From truck driving to a lingerie line and back to country music

IT’S been a big year for Gemma Kirby, who mixes heavy vehicles and a lingerie line with her country music career.

Kirby released her debut album, Semi Precious, last year while she continued to drive mine trucks in Central Queensland and has developed a lingerie line simultaneously.

At this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, Kirby has a full week planned, including her first show in Bicentennial Park and a showcase with Innocent Eve.

“It’s just great to feel you belong to a family in the country industry,” she said. “This is my first festival performing in the park, which is pretty exciting.”

The controversial songstress said she loved the Tamworth festival for the chance to interact with fans.

“Tamworth is the centre of country music, so all of the fans travel there,” Kirby said.

“It’s the one time of the year you can engage with people who have followed your career. I love that you can walk the streets, and I really, really enjoy being on the ground with the fans.”

The GK Lingerie line is also going well, and Kirby promises to give people “a taste of it” on the red carpet at the CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia at the end of the festival.

 Gemma Kirby is out to break the stereotypes of Australian country music.
Photo: Gareth Gardner

Gemma Kirby is out to break the stereotypes of Australian country music. Photo: Gareth Gardner

The year ahead holds plenty of touring for the singer-songwriter, with visits to each state, including getting back to Western Australia to show off her music to her home state.

She said she was constantly working on new material, brainstorming during her 12-hour shifts driving mine tippers, but music may have to become the focus of her efforts in the future.

“This last six months has just been crazy for me, trying to balance a music career, which is nearly full-time, and working in the mines, and becoming a stepmother has become very challenging and very rewarding,” she said.

“I don’t know how long my career with the mines will be, but it’s supporting my passion. The response we’ve had on the album makes my decision a whole lot easier.”

Kirby plays Toyota Park today, Fanzone tomorrow and the Full Force showcase on Wednesday at 10am at The Albert.