Hayley Jensen surprised many of her fellow country artists by popping up among the media throng at the recent Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.
Jensen joined The Northern Daily Leader team for the night, interviewing the stars as they arrived. The coverage was live streamed onto The Leader’s Facebook page, giving fans a chance to see and hear from Australia’s top country artists.
Jensen, who has only been coming to the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the last three years, was spotted by many of the artists as they made their way down the red carpet, and plenty of them made a beeline towards her to be interviewed.
“It was wonderful to catch the attention of my peers and colleagues in the industry who were looking all fabulous and glamorous on the red carpet, I loved that. And having other media outlets leaning over my shoulder to catch my interview, that was pretty good,” Jensen laughed.
Rising star Melanie Dyer was the first to chat with Jensen after The Leader went live, and other interviewees included Golden Guitar winners Travis Collins, Aleyce Simmonds and The McClymonts.
“That was my third year coming to Tamworth, and third year in the country music scene, even though I’ve been in the music industry for a long time, and this year more than ever it just became so obvious and clear to me that it’s one big family and a big community,” Jensen said this week.
“I think they were in their comfort zone with me. I think that was really nice to be able to get a bit more candid kind of a conversation as well, rather than just typical questions,” she said.
Jensen, who was on the second series of Australian Idol, finished her 40 minutes in front of the camera by chatting with country great Troy Cassar-Daley and his wife Laurel Edwards.
“I honestly didn’t think they’d know who I was, then (Laurel) called out that I owed them money because they were voting for me on Australian Idol all those years ago,” Jensen laughed. “That was good fun, so it was lovely to have a good chat with them. It’s always good to rub shoulders with the absolute kings and queens of country music.”
Looking ahead to next year, Jensen said she was keen to take on the role of interviewer again. But of course one thing that could change that is if she is up for a Golden Guitar herself, which is not out of the question, with her most recent single Summertime Soundtrack getting plenty of attention on country radio.
“It’s one of those dreams that you have when you go into the industry of being recognised by the industry and by your peers for what you do,” Jensen said of the Golden Guitars. “Obviously that’s the ultimate dream, but I really loved being on the media side as well and having that opportunity.”