Kirsty Akers

Kirsty
Akers

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Kirsty
Akers

Although only 23 years of age singer-songwriter Kirsty Akers has been making an impact in her native Australia for the past seven years.

Hailed as a remarkable talent by fellow artists, musicians, media and stalwarts of the music industry Kirsty, a descendent of the Wanaruah people, is fearless and brutally honest with a penchant for taking her songs to places others fear to tread.

Kirsty’s third album, ‘Naked’ was produced by Paul Greene (Hirst & Greene, Spy Vs Spy) and Matt Fell (Josh Pyke, Brooke Fraser, Tim Freedman) and recorded over a six month period in Sydney and on the south coast of New South Wales. While the album’s cover features a striking image of Kirsty nude against a mystical forest-like setting (designed by Steve Parke whose credits include Prince, Victor Wooten & the TV show ‘Heroes’) its more than just a cheap gimmick.

“Going out independent for the first time I kind of feel a little “Naked” in front of the world. The songs, production, decisions are all mine so if it goes wrong I don’t have anyone else to blame it on. I think the title “Naked” describes exactly how I feel revealing the real “me” as an artist to the world! I’ve put my heart and soul into this album, I even sold my house to pay for it so hopefully everything pays off and I can look back and say “it was worth it”.

Influenced equally by contemporary acts such as Mumford & Sons, Brandi Carlile and Needtobreathe as she is by the traditional country sounds of Dolly Parton, Buddy & Julie Miller and Hank Williams that were played around the family home during her formative years Kirsty is a sublime mix of old meets new, youth meets tradition.

Since the release of her debut single, released independently as a 16 year old, Kirsty has scored eight consecutive radio hits, including five top 10s, in her homeland. At 17 she won the songwriting leg of Telstra Road To Discovery talent search. A year later she added a Toyota Starmaker win to her resume, which was followed by a 2008 Golden Guitar for Best New Talent.

Her debut album ‘Little Things’ was released in August 2007 and debuted at #7 on the ARIA Country Chart. 2009‘s ‘Better Days’, debuted at #4 on the ARIA Country Albums chart behind platinum selling CDs from Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Keith Urban and the popular CMAA Winners compilation. ‘Better Days’ also debuted at #7 on the Australian Independent Albums Chart (all genres). The album was nominated by long running pop radio program Take 40 Australia as one of January 2009’s most anticipated releases and later that same year named by The Australian Independent Record Labels Association as a finalist for Best Independent Country Album at the Jagermeister AIR Awards.

“I started singing when I was 3 years old,” explains Kirsty. “I entered my first talent quest at 3 (a snippet of that performance can be heard on the new album). Mum and Dad would drive me around most weekends to perform in different talent quests until I was about 16. I lived and breathed music and didn’t think of anything else! I was about 10 years old when I started doing my first proper “paid gigs” in clubs in Sydney. I would perform at pubs and clubs when by law I probably wasn’t even old enough to be allowed in there but somehow Mum and Dad managed to work around it!”

“Growing up I never thought of doing anything else with my life other then music. When it came time to complete my HSC in year 12 I chose not to apply for a UAI which gets you into university because I was so set on not needing anything else to fall back on. Music was my life but my teachers thought I was an idiot!”

In 2009 Kirsty was offered a lucrative, groundbreaking deal by a major Nashville based company, only to see it pulled off the table at the 11th hour when the multi-national group’s head office advised there was to be no more signings until the industry took an upturn.

Disenchanted by this, and creative differences between her team and then record label over the choice of singles/videos and certain promotions, she decided to take 12 months off to re-discover her passion for music. After ill-fated stints as a day care worker and secretary it didn’t take long for Kirsty to realise what she was missing. The talented songwriter started putting pen to paper with a view to creating the album she always wanted to make.

Having made her mark on the Australian country charts - which features a mix of Americana, Folk, Bluegrass and Contemporary Country - Kirsty’s new album represents a more diverse style of writing that is bound to introduce even more people to her undeniable talents.

Kirsty returned to the airwaves in May 2011 with the single ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’, the first track from her new album ‘Naked’ featuring the ARIA award winner Kevin Mitchell otherwise known as Bob Evans (of hit-makers Jebediah and indy fave Basement Birds), on the risqué John Prine penned classic. Already a popular request on national youth broadcaster Triple J ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’ is set to become yet another success for the now proudly independent performer.

“I am only 23 years old but already my music has given me so many opportunities I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. I never wake up and think “I don’t want to go to work today” so I count my blessings every day. I think I have matured a lot in the past 12 months and it’s only now that I really appreciate my music and don’t take it for granted. I’m so lucky to travel all over the country and overseas to play my music and see the world! – Kirsty Akers.

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