Kirsty Lee Akers is one of Australia’s most unique and authentic recording artists. A rare talent who is proud of her First Nations heritage, she is a woman of the Wonnarua Nation (Hunter Valley – Australia). Akers describes herself as a fusion of country and Americana, with pop stylings. She has embraced a global musical culture and now spends her time between Australia and a hard-earned international touring schedule in North America and Europe. Although she spends time overseas during the year, Australia will always be her spiritual home. “Music and family have always been the most important parts of my life. My Nan, Mum, and Aunt were all singers, and I grew up with my pop playing country music all the time. I still remember my first performance at age three. I was hooked!” – Kirsty Lee Akers
Kirsty’s childhood was far from easy, and her family could be described as “Aussie Battlers”. Born when her mother was only 17 years old, she quickly learned the importance of teamwork, love, and family connection. Akers was not born into money, one of four children growing up in a small house, she saw her father worked two jobs to get by. Kirsty learned early on that if she wanted something, she was going to have to earn it. These are traits that to this day are extremely important to her and help her connect with her fans on an honest and personal level.
Akers performed in public for the first time at the tender age of three years old and recorded her first EP at the age of 16. She funded that recording with the money she made busking tirelessly on the streets of Tamworth each January. This connection with Australia’s Country Music Capital led Kirsty to graduate from the CMAA Academy of Country Music and then further afield through the Talent Development Project. After these achievements, it was time to spread her wings and explore the world – First stop Nashville. “That trip to Nashville in 2006 was just like my first trip to Tamworth, and from the time I stepped off the plane I was in love! There is just something magical about that city. Music everywhere, dreams everywhere, it is so inspiring. But as much as I love traveling, Australia always calls me home.” – Kirsty Lee Akers
From her first recording, people who heard her voice described the vocal delivery as sitting somewhere between Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. This foundation, combined with progressive modern country production, offers an incredibly unique and hard-to-match sound.
Akers is the only artist in history to have won three of the major prizes in Australian Country Music - Toyota Star Maker, Telstra Road to Discovery, and a Golden Guitar Award. After seeing these achievements early in her career, and with a taste of the world at her feet, she set her sights on the festival scene to expand her opportunities, and to hone her craft as a singer-songwriter and performer. With this focus, she started to see consistent bookings both domestically and internationally on festival circuits from 2008. New audiences were discovering the petite powerhouse from Down Under. “One of the rising stars of the Americana scene!” – Chuck Taylor, KHYI Dallas (America’s highest rating Americana radio station)