Mykaela Jay loved performing and it fuelled her music ambition

THE thought that Mykaela Jay's Year 12 ensemble could be her final music performance left a sinking feeling within her.

"At the end of our HSC, we have a big performance with all our HSC pieces and it goes for four nights and you become really close as a musical unit and play in a big band," she said.

"On the last night, my music teacher said this might be the last time that any of us perform on a stage and I was like 'No, I want to do this again and again and forever'."

From that moment, Mykaela kept playing live gigs while also honing her craft at Southern Cross University in their music program in order to become a professional musician.

Mykaela said her musical passion was fuelled at a young age in a house filled with music.

"I grew up in a household where music was everywhere - it was in the living room, in the afternoon, making dinner, when I was going to sleep. It was a part of everything," she said.

"I remember listening to Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens - it really moved me and I was like 'I want to write a song like that' so I wrote my first song that day and I've kept doing that since."

That family influence remains important to Mykaela today with her brother, Liam Baillie, playing bass in her Northern Rivers' band and helping arrange the strings arrangement on her forthcoming debut album, Mother Dearest, which will be released later this year.

"Your band already feels like your family, so to have your family actually in it is great and he's (Liam) a really talented musician in his own right," Mykaela said.

"Playing on stage with your sibling and you know each other so well, you can look over and they've playing something that you joked about in rehearsal and your laughing and everyone on stage can share that moment."

While some people envisage playing stadium tours as an end goal, Mykaela just wants to create an enjoyable creative space for all.

"One of the things I love is to see a musician who is in love with what they're doing and I can't think of anything better in my life than being at that stage," Mykaela said.

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