If you have been to Tamworth, you have probably seen Aleyce Simmonds’ face on a billboard promoting the Tamworth Country Music Festival, on the sides of cabs, and performing in local venues around the region. Aleyce’s beautiful voice is working its way into the hearts of listeners with every gig she attends. FOCUS sits down with Aleyce, who’s a former Hastings girl …
Tell the readers: who is Aleyce Simmonds, and what does she do?
I’m a 30 year old singer/songwriter …
What instruments do you play, and what genre would you place yourself in?
Acoustic guitar. I am proud to call myself a Country singer.
What has been the biggest hurdle in your career, and how have you overcome it?
Biggest hurdles have probably all been centred around trusting the wrong people and being let down. There are so many bad people out there. But – it’s taught me to trust and back myself.
What advice would you give the younger generation wanting to start a career in music?
Set goals and dreams and then work harder than you ever, ever imagined possible.
Have you won any awards? Which ones?
Most recently, APRA Country Work of the Year. In the past, I’ve won Australian Independent Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year a couple of times, and I’m a six x Golden Guitar Loser. Ha ha!
Tell us about your love for Tamworth …
My hometown of Tamworth means everything to me. It’s the beating heart of Country Music, and it’s the place where my family reside. It’s definitely where my heart lies; I lived in Sydney and Melbourne for 10 years and now that I’m home, I experience varying levels of separation anxiety every time I go on tour.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival must be your biggest event on the calendar … What’s your involvement with it?
It certainly is. It’s the most incredible time of the year. I’m the ambassador for the Tamworth Family Support Service, but I fly the TCMF flag wherever I go. My face is actually on the Tamworth Billboards at each entry point to town. I won’t ever get used to that … It’s quite confronting!
When you aren’t playing, what can we find Aleyce doing?
Managing a motel, managing an amazing artist, Tori Forsyth, teaching singing, distributing singles to radio for indie artists and hosting BalconyTV Tamworth. Looking after my gorgeous cat, ARIA, most importantly. I like to keep a busy schedule.
Is there anyone that you would like to acknowledge, who has helped you along the way?
My family. Without them, I wouldn’t know where to start. My sisters, who inspire me every day.
Do you have any new singles/EPs out?
I have a new album. It was released in January this year, and I’m loving sharing these pieces of me with audiences all over.
Give yourself a plug … Where can the peeps find your tunes, and are you appearing in the region in August?
In August, I’m playing a show on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and a run of gigs with Tori and our band, The Spurs in Tasmania. I run a jam night on the last Tuesday night of the month at the Family Hotel in Tamworth. It’s a lot of fun for musicians, singers, music lovers.
Finally, a few quick ones …
Favourite food? Oysters/steak.
Favourite drink? Shiraz.
Favourite band? John Farnham / Allison Krauss and Union Station.
Favourite magazine? FOCUS!