Beccy Cole is firmly cemented as Australia’s Poster Girl for country music. She has earnt Golden Guitar Awards, ARIA nominations, Gold Records, number-one singles and an army of fans.
What do you consider to be the positive heart of Australian identity?
Australians are down to earth, real and honest with a unique ability to be able to laugh in the face of adversity.
How has songwriting been there for you over the years?
Songwriting is very therapeutic and so is singing a self-penned song. We write songs about our experiences and then share them, it helps us to grow and heal.
Lots of people would find being a traveling musician too draining? What about that lifestyle draws you to it?
Traveling can be draining but the music fills me up again. I don’t think anyone would grow tired of doing something they love or be tired because of it. It’s always been about taking good music to as many people as I can. I have songs and stories and messages and laughter that I want to share, that’s worth the hours of travel.
How did it feel to sing in Iraq?
Quite surreal. We are so lucky to call Australia home, the struggles in a war torn country like Iraq are many. I was there singing for fellow Aussies but it was more than that, we delivered a piece of home. I was a very proud Australian and I firmly believe that we can support the troops without supporting the war.
Do you ever struggle with committing to your music and your family and your friends? How do you find enough time in the day?
Everyone needs to find a good balance between work and family. Ultimately, my son has always come first. I have found that our children are the happiest when their parents are happy and content with their lives. Ending a career for the sake of a child is not necessarily the best thing for them.
Family dinner around the table every possible night is essential, we all need to connect and check in with each other.
What is your dream gig and why?
I love performing on all size stages to crowds big and small. My dream gig is in front of an audience who are being entertained by my performance. The concert where I can see there faces and the joy that we are bringing them.
Do you get nervous performing? or is being on stage a place of comfort?
I get nervous ABOUT performing but never during. I have always been comfortable on stage but in absolute denial of my abilities for every moment leading to stepping on stage. I’m a complicated weirdo.
What in your opinion is the power of music?
Music has the power to heal hearts. It has the power to awaken sleeping senses. Music can make us remember things that time and even illness has taken away. Music helps us to breathe, to forgive, to carry on. Music is the sound of motivation.
Have you connected with Indigenous Australians through a shared love of country music?
I spent 6 months singing and traveling through indigenous communities in the NT, WA, QLD and SA at the beginning of my career. I met and played music with some of the most unique Australians and many of them certainly love their country music.
What most inspires you to create?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, life, love, the ocean and meeting interesting people with fabulous stories to share.
I will always create and play music.
Beccy Cole will appear at Byron Bay Writers Festival feature event The Cowgirl and the Showgirl at Byron Theatre on Friday 7 August, 7.30pm – 9.00pm.