Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! We love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Bella Mackenzie.
Rooted in the craft of song writing, the emerging artist from Mackay, Queensland is growing into a young woman who cuddles the genre’s contemporary movement forward. Bella taught herself guitar watching YouTube and entered her first country music talent competition at the age of 12, shortly before writing her first song a year later. Her latest single, Ain’t For You is an empowerment song for anyone who’s ever felt less than, not only in a relationship but in general. She’ll take her Ain’t For You tour around Queensland later this June and July.
To get to know Bella a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about her hometown, Mackay.
Grew up with the coal
Although I call Mackay my home, there will always be a special place in my heart for the town I was raised in. Moranbah is a small coal mining town around 2 hours North East of Mackay. My family have owned the pub out there for over 18 years and it is the place where I first gained my love for music. Growing up listening to the musos doing what they love for a living every night was enough to get me to try to follow in their footsteps.
From the moment I did my first ever gig, the support has been amazing. The arts community in Mackay is outstanding and I am so blessed to be a part of this growing culture in my hometown. This community helped me fundraise to get myself down to Tamworth for the CMAA Junior Academy in 2018 and that was just the beginning of the support I have received for my music over the past 5 years of living in Mackay.
Not too HOT, not too COLD
The weather in Mackay rarely changes. It just so happens that it stays at my favourite temperature all year round. It’s hard to differentiate Summer from Winter here, but that’s just the way we like it – not too hot but not too cold. I love getting outside and exploring the surrounding areas with my friends and the weather’s always perfect. Sorry to brag Tamworth …
Knee deep in the water somewhere …
One of my most favourite things to do when I’m not writing or playing music is walk down to the beach to meet a friend, exercise or just enjoy my own company and listen to some tunes. I am so lucky to live about a two minute walk from one of the best beaches in Mackay and it’s where you’ll find me most of the time. It’s one of my favourite places to be, and it’s one of the many beautiful beaches and views Mackay has to offer.
Sugar cane farms … everywhere!
One of my earliest memories of Mackay is driving past the Sugar Cane Mill and blocking my nose so I couldn’t smell it. That was back when I took it for granted. Now, it is the smell of home. Everywhere you turn – whether you’re driving through town or on the outskirts of Mackay on your way out – the beautiful green sugar cane farms cover the grounds of Mackay. The locals have been growing sugar cane since 1865 and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. It is really one of the many landmarks that make Mackay, Mackay.
Follow Bella on her Facebook page here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.
Image: via Facebook