Oh what a night! The first Gold Coast Music Awards in more than 20 years was the crowning culmination of an incredible twelve months on the local live music landscape, a chance for all those involved within the industry to come together in celebratory revelry.
And the pinnacle of the spectacle was the anointment of Karl S Williams as the maiden winner of Gold Coast Artist of the Year! From a white hot field of finalists including Felicity Lawless, Hanlon Brothers, Jamie Lee Wilson and Casey Barnes, Karl emerged triumphant, a quiet and humble man blessed with the song writing knack of a bygone troubadour and a singing voice of soul moving proportions.
Over the past year Karl’s mojo has been giddily on the rise, from the ‘re-imagining’ of his debut release Heartwood through to New York musical appearances and a slot on the prestigious 2015 Byron Bay Bluesfest line up. I asked Karl how this achievement stacked up in his pantheon of recent achievements…
“Well receiving this award here tonight is like the cherry on top,” he said. “We have achieved an awful lot, and a lot of unexpected things, over the past year…I guess above all else it’s nice to be acknowledged by the people that I respect, that’s what I take this as.”
And as to the significance of the emergence of an event as vital to the scene as a music awards ceremony here on the Gold Coast, Karl was certainly glowing and grateful.
“To me this is like the debutants ball, the coming out parade, where we finally acknowledge ourselves as a true live music hub and destination. All of a sudden it’s grown up and it’s real and we’ve got our very own music awards.”
With a lot of recent live performances under his belt, both in solo guise and as part of his other musical project, dream-psych band Tsun, Karl proudly pinpointed a few Gold Coast gigs that really stood out for him over the past year.
“Oh gee whizz…well I played with The Waifs (at Miami Marketta last year), that was quite an honour. And to take it from there right back to a grassroots thing, just the other night I played a show at the Currumbin Creek Tavern, which is the place where I played my very first ever paid show. I got the opportunity to play there with some friends. It was like coming full circle, a lot of my very early, original supporters were there and they were so stoked, it was nice… feels a lot like tonight.”
As for the next twelve months, our carry over artist of the year is certainly not planning on resting on his laurels and basking in his newly crowned glory.. long may his musical reign prosper and flourish!
“I certainly have ambitions, but I try not to have too many expectations. I know for certain that we’re going to release a new album in the next twelve months, and on the back of this award I think that’s going to be a really nicely timed statement and affirmation that I’ll be doing this for the long run.”
The creative soul is often intrinsically reliant on the unwavering support of those who are inspired by and believe in the muse/ic, and the man himself was truly thankful for the opportunity provided by the inspirational awards ceremony team and their many helpers, to be recognised amongst peers and music fans alike.
“I’d love to thank Sam (Morris) and the whole team that put this amazing night together, and at the incredible pace in which they did it. At one point I heard a rumour that there was going to be a Gold Coast Music Awards, then all of a sudden it was happening!”
Make no mistake, the emergence of an annual event paying homage to the dizzying array of local musical talent is a watershed moment in the evolution of a united and flourishing Gold Coast music scene, and all that’s really left to say once again is…congratulations Karl S Williams on being crowned the inaugural Gold Coast artist of the year!!
Feature image taken live at the event is courtesy of Matthew Thomas Photography. Go like his page on Facebook.
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You can see Karl S Williams playing tonight, Friday 24 July, at Winter in the ‘Vale at the Helensvale Cultural Centre from 5.00pm.