A New First for Fourth Generation EKKA Family / by Kylie Cobb

Her Great Grandfather achieved a double champion feat in 1953, the first in fifty years, her Grandmother was the first female Dairy Judge with the Jersey Breeders Society in the 1950s and now, in another exciting family first, Bridget O'Shannessy is launching her debut single this August at Queensland's largest annual event, the Ekka.

At just 16 years old, Bridget O'Shannessy is set to be the new sweetheart of Australian country music and just like her forebears, Bridget holds a close affinity with Queensland's Royal Show.

My family has been showing cattle at the EKKA since it basically began, and I’ve sung at the show every year since I was 12, so it seemed the perfect time and place to launch my first official single.

Following firmly in her family's footsteps, Bridget is already an award-winning singer-songwriter. She first sang on stage at just nine, where she was quickly snapped up by the Homestead County Music Club in Caboolture to compete throughout Queensland. Since then, Bridget has opened for Gotye’s ‘The Basics’; performed at numerous high profile events, including Tamworth Country Music Festival, Gympie Muster and Urban Country Music Festival; and most recently showcased her original work as a finalist in a Nashville songwriting competition and on the catwalk at Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver.

Like so many of her family members, Bridget is excited and honoured to be invited to judge an Ekka competition. This year, Ekka will host its second Country Music Showdown where Bridget, along with some of the region's country music legends, will be helping to unearth the best new young artists with over $10,000 worth of prizes up for grabs.

My Grandma is such an inspiration for me. She was a real pioneer for women and I’m so proud to carry on her time-honoured involvement with the EKKA. And, I think she’d be proud of me too.

Along with the debut single, He Doesn't Know, O'Shannessy thought it only fitting to give fans a free bonus track, The Brightest Star - a song she wrote about her Grandmother watching over and guiding her from above (she died when Bridget was just 2).

Like other young people her age, Bridget is in her final year of high school and has experienced the romantic anxieties that naturally come at this time. In true country music style, her debut single, He Doesn't Know gives a refreshing, new take on an old story - the wholesome boy next door who doesn't know how handsome he is and just how big a crush she has on him!

He Doesn't Know is a contemporary country pop song by Brisbane artist, Bridget O'Shannessy and will be available for pre-order on iTunes in July, with an instant free download of bonus track, Brightest Star - the song Bridget wrote for her Grandmother.

FAST FAMILY EKKA FACTS

  • Bridget connection to the Ekka extends four generations back to her great grandparents on her mother's side.
  • Fred Sipple, Bridget's Great Grandfather won both Champion Dairy Bull and Cow in the same year in 1952, a feat that hadn't been repeated since 1903.
  • Lorna Duff, Bridget's Grandmother was the first female Dairy Judge with The Australian Jersey Breeders Society in the 1950s
  • Bridget's Uncles are all current exhibitors
  • Bridget has been singing at the Ekka since 2012
  • Bridget wrote a song to her Grandmother (Lorna Duff) called Brightest Star in 2014

IMAGES APPROVED FOR IMMEDIATE USE

 Lorna Duff (left) Ekka exhibitor and  first female judge of the The Australian Jersey Breeders Society in the 1950's

Lorna Duff (left) Ekka exhibitor and first female judge of the The Australian Jersey Breeders Society in the 1950's

  Paddy Duff, Bridget's Great Uncle in the Ekka Camp Draft c.1950's or 1960's.

Paddy Duff, Bridget's Great Uncle in the Ekka Camp Draft c.1950's or 1960's.

 Bridget O'Shannessy, 2016, Australian Country Music Singer

Bridget O'Shannessy, 2016, Australian Country Music Singer

  Bridget O'Shannessy, 2016 Australian Country Music Singer.

Bridget O'Shannessy, 2016 Australian Country Music Singer.

MUSIC APPROVED FOR USE