Contestant No 1
Leisa Bye is a country singer/songwriter based in Brisbane. Her unique talent that sets her apart is her yodeling ability, something that you don’t see a lot of these days. Having been performing country music for more than half her life, she is always on hand (and has been since she was young), to help out those just starting out with their country music passion. She’s spent many years helping others practice, learn, find music, and is always on call to help out other friends and musicians when backing is required. You can prominently find Leisa in the country music scene around Brisbane. Her other passions include Theatre (with her most recent show closing just last weekend), photography, and her day job that she absolutely loves – running the front office and sickbay of a High School in Brisbane.
What would it mean for you to win this competition?
There are two main reasons that winning the Rising Talent competition would mean the world to me.
First and foremost, I am such a great supporter of what Rural Aid and ‘Buy a Bale’ stands for – the minute I knew that this was in aid of Rural Aid I was determined to enter. Each time I promoted my video on facebook for my friends to support me and vote, I mentioned that it was in aid of Rural Aid. As often as I could, I mentioned what Rural Aid has done and continues to do for our farmers. This is because I know first hand, what a difference you can and do make to our nation. I grew up as part of a farming family. My grandfather ran a sheep station 100 miles west of Bourke for 48 years. I know what it feels like to not know from one week to the next if you can feed your stock. At Kenmare (my families property), it was either flood or drought. It was hard work. It was life. I cannot tell you how much of a difference I know Rural Aid could have been for my family. In the mid 90’s my Grandfather had to sell up, and his property is now a barren part of national park, bought off by the government. It’s heartbreaking to lose your lifes work, due to the unknown, due to not being able to financially or physical support your life’s work any longer. I cannot say how much I support and advocate what Rural Aid does, and I thank you. THIS is why I entered. I didn’t realise straight up what the prize was.
The second reason I’d love to win and what it would mean to me to go to Nashville, I’m not overly sure I can put it into words. If you could speak to me in person about this I’d talk your ear off, and probably ask you all to join me. Country Music has been my passion, my love and my life since I was 12 years old – I have bad lungs and it was suggested that singing could be something that could help me strengthen them. Though, when I first started out singing, I had no talent what-so-ever and it was only my mother and a lovely gentleman from my country music club who encouraged me to keep going, that if I wanted to sing, then that’s what I’d do and they would support me. As I grew up, I then took on this attitude and started helping a lot of the younger ones coming up through the country music ranks – and to this day I continue to do that. There are too many nay-sayers out there, too many people too willing to stop on a dream of someone else – that’s not me, what you see is what you get – positivity, passion, determination and drive and I pass this onto everyone I help. I love country music, and it breathes out of my pores. When I was 17 years old, I wanted to learn to yodel – I was told there was no way I would ever be able to by ‘someone in the know’ so I was determined to prove them wrong. Yes, it took a while but eventually, it just came out right. I LOVE to yodel, and I love to sing and entertain. My lifes goal has always been to visit Nashville, and to walk in the footsteps of all those I’ve idolised since I was a child. To be on ‘Music Row’ and absorb the feeling of being somewhere where you ‘belong’. Somewhere where what I sing and what I do isn’t classed as different. Nashville is somewhere that before I die, I will visit – and winning this competition will bring to life a very long dreamt dream. And I am determined that my mother will be the one to come to come with me, as she is the one who has made me who I am today.