Hester blooms as pick of the buskers

FAN FAVOURITE: Former Armidale local Hester Fraser is making a name for herself, performing as Goldheist, after she won the people’s choice award at Saturday’s busking championships at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Photo: Simon McCarthy

FAN FAVOURITE: Former Armidale local Hester Fraser is making a name for herself, performing as Goldheist, after she won the people’s choice award at Saturday’s busking championships at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Photo: Simon McCarthy

A FORMER Armidale woman has pulled off a heist at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, coming away with a golden busking award.

The now Sydney-based performer Goldheist, otherwise known as Hester Fraser, was voted the people’s choice winner among this year’s country music buskers.

While Goldheist’s piano-driven, folky tunes aren’t your typical country jams, Ms Fraser put her success down to her song’s storytelling.

“It’s really special to be chosen for the people’s choice award, because music is about communication and it’s my language,” she said.

“Music connects people; it’s really universal and the festival is a celebration of that.”

Ms Fraser was a finalist in last year’s festival busking competition and said the crowd’s passion for music kept drawing her back.

“Tamworth Country Music Festival is so special, because it is a celebration of music. A lot of other festivals are just an excuse for a massive party and the music is secondary. People take the time to listen to the buskers on the streets in Tamworth, which is really special,” she said.

While Goldheist’s star is on the rise, many would be more aware of the singer-songwriter’s late grandfather and former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.

Ms Fraser said her grandfather didn’t have a direct influence on her music, but that his manner had a deep effect on her.

“He wasn’t the most popular figure, but he was never afraid to say what he thought, which showed a great deal of integrity,” she said.

Goldheist’s style stands out as much as her sound, with a particular fixation on floral designs adorning her sets and her head.

“I’m just an overgrown fairy,” she said on the floral trademark.

“It’s a point of recognition. It’s about getting crowds to know they’ve seen you before.

“It has become a bit of an icon for me.”

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