Shea's music just perfect
WHILE Shea O'Toole's friends at Cape Byron Steiner School were doing their homework yesterday afternoon, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter was shooting her first video clip on her parents' farm near Mullumbimby.
The backdrop for yesterday's scenes was a striking old fig tree in the middle of a picturesque bamboo grove at the end of a long dusty Myocum driveway.
And behind the camera was a team of four from Southern Cross University's (SCU) media school headed up by the director Paul Bloomfield.
To warm up her voice for the shoot, Shea removed the wad of chewing gum from her mouth, lodged it on the tree root she was perched on, and then launched into a ballad in a world-weary voice belying her tender years.
And it's that voice, plus the fact that she has already written 300 songs that is garnering her plenty of interest from major record labels.
"The three people I've put her in front of have cried," said her manager, former Sony Records employee, Bianca Lindstrom.
Bianca, who has worked with the likes of The Foo Fighters, Pink and Gotye, had no intention of getting back into the music biz after moving to Byron Shire from Queensland.
That was until she found herself mesmerised by Shea's performance at this year's Byron Blues Festival in the Young Sounds of Byron tent.
"There's something really vintage and quirky about her," enthused Bianca.
She is going to use the video clip plus recordings Shea has done recently at SCU, to help fan the flames of interest from the labels.
Shea, who has been singing and playing guitar since she was six years of age, seems to take all the attention and limelight in her stride and wants to take her musical career as far as she can.
"Sometimes I feel more comfortable singing to people than talking," she admitted.
Shea's debut EP, Caution to The Stars, will be released later this year.
The video clip will be uploaded to YouTube.