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James Johnston Leads Country Artists Nominated For The 2024 Queensland Music Awards

29 February 2024 | 12:21 pm | Mary Varvaris

The awards will be held on Wednesday, 17 April, at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.

James Johnston

James Johnston (Source: Supplied)

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This morning, the 2024 Queensland Music Awards nominees were announced, and some of the most popular Australian country artists received nominations for their hard work.

The awards will be held on Wednesday, 17 April, at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.

Four artists have been nominated for the Country Award, which focuses on singles released in the last year.

So, there’s James Johnston up for Got It Good, Hayley Marsten for Getting Better, Melody Moko with Jesus Year, and Tori Forsyth with her Shane Nicholson-featuring Sometimes. Jem Cassar-Daley, the daughter of country singer Troy Cassar-Daley, has been nominated for the Pop Award (with King Of Disappointment).

Reacting to her nomination, Forsyth referenced the television series Kath & Kim and wrote about the “bloody honour” of being recognised at this year’s Queensland Music Awards, writing on Instagram:

“Well look at moi and call me Kim. ‘Sometimes’ has been nominated for a @qldmusicawards ✨✨✨ what a bloody honour it is to be recognised as part of the glorious landscape of Queensland country music. I truly wouldn’t want to plant my roots anywhere else in the world. Thank you 🙏 and as always, thank you to my team and army of legends who are equally part of this nom. 🙏✨ “

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James Johnston released Got It Good last February. Within a week, the track jumped a whopping 35 spots to #9 on the Countrytown Hot 50 after debuting at #44. The song features on his 20-track debut album, Raised Like That.

Last June, Hayley Marsten broke down her latest album, Girlhood, for Countrytown.

On Getting Better, she explained, “I wrote this song the day before we went to Airlock Studios to do a big day of band tracking. A lot of this album is very introspective and came from me going back to therapy in 2020, which was the best thing I ever did for myself. But part of that experience was feeling like I was cured and never needed to return and then being knocked right back to square one.

“Last year, my anxiety was at an all-time high, and it was incredibly difficult for me at times to just look after myself. There’s so much stigma around mental health; at times, I really did feel like I was letting everyone around me down, including myself. Once we got in the studio, I knew I wanted this big, sweeping, dramatic intro and that it should be the album opener; Toby Alexander did the strings on this and totally nailed it. I love that it links to the strings in Bittersweet at Best.”

Countrytown shared the video premiere for Melody Moko’s Jesus Year last year. Here’s what she had to say about the song: “Jesus Year came about from a concept my manager wanted me to embody. A Jesus year is your 33rd year, a year where you are reborn in some sense. I felt that after suffering badly from Post Natal Depression after the birth of my 3rd child, I had recovered as a ‘better’ person than I had been going into it. This song celebrates the idea that out of adversity comes triumph.”

Tori Forsyth released Sometimes in September, a song that will feature on her upcoming new album All We Have Is Who We Are, due for release this May.

Forsyth said about the single, “Sometimes is a breakup song. The only one on the record, the only one I have ever written, the only one I intend to write. Plain and simple, sometimes, out of nowhere, your heart gets broken. But you pick up the pieces and move on, and sometimes, most of the time, something beautiful is on the other side.”

You can find all the nominees for the Queensland Music Awards here.