SPOTLIGHT: Four of the five categories in this year's Mullum Music Festival's Youth Mentorship program went to young women. Isabella Cox, Monica Brandolini, Hannah Parrington and Chloe Mason will be mentored by an established artist, prior to a 20 minute performance at the festival in November.
SPOTLIGHT: Four of the five categories in this year's Mullum Music Festival's Youth Mentorship program went to young women. Isabella Cox, Monica Brandolini, Hannah Parrington and Chloe Mason will be mentored by an established artist, prior to a 20 minute performance at the festival in November. Lyn McCarthy

Stepping into the spotlight

MULLUMBIMBY Music Festival has announced the winners of its Youth Mentorship Competition with young women stepping into the spotlight in four out of the five categories.

Isabella Cox, Monica Brandolini, Hanna Parrington and Chloe Mason join Byron Bay High School band East Atlantic for the opportunity to be mentored by established artists Suzannah Espie, Shelley Brown, Nattali Rize and Chris Mallory.

Category winners were announced by competition co-oridinator Tom Whitaker at the Poinciana Café in Mullumbimby, just three weeks ahead of their performance at the Mullum Music Festival.

Each of the winners presented a song, giving a taste of what is in store for their festival performance.

The fledgling artists have also won the opportunity to perform a 20 minute set at the festival.

The Under-15 winner, Byron Steiner student and Clunes resident, Monica Brandolini, will also sing at the sold-out gala opening night event.

Winner of this year's Vocal Section was Ballina's Chloe Mason. Judged by Shelley Brown, this 14 year old says 'Singing is such a big part of my life.' A stand out who started singing quirky covers, Chloe has just started writing her own music.

Her judge and mentor was very impressed 'Her vocal tone is stunning' says Shelley, 'her deliver is strong, unique and relaxed. I chose her because I want to hear more.'

Festival patron Suzannah Espie judged the Singer/Songwriter section, and chose 15 year old Byron Bay High School and Nashua resident, Lorelai (Isabella Cox).

To say she loved music would be an understatement. Lorelai has been singing since she could talk. For her music is a way, "to express my feelings. I love that songs can be interpreted in different ways, it makes them even more special,” she said.

Suzannah, the festival patron, and Lorelai's mentor said, "I chose Lorelei because she has a good swag of songs already that are really nicely recorded, with some great catchy little hooks helping to deliver some tender and personal lyrics.”

Music Reviewer for the Australian, Iain Shedden was the guest judge for the Wild Card Entry.

Won by 14 year old Byron girl Hannah Parrington who describes her music as 'folky - pop.' Iain said, "I was impressed by Hannah's grasp of live looping and its role in song structure, but also liked the song and the confidence in her voice.”

Hannah is passionate about music and is keen to develop a career in the music industry, so a mentorship is exactly what she believes will help her focus on the years ahead. Hannah will be mentored by Renee Simone.

For the Band section Nattali Rize chose Byron Bay High School's East Atlantic. This grunge and blues based band feature Maayan Barnatan on vocals and guitar, Vinnie Sebastian on back up vocals and drums and Bon Soric on Bass.

Influenced by Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix with a touch of Black Sabbath for good measure, these lads add some serious rock to program.

Chris Mallory of Two Lions judged the Under 15 section, won by Byron Steiner student and Clunes resident, Monica Brandolini.

The youngest daughter of music teachers, it seems that every year a Brandolini has won a Youth Mentorship prize and then gone on to establish significant careers in the music industry.

Older siblings Gabe and Cecelia were finalists on The Voice, and young Monica has been singing with her sibs since she could walk.

Strongly influence by Regina Spektor, Montaigne, Liana La Havas and Justin Bieber, Monica has a musical maturity way beyond her years.

Chris Mallory was very impressed with Monica's flawless live delivery and said, "What a fantastic song, I love the chordal structure and the surprising melodies.”

Mullum Music Festival takes place from November 17-20. More info: mullummusicfestival.com


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