Four young Brisbane musicians have been nominated for this year’s prestigious Grant McLennan Fellowship.
The four nominees — Leanne Tennant, Hannah Macklin, Jeremy Neale and Bec Laughton — will vie for the right to win the coveted $25,000 fellowship, which will afford them an opportunity to travel to New York, London or Berlin for up to six months.
The fellowship is designed to expose the recipient to the cultural life of one of these cities, so they can use it as a source of inspiration and creativity.
The fellowship is, of course, named after Grant McLennan, a founding member of legendary Brisbane band The Go-Betweens. McLennan wasn’t just a great songwriter — he was one of Queensland’s finest cultural exports, and helped bring Australian music to a global audience.
Previous winners of the fellowship have included Tim Steward (We All Want To, Screamfeeder), Thomas Calder (The Trouble With Templeton), Seja Vogel and Scott Spark.
Leanne Tennant‘s latest record, Red Wine, Late Nights, has garnered praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and Sydney Morning Herald. Her album launch tour included sell-out shows and appearances at festivals like BIGSOUND; she was nominated for the 2016 Billy Thorpe Scholarship and actually won the 2016 Blues & Roots Award at the 2016 Queensland Music Awards with her track, Bearing the Crown.
Hannah Macklin is a highly trained singer, songwriter, musician and teacher who formed her band, MKO Sun, in 2011. They’ve released three EPs since then, and have played support slots for the likes of Peaches, Cody ChesnuTT, Hiatus Kaiyote and Katie Noonan. The winner of a 2013 Queensland Music Award for Best Electronic/Dance song, Macklin is known for unique vocal style, which includes traces of opera, soul, R&B and punk.
Jeremy Neale is probably best known as the frontman and primary songwriter in 12-piece garage pop band Velociraptor, but his focus is now on his solo career. He has already won multiple Queensland Music Awards — for Best Rock Song in 2012 and Most Popular Male in 2013 — and is a former recipient of the Billy Thorpe Scholarship. He just finished a national tour with Regurgitator, and is expected to drop his debut solo album in 2017.
Soul/pop songstress Bec Laughton won the Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship in 2014, and has since been a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, Unsigned Only and the Independent Music Awards, as well as a winner at the Queensland Music Awards. With three EPs already to her name, she’s currently working on her fourth, due for release in 2017.
This year’s judging panel includes Sean Sennett, Sally McLennan, Ian Haug and Adele Pickvance.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held at The Triffid (7-9 Stratton Street, Newstead) on Friday 2 December. Not just an awards show, the night will feature special performances from the finalists alongside Halfway, Dan Kelly, Adele Pickvance and The Stress of Leisure as part of Streets Of Your Town: A Tribute to The Go-Betweens. For tickets, click here.