Sahara Beck wins $15k Carol Lloyd Award for female singer-songwriters

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Congratulations to this year’s Carol Lloyd Award winner, Brisbane singer-songwriter Sahara Beck. Presented by the Queensland Music Festival and championed by Katie Noonan, Sahara's honour comes with a $15,000 grant to help fund the recording of a full-length album or record and tour an EP. 

From writing her first song at 12 years old, to releasing an album, two EPs, performing coveted festival appearances, support slots with Bishop Briggs, Ball Park Music and Paul Kelly, and a few Queensland Music Awards too, Sahara’s journey is truly inspiring, and is already overflowing with achievements.

Describing her sound as ‘Passionate Art Pop’, fusing contemporary and 80’s sounds with big vocal parts, Beck soared into 2018 with the explosive single Here We Go Again. It’s a soaring track that draws you in from the first second and refuses to let go. With its lush arrangement of stomping pianos, punchy drums and choral samples, all tied together with Beck’s powerful vocals, the track scored love from triple j and community radio nationwide, as well as coveted spots on Spotify and Apple’s new music playlists.

Sahara is back to shine even brighter with I Haven’t Done A Thing Today – an infectiously energetic and joyous anthem of self-acceptance and love – that officially marks the next sparkling step in her musical journey.

Sahara joins fellow Queenslanders and previous recipients Georgia Potter and Leanne Tennant in being selected for the award, named for trailblazing singer-songwriter Carol Lloyd. Carol was the first Australian female singer-songwriter to front a successful rock band, making her name in the ultimate boys club when she started out with Railroad Gin in the 1970s, then the Carol Lloyd Band, and finally as a solo artist, stacking up number one hits along the way. 

Her ground-breaking, worldwide EMI publishing contract saw Carol release hits like A Matter of Time, Do Ya Love Me and You Told The World in 27 countries. Carol Lloyd lost her battle with pulmonary fibrosis in February 2017, but the wild woman of rock’s spirit lives on. 

Sahara said: “Carol Lloyd was one of the strongest and hardest working people I have had the privilege of meeting. She helped create a stronger industry for women to be heard just by being herself and presenting herself with integrity. She is an absolute inspiration…”

For Sahara, joining Queensland’s legacy of fierce musical women is so much more than a grant, it is a burst of momentum at a pivotal point in her trajectory, and an acknowledgement that the path she has forged leads in the right direction.

“I felt for a long time it was my job to surprise people with how I would perform and sing and play whereas I realise now - as my confidence and awareness has grown - that it should not be my job to prove anyone wrong. Everyone should be given an equal chance, before they have opened their mouth, no matter what heritage, gender or sexuality they have.”

Support for the award comes from Arts Queensland, APRA AMCOS and Hutchinson Builders.

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