By Rebecca Belt
FROM the rolling hills of Picton to the mine trucks of Paraburdoo, singer-songwriter Jemma Beech has experienced it all this year, and her experiences have resulted in her stellar debut album, That’s Just Me.
Released on Friday, September 7, That’s Just Me is a culmination of songs from Jemma’s life up to now with plenty of cheekiness and girl power thrown into the mix.
The 25-year-old country artist moved to driving mine trucks in the Pilbara in March this year and her songwriting has flourished.
Working seven days on, and seven days off has meant Jemma can concentrate on music on her days off and dedicate a block of time to her craft and gigs.
“I’ve enjoyed the new experiences that the move has brought,” she said.
“They love having a performer up here because I’ve been able to sing at the Anzac Day ceremony, supported the Johnny Cash tribute show and on a Wednesday night on my weeks off, I go out to Cheela Plains Stations Stay and play around the campfire for the guests and they love it.”
Jemma decided to pursue music seriously after graduating from the CMAA Academy of Country Music senior course in 2015 and attending The DAG Songwriters’ Retreat in the same year.
“I fell in love with and learned the craft of songwriting with Karl Broadie as my mentor,” she said.
“I thought I was going to give up music before then because I grew up with people who were making film clips and albums when they were young and wondered whether I should be doing that too, but I didn’t think I was ready.”
The singer-songwriter is now more than ready as she draws inspiration from her past life experiences and her new life in Western Australia.
Recorded at Fat Track Studios in Tamworth in various sessions over the past 12 months, Rusty Crook was in the producer’s seat and the result is an unmistakable country sound that shows Jemma’s cheeky and good-time side as well as the storyteller side of her as an artist.
Jemma wrote four of the tracks with Jake Sinclair and Luke Austen during a weekend visit to Melbourne in 2017, then headed to Nashville where she wrote I’m A Girl with Heidi Merrill. This track is a crowd favourite when Jemma performs live and is the feature track on the album.
I’m A Girl is a track for the ladies and a reminder for the men that us women can handle anything.
“It’s all about having fun on the farm and I like to be cheeky and stir the pot a little bit,” Jemma said.
“It’s a fun song and has a fun film clip to go with it.”
Cowboys is another track that is gaining popularity with audiences.
“It’s a song about how cowboys fight, drink, but how you can’t help but fall in love in with cowboys,” she said.
There is a serious side to the artist, though, with Against All Odds written about her great-grandparents who migrated from Germany during World War II.
“It’s a song about their love that, despite the hardships they went through, made it against all odds,” Jemma said.
“They went through the battlefield of love and they won; it’s a tear-jerker song.”
Jemma co-wrote Love You Home with Jake Sinclair about working away from your partner, which is now a reality for the singer.
“It’s all about a relationship where they’re working away from each other and, now that I’m working in the mines, it relates to me so well,” she said.
“It’s a nice love song about the harsh realities of FIFO, even though I’m residential.”
Stuck in the Mud is the final track and one that Jemma originally released two years ago and was inspired by playing at B ‘n’ S balls.
Jemma will continue the party in Tamworth at the country music festival in January.
Prior to that, she will launch her album on October 21 at 1pm with Jake Sinclair as support act and special guests at the George IV Inn at Picton.
That’s Just Me is now available on iTunes: https://apple.co/2NnYAjy