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Ella & Sienna Named Groundwater’s KIX-Start Winner

12 October 2022 | 9:46 am | Mallory Arbour

Ella & Sienna will play the main stage at Groundwater CMF 2022

Ella & Sienna

Ella & Sienna (Image: via Facebook)

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Teen sister duo, Ella & Sienna have been crowned the 2022 champions of Groundwater's KIX-Start competition and will now have the chance to see their names in lights as country music stars when they open the Surf Parade Stage at Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF) on Friday 28 October on the Gold Coast.

Persistence has certainly paid off for Ella & Sienna who were Top 10 Finalists in the Groundwater KIX-Start competition last year and this year were finalists on The Voice Australia. The sisters from Adelaide Hills, South Australia are only 19 and 16 years old respectively and they're already making waves in the country music scene. While juggling typical teen commitments like university, high school, work and sports, the girls have been working tirelessly in the studio and on stage, perfecting their sound and people are taking notice. With even the chart-topping pop singer and judge Rita Ora declaring "their vocal blend is impeccable".

With diverse influences from artists including Missy Higgins, Fleetwood Mac and Taylor Swift, the multi-instrumentalist siblings have formed a pop/country/folk sound that is all their own. Ella & Sienna's voices alone command the crowd, and their harmonies weave deeply heartfelt lyrics with such effortlessness that they never fail to leave a lasting impression.

Ella & Sienna said, “We are so honoured to have been chosen as the WINNER of Groundwater’s KIX-Start 2022 Competition! Playing at Groundwater CMF has always been on our bucket list, and we can't wait!”

KIX-Start was formed last year as a collaboration between Groundwater CMF and KIX Country Radio Network. It’s designed to unearth the next generation of country music talent and provide a launchpad for their career. What better way to do so than by opening a mega line-up featuring the likes of Seaforth, Andrew Farriss, Tami Neilson, Kristy Cox, Dozzi, Jayne Denham, Fanny Lumsden and dozens more? See the full line-up here.

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Many outstanding young women like these sisters have begun carving out their place in the country music industry. It came as a pleasant surprise to the panel of expert judges who watched an overwhelming number of female finalists this year, making up over 75% of Groundwater KIX-Start’s top 10 in 2022.

Groundwater’s KIX-Start Judge and Content Director Justin Thomson from the KIX Country Network said, “The calibre of entrants from right across the country this year was very impressive. We had a range of age groups enter this year but young female talent looking for that break into country music is evidently very strong. It’s clear that Ella & Sienna have been working hard at their craft and we've seen some mighty growth over the last 12 months. They were a top 10 finalist in Groundwater’s KIX-Start Competition in 2021. It’s going to be a very exciting year for Ella & Sienna and I’m thrilled they were able to rise to the top on this occasion.”.

In addition to an opening performance at a main stage for Groundwater CMF 2022 on Friday 28 October, Ella & Sienna’s victory will also reward them with:

  • An opportunity to write a song with accomplished country songwriter Phil Barton, who has had songs recorded by Lee Brice, Sara Evans, Eli Young Band, Dustin Lynch, Cassadee Pope, Morgan Evans, LoCash, The Wolfe Brothers, The McClymonts, Lee Kernaghan and many more. 
  • Recording a single at The Music Cellar with one of Australia’s most in-demand record producers, Rod McCormack who has produced Paul Kelly, Troy Cassar Daley, Jimmy Barnes, Kasey Chambers and countless others. 
  • The single will be promoted to radio by one of Australia’s leading PR companies, Varrasso PR who has promoted the likes of Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Lainey Wilson, The Wolfe Brothers, Casey Barnes, Eskimo Joe, Ruel, and Hanson. 
  • The single will be supported by KIX Country, plus other exciting opportunities. 
  • A one-on-one mentoring session with multiple-award-winning country music star, Gina Jeffreys.

"We are so grateful to the Groundwater Festival and KIX Country for getting behind emerging artists like us, the talent this year was UNREAL!” Ella & Sienna added. “We are so excited to work with Varrasso PR, to get mentored by Gina Jefferies, to write with Phil Barton and to record with Rod McCormack. Truly some of the best in the industry! What an incredible opportunity and one of the craziest prize packages EVER! THANK YOU!” 

Last year's KIX-Start winner Bella Mackenzie has been on a high since her grand prize win at the fresh age of 16. As part of her prize, Mackenzie released a new single called 1,2,3 You and Me co-written by Bryce Sainty and with world-class production overseen by multi–Golden Guitar winner, Rod McCormack. The single was released in August and the catchy tune still remains playlisted on high rotation with KIX Country Radio, taking the #2 spot in their HOTTEST 20 chart just last week. It also currently sits at #41 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Country Airplay Chart, after peaking at #33.

Mackenzie said, “Winning KIX-Start was such an honour, boosting my career from the second I won. The support from KIX Country, Groundwater Country Music Festival, and everyone else involved has been so amazing. I could never have imagined a year ago that I would have accomplished what I have today which includes releasing two singles and playing major festivals. I have had my biggest year yet with so much more to come and I urge anyone thinking about applying to just do it! You never know if you don’t have a go.”


Keep up to date with Ella & Sienna on their Facebook page here