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KIX-Start 2023 Winner Announced

4 October 2023 | 9:56 am | Mary Varvaris

Congratulations to the "next level", "really impressive" winner!


Denvah (Source: Supplied)

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Rockhampton country singer Denvah has been crowned winner of Groundwater Country Music Festival’s KIX-Start competition.

“WINNER!!! 🏆🎶 Congrats Denvah Music 🥳 this years comp was seriously next level talent!! Well done everyone! Really impressive!” KIX Country Program Director Justin Thomson wrote on Facebook last night (3 October). The winning announcement arrives as Denvah has been teasing her new single, Do Without, due for release on Friday, 20 October.

In late September, Denvah was named a top five finalist for the KIX Start competition alongside Briana Tinsdale, Brandon Poletti, Gemma Tiller and Freight Train Foxes. Denvah called her fellow artists “next level” when the top five contestants were unveiled.

In an Instagram story posted last night (3 October), Denvah reacted to the news of her KIX Start competition win by writing that she was “screaming, crying, throwing up” before thanking KIX Country and Groundwater Music Festival for the opportunity.

Source: Denvah’s Instagram Stories

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“I’m so grateful and excited to have been chosen as the winner for Groundwater’s KIX-Start 2023 competition,” Denvah commented in a press release. “The support from this competition is amazing and truly a blessing. The talent in the top 10 was absolutely incredible, so I’m extremely honoured to have been selected.”

Lee Kernaghan, country music star and judging panellist on the Groundwater KIX Start competition added, “Huge congratulations to Denvah who has taken out the top prize in the 2023 Groundwater KIX- Start competition.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the judging panel and having the opportunity to listen to some of Australian country music’s hottest new emerging talent. Groundwater Country Music Festival and KIX Radio Network have provided an incredible platform for new artists to receive national recognition from both the music industry and country fans Australia-wide.”

Acknowledging the other contestants, Kernaghan continued, “I really want to pay tribute to all the finalists, in particular the top 5 - Gemma Tiller, Brandon Poletti, Denvah, Briana Dinsdale, and Freight Train Foxes. All were worthy recipients of the major prize and future stars, but it was Denvah that finally came through with a shining performance in the last round of judging. I’m looking forward to seeing her hit the stage at Groundwater and release some great music in the year ahead.”

On Sunday, 27 August, Denvah won another significant award, taking home the NAB Gympie Music Muster Talent Search. The total prize for the Gympie Music Muster Talent Search winner is an estimated $22,000, which includes career-building opportunities, mentoring, music equipment and a trip to Nashville.

Reacting to the win, Denvah wrote on Instagram, “Guyyssssssss this isn’t a drill🥹 Losing it over the fact that I won this years NAB Gympie Music Muster Talent Search. I am so grateful and truly can’t believe it even happened. Biggest thank you to every single person involved”.

In March 2021, Denvah’s track For Elizabeth was named Countrytown’s Song Of The Day. The fourth single from her debut EP, Just The Beginning, she released the song at just 20 years old.

Recorded by Nathan Davis with additional recording, engineering, and mixing provided by Matt Fell at Love HZ Studios, the EP was recorded over two days in a makeshift studio set up on Great Keppel Island at the Shell House, a sprawling 1961 building crammed with an extraordinary variety of sea shells.