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And Groundwater’s KIX-Start Competition Winner Is …

26 October 2021 | 11:22 am | Mallory Arbour

And Groundwater ’s KIX Start competition winner is … self-taught, 16-year-old country-pop talent, Bella Mackenzie from Mackay, Queensland.

Bella Mackenzie has been announced as the winner of Groundwater’s KIX-Start competition – an exciting new initiative to help budding country artists waiting for their big break!

According to the press release, the newcomer was chosen for her “mesmerising blend of vocal virtuosity, performing flair, songwriting ability, and distinct self-taught guitar style and technique.”

Not only does her prize package include performing a 45-minute opening set at The Back Road Theatre at Groundwater Country Music Festival, the 16-year-old will also get a fully produced single by multi-award-winning producer Rod McCormack mixed and mastered at his Music Cellar Studios, which will receive radio promotion by Frank Varrasso from Varrasso PR and airtime on the KIX Country Radio Network. She will also receive a mentoring session with multi-award-winning country legend Gina Jeffreys.

Mackenzie says, “I just can't express how excited I am to be performing at Groundwater and how much it means to me. It is such an iconic Queensland event and as a proud Queenslander, I am so excited to be heading to the Gold Coast to play some country music.”

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“I would like to say a thank you to the judges ... picking just one winner out of the amazing top ten finalists would have been a crazy hard task, every entrant was so worthy! But mostly I would like to thank KIX and Groundwater CMF for running the KIX-Start competition and for giving us emerging country music artists something positive to look forward to.”

The self-taught country-pop talent hails from a small coal-mining town in Central Queensland, where she developed a love for live music and entertaining people from an early age at her family’s hotel pub. She entered her first country music talent competition at the age of 12, shortly before writing her first song a year later. Check out her amazing entry video below.

Other finalists included Emily Hatton, Bo’Ness, Gareth Leach, Mikayla J, Eddie Rawk, Bonnie Kellett, Sara Berki, Piper Butcher and Ella & Sienna.

In 2021, Groundwater will see more than 40 artists set to perform across five stages over three days from Friday, November 12 to Sunday, November 14. Apart from the aforementioned artists above, the line-up includes The Wolfe Brothers, Sara Storer, Casey Barnes, Adam Brand, Brad Butcher, Brook Chivell, Hinterland, Lily Grace, Melanie Dyer, Melody Moko, Natalie Pearson, Troy Cassar-Daley, Graeme Connors, Caitlyn Shadbolt, the Hillbilly Goats, Jade Holland, Taylor Moss, Round Mountain Girls, SaltbushSix, Arlington, Sammy White, Matt Ward and many more.

Groundwater is one of the few music festivals to be held in a year marred by festival cancellations due to the global pandemic. Following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to ongoing pandemic concerns, the 2019 event was a major success with 73,000 people attending, an increase of 15% from the previous year and injecting approximately $8.46million into the local economy.

Established in 2013 as the Broadbeach Country Music Festival, the festival was rebranded as Groundwater Country Music Festival in 2018. Groundwater is a common denominator in bringing people together. It reflects Australia’s unique culture, drawing from both the Aboriginal people’s close spiritual connection with the groundwater, as well as the farming community’s reliance on groundwater for survival. Groundwater reflects the innate culture of the Australian people who use the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans as a central part of life.

Follow Bella Mackenzie on her Facebook page here.

For more breaking news from CountryTown, check out here.

Image: Supplied