Since she moved into her vintage, turquoise blue-striped 1974 Travelhome Caravan named "Van Morrison" a year ago, singer-songwriter Felicity Dowd has been doing the NSW South Coast proud.
And, after she received the Australian Folk Alliance's Youth Folk Artist of The Year award on October 25, the brown-eyed girl is definitely on the bright side of the road.
"It happened on Wednesday, so I've pretty much had gigs all weekend and haven't really had the moment to be like, 'Oh wow, that actually happened'," Felicity said, still in shock but ever so grateful.
As a storyteller, Felicity's music often blends different aspects of folk and country music into an amalgamated sound, and she said the really beautiful thing about folk music was its diversity, since there wasn't one specific rubric for compositions and lyrics.
"The idea of a genre is so diluted that each song will have different elements of various genres, it's not just going to be folk music" Felicity said.
"It'll be intertwining various styles that might have a bit of a blues element, it might have a bit of an alternative element, and I think that's one of the coolest things that folk and country are grabbing a hold of that movement and working with it."
Felicity said, having grown up in both the folk and country communities, the camaraderie between those close-knit groups was often revealed in their willingness to lend a hand, guide, provide knowledge from their years or multi-decade-long careers.
"Being able to meet more of those incredible artists is amazing for a young and emerging artist like myself, because you know these people have been through the industry before, they've experienced everything I am experiencing before," she said.
"They want to see you flourish as much as themselves. I think it's a really beautiful, almost family vibe within the Folk community.
Studying a double degree at the University of Wollongong, while also on the road performing on gigs and tours, Felicity said her fields of study have allowed her to contribute to the community that had given her much support.
"The media and communications [degree] has been so helpful, it's given me the opportunity to not just play at folk festivals but also give back to them, so I've been doing a lot of volunteer work," she said.
"To just try and keep them going, you know, it's up to us young folk artists to now step into the shoes of those older folk members who have kept the community going for so long."
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