FORMER Killing Heidi lead singer Ella Hooper is excited to be part of the Telstra Road to Discovery Program.
Hooper, 30, is host and emcee of the nation-wide initiative.
The semi-final of the competition will be held at the Great Southern Blues Festival in Narooma this Sunday.
On Tuesday, Hooper talked to the BDN about her role in the Telstra Road to Discovery and fronting Killing Heidi.
As the program’s host and emcee, Hooper was involved in all of the heats recently.
Hooper introduced participants on stage and explained the program’s process to them.
Essentially, Hooper said she is the “voice” of the initiative.
“I’m excited to be involved – I really do believe in this program,” she said.
“I’m passionate about music and this is a real, legit opportunity for artists.”
On Wednesday and yesterday, all 17 Telstra Road to Discovery contestants took part in a music mentoring boot camp in Sydney.
Mentors included the likes of Josh Pyke, Andy Bull, Stephen Wade, Matt Fell and Kris Furst.
Hooper said the 2013 contestants were performing at a “super high standard”.
“I’m grateful that I’m not a judge because I fall in love with all of the artists,” she said with a laugh.
Killing Heidi burst onto the Australian music scene in 1996 – Hooper was just 13 years old.
During a 10-year stint, Killing Heidi gathered an impressive following in Australia.
The band’s success culminated in winning four ARIA awards in 2000.
Killing Heidi’s biggest hit was Mascara, which reached number one on the ARIA chart on January 30, 2000.
Live Without It climbed to fifth spot on the charts and Weir reached number six.
The band released three albums – Reflector (2000), Present (2002) and Killing Heidi (2004).
Since Killing Heidi disbanded in 2006, Hooper has been part of two bands, become a radio DJ and hosted two TV shows.
Hooper toured Australia with the musical line-up of Broad, before forming The Verses with brother James.
Over the past year, Hooper has been working on her first solo album, due for release in 2014.
The album’s first two singles have been released and can be heard on Ella Hooper’s Facebook page.
Hooper said the album is “kind of pop, but with an edge, ‘90s influence and crunch”.
In the meantime, Hooper said she was keen to visit Narooma.
“I understand that Narooma loves it music and so do I, so we should get along fine.”
For more information about Telstra Road to Discovery, visit www.telstra.com/trtd.
ELLA Hooper has described fronting Killing Heidi as a “big adventure”.
Killing Heidi was formed in 1996, consisting of Hooper, her brother Jesse, Adam Pedretti and Warren Jenkin.
Hooper said being in Killing Heidi produced plenty of memorable moments.
“Highlights included that I got to travel the world – I wouldn’t have had that opportunity otherwise,” she said.
“I also loved connecting with a whole generation of girls and guys.
“For youth, it was an important time of their lives and mine.”
Conversely, being part of one of the biggest bands in Australia during that era proved problematic.
Hooper said Killing Heidi learnt about the fickle nature of critics and fans.
“I think we will be remembered well,” Hooper said.
“[But] success was a double-edged sword in Australia.
“There was a tall poppy syndrome of ‘they’ve had their chance, now it’s time to move on’.
“There was drama and success – it was a big rollercoaster ride.”