Lennox muso top of the pops
THERE were thousands of entries and 40 finalists whittled down to five that appeared on a screen at the Opera House on Tuesday night.
When Lennox Head singer-songwriter Marshall Okell heard his name called he said his heart nearly stopped.
Okell took out the Blues 'n' Roots category in the Musicoz Awards for his song Almost Killed You from the first EP under his name, Sugar.
"I haven't won a lot of things," Okell told The Northern Star. "When I saw my name come up on screen I thought 'wow', that's pretty good to be in the top five, but to win was amazing."
It was an emotional night for Okell, who said the loss of Brian "Birdy" Burdett, a good friend and the producer of the EP, made it hard.
"I think I could feel him there," he said.
Birdy, who often gigged on the Northern Rivers, was killed in a car accident along with his two daughters earlier this year.
Okell was able to celebrate the win with new band mates Ryan Van Gennip and Jon Howell, who also won an award in the Live category on the night with their band Chase The Sun.
The Musicoz Awards recognise the talents of unsigned, independent artists, giving them development support and opportunities to help their careers.
The Northern Rivers had a 37-strong contingent of finalists across 17 categories with Okell taking home an award.
"The fact there were that many finalists across the different genres shows the amount of talent in the area," he said. "It's a good place to play music."