Cooks Hill’s Sophie Aked is London bound after receiving a $10,000 scholarship as part of the Young Regional Artist Scholarship.
The local singer was selected as one of nine NSW artists to benefit from the first round of the Create NSW initiative, and now is heading to the United Kingdom to “learn more about the world of music outside Australia”.
“It’s all so fabulous, the process with Create NSW has been so generous and kind,” Aked said. “I’m so excited to just meet people and listen to music over there and get an insight into how the industry works outside of Australia.”
“The idea of the trip is almost like research for me, to set up foundations so that I can try and approach music with more knowledge. Australia is quite far from the rest of the world, so I’m bridging that gap.”
Aked admitted that getting the scholarship was a surprise for her, and after sending away the grant application she thought she’d “messed it up a bit”.
“It was a pretty vigourous process,” she said. “It all came about from a Create NSW night at the Lock-Up, where someone there told me that I’d be perfect for the young artist category.”
“I laboured over the application for a long while after that and I’m really grateful that it did end up coming back. I was absolutely floored and couldn’t believe it.”
For Aked’s current project Bravo Victor, which consists of Aked on vocals and Jono Burgess on bass, the trip has accelerated some of their plans for their next EP.
“We are planning on getting the EP all settled down and recorded before I go overseas and then planning on releasing it when I get back,” she said.
As well as the cost of overseas travel included in the scholarships, Aked and the eight other Young Regional Artist recipients will also be invited to a two-day development workshop in Sydney where they will receive advice and business management lessons that aim to translate their musical and artistic talents into full-time careers.