The 1970s riots at Fremantle Prison inspired local student Tex Holmes to victory in the 2019 Fairbridge Quest song writing competition.
The Year 8 John Curtin College of the Arts student won first place in the song craft category for ages 12-15 for his song ‘Fire in Freo Prison’.
Tex said he wrote the song after hearing a story about the 1970s riot from a former prison guard.
“He told me how the prisoners had smuggled oil and petrol in beer bottles into the prison and poured it over walls and set the prison on fire,” he said.
“There was only one fire truck around and the prisoners were throwing items at the fire truck and wouldn’t let them come in and fight the fire.
“I thought it was an interesting story which led to me writing a poem with lots of rhyme so I decided to turn it into a song.
“It came together really quickly, I wrote it as soon as I got home and overnight it became a song and I entered it the next day.”
The budding songwriter said he was surprised when he was called as the winner.
“I feel I was the most alternative sound in my category which may have helped me win,” he said.
“I had an amazing time performing with and meeting the other contestants who are all amazing musicians and songwriters.
“My family and I have been going to Fairbridge every year for a while now but this year I actually get to perform, the other super exciting thing I get to do is a workshop with John Butler who is one of my idols.”
Tex said he plans to release an EP and is excited for the future.
Fremantle College students Sofia Hourani also won in the song craft 12-15 category for her piece Learn Our Names and Isaac Smalley in the song craft 16-18 category for his song What Remains of Marie Clare.