Ready for the Showdown!

Annabelle Johnson. Photo by Emily Livingston.

Local musician, Annabelle Johnson has been selected as a finalist in the 2023 Ekka Country Music Showdown. 

Ekka’s Country Music Showdown sees musicians aged 12 years and over compete in the ultimate search for Queensland’s next country music star.

Annabelle will compete in the Junior category of the Showdown, performing at the Stockman’s Bar on 19 August, against a record number of entries.

Annabelle showcases country music style

Annabelle Johnson’s performance in the Ekka’s Country Music Showdown will see her compete against musicians from all over Australia. 

At just 17, Annabelle plays guitar, vocal, piano, drums, ukulele, bass guitar, mandolin, the kalimba and many other instruments. 

“I’ve been playing guitar since I was seven, and I’ve been singing since I was nine,” she says.

Since then, her parents have supported her with music lessons at GTM Studios in many instruments. 

Annabelle now teaches guitar, ukulele and vocal lessons at GTM Studios.

“I’ve been performing professionally, busking and gigs, for about two years now.” 

Annabelle regularly performs at the Railway Hotel and the Jimboomba Country Markets.

“At the Showdown, I’m performing a cover of ‘No Roots’ by Alice Merton that’s inspired by another cover by the band the Petersons, very blue grass and country which suits the Showdown’s theme.”

“I wanted to do something that was a bit different, that no one else would be doing, so that I would stand out. ‘No Roots’ is originally a pop song, but the cover I’m doing is country inspired. Obviously most people aren’t going to pick a pop song.”

“I’m also performing ‘Vice’ by Miranda Lambert, acoustically. ‘Vice’ is originally performed with a full band; by performing acoustically I’m hoping to show that I’m a confident and accomplished solo performer.”

“I’m very nervous, but I’m confident in my performance,” she says.

“I’ve written three originals at the moment, and two of them are about books I’ve read. I find it easier to write about other people’s stories. I can make it more emotional when I’m writing about someone else’s story.” 

Competitors in the Showdown are judged on their music and performance skills by a panel of industry experts.  

Four place getters are selected in Junior and Open categories, with prizes valued up to $10,000. 

The competition is held to search for Queensland’s next country music star.

To apply, Annabelle filled in an online form with a link to her YouTube channel as an audition tape. 

Entrants were assessed and finalists were selected from a record number of entries.

Annabelle hopes to follow a career in music and performing.

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