ASHLEIGH Dallas may only be young, but she’s already notched up plenty of musical achievements since graduating from the CMAA Academy of Country Music four years ago.
She’s returned to the place that started it all, speaking to and jamming with the senior students along with Kasey Chambers.
“I was up there doing the academy four years ago, so it was weird to walk back in as a special guest with Kasey and Nash (Chambers),” she said.
Kasey discovered Ashleigh and asked her to be in her band after seeing her at the 2010 academy, so it was a special occasion for her to return.
“It was good fun,” she said.
“There are some talented students up there and we had a talk with them, hung out with them and had a jam that went for hours and hours and hours. Kase and I started it off and passed the guitar around to all the students, then Kevin Bennett, Pete Denahy and Amber Lawrence played.
“It was a night filled with good music. It was good for me to hear other young artists who have the same dream as I do.”
The young singer-songwriter and musician from Kootingal spoke to the students about what she had done since academy, where she had been and how she got to where is is now – signed to Warner Music and a double Golden Guitar finalist as well as spending much of her time on the road with Kasey.
“I spoke about what I got from the academy and I told them to take in everything, even if it doesn’t apply to you as a person, you can learn from that, there are so many positives you can take from the academy,” she said.
“That was how I looked at my time there. It was nice to sit up at the place where I met Kase and another new chapter started for me.”
Ashleigh said she also told the up-and-coming artists to just be themselves and put everything into your career, because that would encourage others to work hard for you.
“There is lots of talent just floating around that school,” she said.
“I can’t wait to go out to the graduation concert and I went on Facebook and became friends with them so I can keep up with them and what’s happening. I left there thinking it was such a good night.”