Australia Decides artists - What they've done since
2019 saw Australia go into new territory with our first ever National Final. As we eagerly waiting to see who would compete, we wondered, who would put themselves out there?
All up 10 artists competed including household names like Sheppard and Courtney Act, experienced artists like Ella Hooper and Tania Doko and young newcomers like Aydan and Leea Nanos.
But of course there could only be one winner and we hoped that the artists themselves (and others) wouldn’t view not going to Tel Aviv as a “failure”.
After an incredibly successful Australia Decides we’ve had a look into what the artists have done since February and if the contest has helped or hindered them.
Well we don't need to tell you that Kate Miller-Heidke went on to compete at Eurovision for Australia with one of the most stunning stage performances ever seen at the contest. She received widespread publicity and also featured on ABC's Australian Story. She finished 6th with the jury, 7th with the televote and (in a weird voting year) 9th overall with a score that would usually see her knocking on the door of Top 5.
So far the song has been streamed over 5 million times on Spotify and her Grand Final performance watched over 3 million times on YouTube. Since the contest she announced a tour throughout September including the Sydney Opera House which has already sold out in Brisbane. Details at: https://www.katemillerheidke.com
After performing his song 'To Myself' at Australia Decides, Alfie has been busy. He released a follow up single 'Same' in late May with an acoustic version featuring Meeks also released. Then in July it was announced he would be representing Australia at the Cerbul de Aur (Golden Stag) Festival and contest in Romania from 22-24 August.
Alfie will be performing his Australia Decides song 'To Myself' tonight (22 August) at the contest as well as a Romanian song on the 23rd. He is up against artists such as Eurovision 2019 performer Anna Odobescu from Moldova and Monika Marija from this year's Lithuanian National Final. The contest will be live streamed at: http://tvrplus.ro/
Since Australia decides Ella made several TV and radio appearances, having appeared on Triple M, JOY 94.9 and the Channel 10 show Show Me The Movie. Back in March she dared to bare for women’s health on Channel 7’s Ladies’ Night, performing a routine choreographed by Todd McKenney along with many other Australian women.
After the contest Ella took her Australia Decides entry 'Data Dust' on a the road with a mini-tour, where she hinted that she was working on a new EP or mini-album and that she was testing her new music at those shows and gaining feedback. Hopefully this means we will be seeing some new music from her soon!
She has also teamed up with her original band Killing Heidi to play shows across the country. Both Ella and Killing Heidi have many more appearances left this year check out Ella's and Killing Heidi's facebook pages for details.
After the contest Courtney Act went to perform on Dancing With The Stars Australia, where she danced her way to the final show as part of the first same-sex partnership in the show’s history with some iconic performances. Throughout her time on the series, she used her platform to support the charity Black Rainbow and their work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI people, contributing towards research into Indigenous LGBTQI suicide prevention.
She also performed at the Sydney Mardi Gras Party, and took her Under the Covers show to the Underbelly Southbank Festival in London, UK, as well as Salt Lake City, USA. She has also appeared on JOY 94.9, ABC's Conversations as well as singing onstage at PrideFest 2019 (with Mel C of the Spice Girls, no less!), commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
From October 17 - 31, Courtney Act will be joining a lineup of drag superstars for the Heels of Hell 2019 tour, kicking off in London and travelling around the UK before heading to Dublin, Ireland. Courtney Act will also be starring in beloved Australian soap opera Neighbours starting in 2020.
It’s been six months since Aydan captivated us, with his soulful entry 'Dust' at Australia Decides. Since then this young man has been very busy from songwriting sessions in Los Angeles to uploading impressive YouTube music covers.
Over the last few months Aydan has been preparing for his stage debut in the original musical FANGIRLS, with music and lyrics written by Yve Blake and directed by Paige Rattray. The musical is about Edna, a 14 year old girl who is in love with Harry. Harry is in the world’s biggest boy band called True Connection and during their tour in Edna’s city she goes on a pursuit for his love. And you may have guessed it, Aydan plays Harry! You can check out Aydan and the rest of the cast at the Bille Brown Theatre, Queensland Theatre in Brisbane between 07 September - 05 October 2019 and at the Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney between 12 October - 10 November.
At Australia Decides 2019, Brisbane’s own indie pop band Sheppard scored third place, with their anthem 'On My Way'. Since the Contest, 'On My Way' managed to top the Australian Independent Record chart in Australia and reached the Top 15 in Belgium. All up it had over 4 million Spotify streams.
In May their lead guitarist and backing vocalist, Michael Butler parted ways with the band after 7 years of performing, touring and recording. That hasn’t stopped Sheppard though who over the last six months have been recording new music.
In July they released their new single and music video “Kiss My Fat Ass”. Sung by lead vocalist Amy Sheppard, the empowering anthem celebrates individuality in all shapes and sizes, promoting body positivity. In a statement Amy revealed “I’ve spent years trying to hide my flaws to get the right lighting, the right pose, the right outfits all so I could hide. I’m an average sized 12 woman. The thing is I’ve been labelled all throughout my life… worst of all, I’ve sprayed hate on myself. Sadly I can’t say I have met a woman who hasn’t done the same.”
Leea Nanos, unlike most of her Australia Decides cohort, was a new face to many watching the show. The experience of competing and performing has certainly encouraged her from a future shot at Eurovision. Leea has been quite open on social media about her desires to possibly represent Greece (Leea is from Greek heritage) at the contest this year with her posting on twitter and Instagram b with the hashtag #LeeaForGreece2020.
She has also released a new single, with caleb.therapper, called 'Don’t Call Me' which you can find on Spotify. She has also continued to perform on television shows, including returning to ABC Me, and also making an appearance on Toasted TV on TEN in May.
Since her return to Australia for country’s first National Final, the Swedish-based singer/songwriter has continued to split her time between the 2 nations. She began the year supporting International Women’s Day in Australia, featuring in a photographic book & exhibition of ‘Amazing Australian Women’. Melbourne-born Tania continued her re-introduction to Australian audiences with various live performances of 'Piece of Me' and with her band Bachelor Girl. She performed the band’s iconic song 'Buses and Trains' along with 1100 people during a ‘Pub Choir’ session, a community phenomenon that has swept Australia over the last couple of years.
Tania is one the preeminent songwriters in the Australian music industry and whilst in the country shared her songwriting experience in various workshops with up and coming local artists. She returned to her base in Stockholm in May. Where she continued to perform live gigs over the Swedish summer and write with various artists, including another Australia Decides contestant, George from Sheppard. The latter part of the year sees Tania return to Australia for scheduled performances with Bachelor Girl and hold more songwriting workshops across Australia.
While Electric Fields did have a following before Australia Decides, their entry “2000 And Whatever” has helped them reach into a more mainstream audience, both in Australia and overseas, who were captivated by their unique electronic sound.
'2000 and Whatever' had over half a million streams on Spotify and was chosen as Australia's entry in the OGAE Second Chance competition (for the best songs not to make Eurovision from each country's national finals). They also read out the Australian votes at the Eurovision contest itself.
They have since released a new single 'Vision' in June as well as travelled on a national tour, selling out multiple venues. They also performed at Sydney Mardi Gras and other festivals including performing at the Sydney Opera House at Vivid. In addition to their many performances to new audiences, they were also nominated for Song of The Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards.
Since wowing audiences with his booming vocals at Australia Decides the tenor has continued to showcase his talent around Australia and internationally. February saw him perform at ‘Opera in the Sticks’ in Dubbo in regional New South Wales before heading off for performances in Ireland alongside local artist Tommy Fleming. Mark returned to Australia for some exclusive performances aboard the cruise liner the Crystal Symphony.
The singer is a tireless worker for various charities and has regularly appeared at charity events all over Australia throughout early 2019. Mark announced a regional tour of Australia with his show – A Tribute to Maria Lanza and he is currently performing shows to packed audiences in various regional centres.
July saw Mark back in the studio to record some new music and he has announced a National Tour, reuniting with good friend Tommy Fleming for Australian dates in November 2019. With new music and a new image on the horizon, fans can expect a lot more from this talented performer in the coming months.
So there you have it, all ten artists have been incredibly busy and had a great deal of success after Australia Decides. We can't wait to see who will be performing at the contest next year.