A passion for country music has led local teenager, Gemma Tiller – or “Gemma Louise” as she’s known on the country circuit – to realise another dream.
Now signed with marketing and publicity company, “Key2 Artist Promotions” in Sydney and New Zealand, 13-year-old Gemma has just released her debut single, “Unanswered Prayers”, lifted from her EP ‘God’s Country’ – one of two albums released in March this year.
The single entered the national airplay chart at number 40 after its release a couple of weeks ago, and was number 11 on the Tasmanian & OZCMR Top 40 Country Music Chart last week.
Two weeks ago it was sitting at #1 on the International Country Thunder radio network chart and has spent three weeks at #2.
Gemma, daughter of Michelle Wegener and Jeremy Tiller of Balaklava, is taking it all in her stride.
“It has kind of all happened at once, I never dreamed that my single would actually appear on a chart, let alone 3. Some artists spend years perusing their passion before they debut on a music chart,” Gemma said.
“I always dreamt of doing my own album, but I never thought it would actually happen!”
She’s had plenty of encouragement from well-known country artists, including Adam Harvey and Lyn Bowtell.
“Both have been extremely helpful,” she said.
“They have both given me so much advice and encouragement, and they message mum to see how I’m going and what I’m up to.
“Adam has asked me up on stage a couple of times now to perform a duet which has been an amazing opportunity”
Her career was off to a flying start but the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spanner in the works with all entertainment having to be called off.
“I had about 12 gigs booked for this year but they’ve all been postponed,” Gemma said.
Gemma has grown up in a musical family, with mum Michelle singing and playing guitar and her grandpa, Vince Wegener, has been in Adelaide band “Heartland” for 15 years.
Her next single is currently being produced in Nashville, and while it’s ‘confidential’, we know it’s a well-known cover song, in Gemma’s own modernised version!
“I’m excited to get the single back and see what the professional musicians have done with it.”
Personally, I was ‘wowed’ by how beautifully she plays the guitar – especially for someone who taught herself to play not six months ago!
Gemma has started writing her own lyrics and hopes to record some original material in the near future.
“I take my notepad everywhere with me now, and just write things down as they come to me,” she said.
A year 8 student at Horizon Christian School, Gemma has still been attending school, but has spent most of her time learning from home with Michelle, and via Zoom with teachers.
“Some days have been a challenge to juggle my school work and live radio interviews on weekdays with radio stations Australia wide, but it’s important I also do well at school.”
You can find Gemma’s albums, “God’s Country” and “First Impressions” at Balaklava Newsagency, or they’re available to order through her Facebook page, “Gemma Louise Official Music”.
There are certainly great things to come for this young lady.
We can’t wait to hear your new single, Gemma!