The winners of the Music: Count Us In (MCUI) 2020 songwriting competition have now been announced – congratulations to Eve Cooper, Greta Lynch, Trent May and Ava Sharp who will be collaborating with John Foreman OAM and Lior to write this year’s program song.
We take a few minutes to catch up with one of MCUI’s previous songwriters, rising star Angus Gill, who joined our songwriting team back in 2014.
What first got you into music and songwriting?
I started singing in my school choir at age 6 and picked up a guitar shortly after, influenced by one of my school mates who was taking lessons. A local retired professional country singer William Lane took me under his wing and encouraged me to perform at my local country music club in Wauchope. I started writing around about the same time that I formed my first band in grade 3, ironically called Angus Gill & The Wild Turkeys.
You were one of the Music: Count Us In songwriters, selected as a winner of our National Songwriting Competition back in 2014 to take part in a songwriting workshop to write that year’s program song (Check out the video ). Can you remember much about the experience? What was it like working with John Foreman?
I have really fond memories of this experience. I remember bringing in the hook for Paint You a Song and the group decided to write my idea. John Foreman and Harry James Angus were open, supportive and energetic in the writing room. Fantastic to collaborate with.
How did that experience impact you as a songwriter and your decision to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter?
Songwriting is something I believe I’ve been put on this planet to do. I was lucky to discover my knack for writing lyrics at quite a young age, after encouragement from fellow songwriters and participating in several songwriting programs and song competitions, including Music Count Us In. Programs like MCUI are vital in fostering the new generation of songwriters and performers coming through.
It’s been a huge 12 months for you with your new album Welcome to My Heart, a publishing deal with Origin Music Publishing, and you were named Male Rising Star at the 22nd Australian Independent Country Music Awards. What’s next for you?
I’ve been collaborating with Paul Kelly’s band and I have a new album project coming out towards the end of this year. I will also be calling Nashville home mid this year, so I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in Music City.
You’ve collaborated with many leading songwriters and music legends in Australia and Nashville, what are some of your most memorable experiences?
One memorable writing session I had recently in Nashville, was with Larry Weiss, who wrote one of my favourite Country songs of all time, Rhinestone Cowboy. Another was writing with Nashville TV Star Charles Esten and then later performing with Chip on the Grand Ole Opry, the world stage for Country music. This makes me one of the youngest and one of the very few Australians to perform on the Opry, which is a huge honour.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
Tour announcement coming soon.