KIX-Start: The Hunt For Australia's Next Country Music Star Begins Today

5 August 2022 | 9:35 am | Mallory Arbour

Entries open today!

Bella Mackenzie

Bella Mackenzie (Image: Supplied)

Hold onto your hats, Groundwater Country Music Festival’s KIX-Start competition is back with entries opening today, August 5.

The prize pool includes:

  • Opening one of the main stages at the Groundwater Country Music Festival 2022. 
  • Writing 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 award-winning country music star, Gina Jeffreys.
  • Flights to the Gold Coast from your nearest capital city, plus airport transfers and accommodation.

The announcement coincides with the release of 1,2,3 You and Me, the new single by contemporary country music singer-songwriter, Bella MacKenzie – the KIX-Start inaugural winner and our Centre Stage artist of the week. The single is the product of part of her 2021 prize package and was co-written with Bryce Sainty and produced by multi–Golden Guitar winner Rod McCormack.

“Winning KIX-Start was such an honour boosting my career from the second I won,” said Bella. “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.”

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Groundwater Country Music Festival Director Mark Duckworth said, “We had such a fantastic pool of talent involved in last year’s inaugural KIX-Start competition and I for one can’t wait to see what amazing artists will turn up this year. It’s an initiative that is dear to my heart and something that the Groundwater Country Music Festival is all about – providing a platform for new talent.”

To find out more, all entry details are available here.

The Top 10 will be announced by October 3, 2022. 

The winner will be announced on October 10, 2022.