The Bega Valley’s homegrown talent Felicity Dowd has taken out a prestigious award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Earlier this month, the country-folk singer-songwriter was presented with the Tamworth Songwriters Association New Songwriter of the Year award for her single Handle It.
“Honestly, to even get a finalist position in these awards is such a thing to be grateful for!” the 18-year-old said.
“There’s so many brilliant artists up here and around Australia. To be given the award was just incredible, I was just so thankful.
“It’s also not just about the song, but as a matter of a whole, it reassures me I am in the right position and I am heading in the right direction with my music.”
Handle It is a soulful tune that was released in March 2022 and is a song Dowd says is about secrets.
It was inspired by a crush she had on a friend, but one she didn’t bring up as she thought it could ruin the relationship they had.
“It’s about wanting to reveal those secrets that we all have … [but] we don’t know how people will react or if they will be able to handle it,” she said.
Dowd also directed the music video for the song, a skill that she has become more interested in and plans to do more of.
“As an indie artist in Australia, we work really hard to get as many skills under our belts that we can,” she said.
Aside from the exciting win, Dowd had an “amazing” time at the country music festival in general.
She got to play a song with Australian music legends The Bushwhackers, while country songwriter Luke O’Shea also had her on at his show.
And just before the festival began, she graduated from the senior academy of country music: a 10-day course where musicians from around the country learn aspects of the industry, such as releasing and distributing music.
Dowd’s career has been on the rise for years.
In 2021, when she was just 17, her debut single Blue Skies rose to number one on the iTunes Country Songs Chart.
Her star hasn’t slowed down since then.
“I’ve been writing a song a week virtually for a while and I’ve got so many I want to share with audiences!” she said.
She has recently moved into a caravan, part of her aim to help her reach as many people as she can, and hopes to perform at more festivals and travel while she studies a double degree in music and communications at the University of Wollongong.
Check out her social media page to see when she’s playing near you.