recording or performing alongside Paul Kelly is my ultimate dream. Anyone who knows me well will know that he is a big hero of mine.
I’m a 27 year old Sydney girl, born and bred… Mum tells me that I sang before I could speak. Apparently I used to sing gibberish to other pre-schoolers at nap time from when I was about 2 years old and so I was eventually put in a separate nap time area so that the other kids could sleep.
Boot Camp was honestly one of the best weeks of my life. It was so refreshing to be around such a large number of kind, giving people. I feel very lucky to have been given so much valuable information and advice. Everyone was genuinely there to help and it was almost unbelievable to have these people believe in me so much. I’ve come out of that week with more confidence, a smarter mind and a clearer idea for where I want to head and how to get there.
Congratulations again to Liv Cartledge, Merpire and Will Anderson!