Star on the rise for Youth Week winners
THE STARS of two young songwriters are on the rise after they won the fourth annual Youth Week Lismore Young Songwriters' Competition.
Gracie Hughes and Ben Wilson took out the female and male songwriters' sections of the competition on Thursday night and already they are looking toward careers in the music industry.
More than 60 entries in the competition were narrowed down to 13 finalists who took to the stage at the Lismore City Bowling Club.
One of the youngest entrants, 14-year-old Gracie Hughes said she had been writing songs and performing on stage since she was eight
"The first song I ever wrote and performed was called Baby and that was pre Justin Beiber's version," she said.
The aspiring musician said she was overwhelmed by the win against such quality opposition.
"It was amazing; I really wasn't expecting it because everyone who performed was so amazing."
"It was really great just to be acknowledged for something I had worked really hard for."
Ms Hughes said when she writes songs she comes up with the music on either her piano or guitar first then matches the lyrics to the music.
"I love getting on stage and performing my songs, it's such an emotional release for me."
Male winner Ben Wilson began his music career as a 12 year old singing, writing and playing in bands in the United Kingdom before moving to Australia as a 19 year old.
He was runner up in the men's division last year with his finger-picking solo effort 'Five Years'.
Ben Wilson and the Jobseekers was formed this year as a four piece band which he said has helped him progress as an artist.
"My main goal is to make enough money from music and to have a successful career as a musician on the Northern Rivers."
Both winners will head to Lovestreet Studios on The Gold Coast to spend a full day recording songs and a half day mastering and mixing their recordings with the hope of producing an EP.
The judges who had the tough job of selecting the winners from a range of high-quality entries were industry figures from around the region Andrea Soler, Luke Vassella, Teddy Blake Rhoades, Darren Bridge, Bianca Lindstrom and Sarah-Jane Loxton.