By ALANA MITCHELSON
EMERGING Pakenham musician Brad Ellis is more inspired than ever to pursue his passion for music after receiving international acclaim.
Performing under the name The Hunter Express, Mr Ellis’s single Home was selected from thousands of entries worldwide as a semi-finalist in the American-based international songwriting competition Unsigned Only.
The songs were judged by leading music industry artists such as The Killers and Aimee Mann.
“It’s quite a surreal experience. I’ve been quietly chipping away at my music for the past year and recording stuff at home and at a friend’s studio.
“It came as quite a surprise, you know, that Brad from Pakenham was given this kind of recognition,” Mr Ellis said.
“It’s encouraged me to take my music a step further. I’ve never been sure how my music is going or how it’s being perceived and this feels like a huge achievement.
“You don’t really think that you’re ever going to have that kind of an opportunity or impact.”
His acclaimed single Home was recorded in Clique Studios, Officer, and produced by Daniel Kelaart who appeared on the X Factor television singing contest in 2014.
Brad Ellis and The Hunter Express play Home.
“The song literally has three chords and a repeated riff that moves throughout the whole song,” Mr Ellis said.
“It received airtime on Triple J Unearthed and was on rotation on Triple J too.
“I’ve written songs since I was young and started learning to play guitar when I was about 13 years old.
“I do the majority of my songwriting late at night or in the early hours of the morning. They say that’s when you’re most creative – but hopefully I don’t wake the neighbours!”
The Pakenham-based artist is currently juggling work as a guitar teacher with playing gigs in the city. The dream is to one day pursue music as a full-time career.
“I’m pretty excited about what next year might have in store,” he said.
“I’m working on five songs for my first EP that is due to be released in October. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s been a big project.”
The Hunter Express will perform at the Bunyip Country Music Festival and Brewers Feast beer festival in Abbotsford later this year.
For more information, visit The Hunter Express Facebook page.