It couldn’t be a more exciting time for rising local country artist Sami Cooke.
The 17-year-old eagerly awaits the release of her first album – officially launched next February, she has just returned home from the Australian Music Independent Awards called Musicoz Awards in Sydney where two of her songs were named finalists, and now she has been nominated a finalist in the Independent Country Music Association (ICMA) awards.
“I had to be nominated originally by someone, so whoever that was, thank you so much,” Sami said.
ICMA released the top five finalists for the Best Female Artist category two weeks ago.
Sami has come in second on the finalist ladder at 90 nominations, 62 nominations under leading finalist Johanna Hemara (152) and 39 above the third finalist (51).
“It’s amazing to have so many votes and to be a finalist along with such well known artists,” she said.
“I was hoping to be in the New Artist category but found out that you can only be voted into one section...and this is amazing.”
As for her album, Sami returned from the Musicoz Awards to find 10 boxes with 100 of her albums on her doorstep.
She said there are so many people who are after her first signed copy sold.
It’s compelled the teenager to conduct a silent auction, presenting the first copy to the highest bidder.
Sami recently attended the 2014 Musicoz Australian Independent Songwriters Awards with two of her original songs; “One Thing Left” and “You’re Inspirational” in the national finals.
While in Sydney she penned a diary so we could all be part of this experience with our hometown star.
I am very proud of these songs to have gotten so far and they are two of the 14 songs that are on my debut album SAMI Every Passing Minute which will be on sale for pre-orders on December 1.
On November 7, we arrived at the Star Hotel with just an hour to head over to the Hard Rock Cafe for registration!
After registering, we were immediately sent to catch the first ‘limo’ back to the Star Hotel.
The next minute, around the corner came this big black bus that looked like one of those buses you would see a rock band in. It was so funny.
On our little journey back to the hotel, we knew it was going to be a big night being given as many complimentary energy drinks as we wished for! We met so many more people and made some great friends just on that bus.
We got off at the side of the motel and had cameras recording everything, at every angle. One by one, we were introduced live to air and shown our way onto the red carpet where we were met by hundreds of flashing lights and video cameras all asking you to look their direction.
Once we were finished being swamped by photographers, they chose certain people to be interviewed live to air about who we were, what we were there for and, as I was the only one under 18, they made a big deal about my age.
While we awaited the interviews, we were taken to the Star Casino deck which offered the most amazing view of Darling Harbor. Many pictures were taken. Then it was a matter of finding the best spot to sit with just as all the FREE food and drinks came around. We all felt so famous!
Then it was back to the red carpet to be photographed individually and interviewed live to air! There were loads of photographers and they all clicked at once so there were lights everywhere. It was amazing.
I walked around and talked to so many people, swapped cards and discussed about what our plans are with our music. It was great as everyone there were either musicians or important people (like producers, sound engineers) all in the industry, working hard to make it their life.
At 7.30pm, everyone filed in to get their seats to begin the awards. It was huge! We had the best seats as we were right in the middle and up the front.
Past winners were the live performances and many famous people in the industry presented the awards.
There were 18 separate awards for the 18 genres and in each, out of ALL of Australia (where absolute thousands apply), between 15-30 people were finalists in each section.
As a finalist in two sections with both my original songs it was great to get them this highly recognised already before the release!
Now I did not win but that did not worry me at all as just knowing the statistics, becoming a finalist out of all of Australia is incredible to me, and especially at my age. I am very proud to receive such wonderful recognition.
After the awards, there was the after-party in the casino... but unfortunately I could not get in!
We went back to our room and ordered pizza through room service at 1am so it was pretty good.
Since then I have attended the Cowra Country Music Breakout on November 9 and 10, and lucky enough to be on Prime News three times in a row and Win news the next day, all showing large segments of me singing.
Then I headed over to the Canberra Country Music Festival performed over the weekend of November 15, 16 and 17.
I was so privileged to receive two more song writing awards next to some other amazing musicians, for my songs.
“One Thing Left” received the Best Song Writing for Someone Under 18 Years, and “I Grew up Country” for the best Country Rock song.
I was then asked to help present the lifetime achievement award with Dale Duncan to industry stalwart Lyndsey Butler.
Once I arrived home, I walked inside to find 10 boxes with 100 CDs in each of my album! It was so exciting.
It took me a while to fully comprehend the fact that I have my very own album so I have not been able to stop listening to it and looking at it. Everyone involved and all my amazing sponsors did such an incredible job and I thank you all so much!
SAMI Every Passing Minute has been on sale since December 1 for pre-ordered copies only. Then I have my mini album launch during the Tamworth Festival in January and my main album launch on February 8 in Canberra at the German Club.
COUNTRY Music awards
I am very happy to announce that I have been nominated for the ICMA awards which will be held during the Tamworth Festival in 2014.
As the nominations close, I’ll find out very soon if I am a finalist in these awards.
Thank you to all those who have voted for me.
If you would like to vote, please go to http://www.icmaaustralia.com/contact-us.php and follow the prompts down the bottom of the page.
I headed back to Sydney for ASA awards (Australian Songwriters Association), with three songs making the finals.
This is very similar to Musicoz but bigger so I am overjoyed to know that out of all of Australia once again, three of my songs from my album have become finalists!!
MORE ABOUT SAMI
If you want to stay in touch with all that I am doing, make sure you join Facebook page called SAMI.official. music.page
Otherwise check out my website:
Readers interested in a pre-ordered album ready for Christmas should go to my website for more information.