Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Tamworth to Toowoomba to Noojee, 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 Codee-Lee.
After following some advice from Keith Urban, Codee-Lee spent time in the United States writing and performing with some of the best in the business. Having won 10 WA country music awards and 2 WAM Regional Song of the Year awards, Codee-Lee has cemented herself as a serious songwriter in the country industry having also been a finalist in the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition and a Top 100 contestant on The Voice.
The Western Australian singer-songwriter released her latest EP, Who I Am in June. Produced by James Newhouse and featuring five tracks (including two co-writes with Katrina Burgoyne), Who I Am is a bare-all tale of Codee-Lee’s music journey over the past 3 years. From the hard and the heartbreaking through to the celebration of being unapologetically herself, the catchy contemporary country tracks tick all the right boxes.
To get to know Codee-Lee a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about her hometown, Dongara, WA.
1. Where farming and fishing collide
Growing up in the small seaside town of Dongara, Western Australia (400km north of Perth) was the perfect way to grow up. Dongara is known for its rich fishing and farming industries. I had the beauty of immersing myself in beach life and farm life with many friends owning farms and my family being involved in the fishing industry.
2. Fisherman’s Daughter
My father was a cray fisherman. He would fish off the shores of Dongara and nearby Geraldton and during part of the season we had the opportunity to live on remote coral islands in the middle of the ocean. Known to many as the Abrolhos islands to me it was paradise. We swam with seals daily, ate fresh seafood that mum caught while we swam and enjoyed the simple things like no power after 10pm.
3. My love of Country Music
My love of country music developed while spending many after school days and weekends at a friend’s farm. Bec would sing us Dixie Chicks songs and make us join in singing as loud as we could, often telling us to “give it some attitude”. After our “band rehearsal” we would be out helping on the farm chasing kangaroos out of paddocks and bottle-feeding lambs.
4. Did someone say FRESH seafood?
There is no greater sight then seeing people lined up along the Dongara jetty waiting for the boats to come in to get their fresh seafood, caught minutes before they arrive, to collect it from the fisherman of the day. We are spoilt for choice, fresh cray fish, pink snapper, octopus, you name it, they had it ready for you to buy straight off the back of the boat.
5. Beach Girl
Dongara has some of the best kept secret beaches in WA. South beach was my favourite. Kilometres of beach where you would drive your car til’ you found your own piece of paradise. It’s where I learnt to surf and where I learnt how to drive a car and get very stuck in the sand. I spent many days soaking in the sun with family and friends, taking long walks collecting shells and letting the dogs run for miles.
To keep up to date with Codee-Lee, follow her on Facebook here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.