Newcastle singer-songwriter Jemima Webber experienced a definite "pinch me" moment earlier this year.
Angus Stone had heard Patient, the first single from her debut EP Things I Never Said, and invited Jemima to his home studio to sing backing vocals on his Dope Lemon cover of The Go-Betweens' Streets of Your Town for the Songs For Australia bushfire charity album.
"I recorded with Angus in February. It was such a surreal experience - I got the call out of the blue on the day of the session and had to drive straight there," she said.
"I listened to the song on a loop during my drive to try and learn it in time. I used to busk Angus and Julia Stone songs when I was 15 so it was amazing to get to work with him and kind of come full circle."
Now, she's pinching herself again. Things I Never Said debuted at No.1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter albums chart, Australia-wide, and the EP's most recent single, As You Are, also debuted at No.1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter singles chart.
Patient peaked at No.2 on the same chart. Exploring, as it does, the intricacies of mental health, Jemima decided to donate all of the song's earnings during its first three months to the Black Dog Institute.
"I am thrilled," she said.
"I had to refresh the iTunes page a few times to let it sink in. I never dreamed that my music could be at the top of any iTunes chart but so far this year, it has happened with all three of my releases (both singles and now the EP).
"It's completely wild to me. Numbers are one thing but what I really hope is that the people who are listening to the music enjoy it and feel connected to it. The only reason I want to do this as a job is to create music that means something to people. That's all I really care about."
At the age of 20 Jemima moved to London and performed regularly at bars in Soho, Camden and Kensington. She auditioned for and was accepted into the British and Irish Modern Music Institute where she studied a Bachelor of Songwriting. She also learned to play piano, the ukulele and the drums.
Now London is calling (again). Jemima is moving back to the UK in November.
"It's difficult to plan shows with COVID and we don't know how long things will be this way, so I'm trying to adapt and pivot my focus towards writing and recording," she said.
"I just want to release as much music as I can over the next year or so."
Boo Seeka have announced eight shows at The Cambridge Hotel (October 21 to 24). That's right, eight. They will be playing two shows a night over four days (6pm and 9pm). Tickets are on sale now through OzTix.
The Newcastle duo released Days Get Better last month, the second single from their eagerly awaited sophomore album, and have been getting a lot of love from Spotify.
Jingles all the way
John Paul Young, or JPY as he is more commonly known, has been enjoying some quiet time at home on Lake Macquarie of late. But music is never far from the Love Is In The Air singer's mind.
"As soon as I knew that I was not going to be working for at least a year, I got some of the pennies I had saved up and reinvested in my studio," he said.
"Donovan Whitworth is on bass - he has worked in the industry in Los Angeles - and Warren Morgan is the keyboard man.
"I've also got my son Danny, who is pretty handy, technically, and can sing.
"So the four of us have got the studio running again and we're writing songs. Who knows what will happen with them but if nothing else, we'll learn something."
JPY has also opened an advertising "jingle" business called The Jingle Joint.
"I'd written a jingle for a mate of mine at Tumbi Tyres and another friend rang and asked me what I was going to do with COVID and all that, and I said "Well, I've written some jingles, I might open a jingle joint'. It went from there," he said, laughing.
"I haven't got many customers yet but you've got to start somewhere."
Stanley Records & Mother Hen Touring are bringing September Showdown to The Stag & Hunter Hotelthis Saturday, September 19.
Read more:Albums that made me: Ben Leece
On the line-up is singer-songwriter and former Newcastle local Katie Brianna (with full band), local alt-country stalwarts Ben Leece & Left of the Dial, Sydney cowpunksDave Favours & The Roadside Ashes and, in their debut performance, Mick Daley & Lyle Dennis. The Re-Mainsfrontman has teamed up with one of the Dennis Boys to form a duo. Tickets are on sale now via Oztix and are limited.
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