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Women to Watch: Kaleid

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“Canberra can’t compete for size with the music scenes of big cities like Melbourne, but the scene here is defined by a wealth of expertise and a culture of knowledge-sharing.”

For Kirrah Amosa, Amy Jenkins and Jacqui Douglas, also known as ‘Kaleid’, some of the most significant music moments are also the little ones: “Kids asking for our autographs at Floriade, passers-by at the markets genuinely grateful for enjoying our music. Those moments are really special.”

Coming together as a trio during a 2013 workshop at the ANU School of Music Jazz Festival, the group has experienced several milestones—including singing with the Raah Project in Melbourne, featuring in ANU graduation ceremonies, their first wedding in the Parliamentary Rose Gardens and taking a workshop with Trish Delaney-Brown, from The Idea of North.

“We’ve developed a sound that is distinctly ours,” they say. “It allows us to approach any song or sound and make it our own. We’re energised by the up-and-coming musicians around us at the School of Music, and grateful for the guidance of various seasoned musicians in the industry who have provided invaluable encouragement.”

All three are from the Canberra region. Jacqui and Amy are childhood friends, who met Kirrah at the School of Music. It’s been a challenge for the three women to manage full-time study and casual work with music.

“It’s taken a lot of flexibility, 7am Canberra winter rehearsals and late nights, but we’ve managed to make it a priority. We’ve done this without driving each other crazy, and are just as comfortable on a stage singing together as lying around eating ice-cream and watching TV. It’s so incredible to work with your best friends.”

Their advice to themselves as 16-year-olds is: “Don’t waste time worrying about trying to impress people. Work hard, and be generous and open to learn from the people around you.” And work hard they do. In 2015, they’re looking forward to developing and playing some original material, while developing their networks in Canberra and interstate.

“Canberra can’t compete for size with the music scenes of big cities like Melbourne,” they explain. “But the scene here is defined by a wealth of expertise and a culture of knowledge-sharing. We have had input from some very accomplished musicians, just by virtue of studying and playing around Canberra.”

The trio thinks Canberra does small festivals well. “We’d love to see more events like the Multicultural Festival, Hustle&Scout and the many events around the ANU. Also more support of venues in the ACT that accommodate live music, and more effective promotion of all the great arts going on just under the surface. The emergence of a number of new bars and restaurants, and development of areas like the New Acton precinct, have generated great opportunities for young musicians.”

And who is their role model? All three point to Beyonce. “We love the impact and artistry of her music, and aspire to a dynamic career that is always growing and developing.”

Kaleid is well on its way…

Discover the rest of our 15 Women to Watch in 2015 here.

Read about Nellie PeoplesMeegan FitzharrisZoya PatelBelinda Neame, Tegan McAuleyLouisa de SmetHeidi StratfordDr Sudha RaoCarla & Emma PapasTara CheyneSally MoylanKylie TraversKaleidJulie OkelyMichelle Melbourne and Joanna Allebone.

Home page image by Lori Cicchini of Loriana Fotografia . Make up by Ali Price Makeup. Hair by Angela Pavlovic of Kosa Studio. Clothing from Canberra Centre.

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