Aleyce Simmonds may now call Tamworth home, but she still has plenty of family in the Hastings. She left here to follow her dream of becoming a country music star and is well on her way to achieving it.
Simmonds has already earned many accolades – Telstra Road to Tamworth winner; 2014 Australian Independent Female Artist of the year; the Southern Stars Australian Independent Female Vocalist of the Year twice; Country Single of the Year and Australian Independent Artist 2015.
She was a finalist in the APRA/AMCOS Song of the Year 2015, and won her first of those awards for Country Work of the Year for her song Greatest Companion this year.
Now she is a finalist for Female Artist of the Year at the 2018 Tamworth Country Music Festival in January on the back of her album More than Meets the Eye.
“It’s really amazing, I’m a little shocked,” Simmonds says of being named a finalist. She was at the announcement at the ABC Studios in Sydney and although eligible for a number of categories, hadn’t heard her name.
“I thought, oh well, I’m not going to get one [finalist spot], and then to get female artist, was amazing. And to be put in against Kasey Chambers, it’s great.”
The platinum blonde says the country music association members are currently voting and she can’t stop thinking about it. “People are sending messages saying I just voted for you.”
Simmonds has been on tour, with her band The Spurs and Tori Forsyth, since launching her album during the festival in January. Her penultimate tour gig is at Club North Haven, December 9, at 8pm. Tickets are $21.
“I can’t wait, it’s years since I’ve done a gig at North Haven. It’s always great to have grandma and granddad in the audience. It’s special because I grew up listening to their country music albums.”
Her parents live in Tamworth on 100 acres and many of the family make it there for the Golden Guitars.
“There’s plenty of room for everyone. They have a big American style barn, which is where I launched the album. We had a family reunion recently with 70 people. The music thing has given everyone a reason to get together.”