AT the tender age of 13, Sunshine Coast’s Stephanie Brownlee proved she had what it took to win the 2006 Muster Maton Talent Search.
Four years after winning as a junior, the now 17-year-old is living her dream by returning to the festival, playing the Main Stage at 3.30pm this Saturday.
Born in Tamworth and raised on the powerful lungs of Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill, it is easy to see where Stephanie gets her country influences.
Her family moved to Noosa when she was 10 years old but the country roots ran deep and pretty soon Stephanie was taking singing lessons in preparation for entering the competition circuit.
“I have been performing at the Muster ever since I was little (in the talent search) and stuck to my dream,” Stephanie told The Gympie Times yesterday.
“Playing on the Main Stage has been my main goal. This is a dream come true for me.”
Stephanie picked up a guitar after singing for a year and was discovered at the age of 14 by former Fleetwood Mac manager Dennis Dunstan. At just 17, she is now on her way to being up there with some of the biggest pop and rock names in the industry today.
Her debut album Keep it Real will be officially launched at the Optus Music Muster after successful pre-launch gigs at Tamworth, The J at Noosa and the Mount Isa Rodeo.
“We (the band) had a sell-out gig at Noosa. Tickets were even selling on eBay and it was a free show,” Stephanie said. “The Muster has been the main focus. We have been rehearsing really hard. We wanna kill it at the Muster.”
Recorded between Nashville and Sydney, and superbly produced by Graham Thompson, Keep It Real is the culmination of more than three years’ hard work.
Featuring a powerhouse of songs that perfectly complement Stephanie’s stunning vocals, the album also features some of the best session players from the US and songs penned by some of the world’s most acclaimed songwriters.
With songs written by Liz Rose (Taylor Swift), Brooke McClymont (The McClymonts) and a co-write by Miley Cyrus to name a few, the album melds a unique blend of country-esque style pop and rock that leaves Stephanie in a genre somewhere between Carrie Underwood and Avril Lavigne.