RATHER than being daunted by taking on the classics, Emily Joy loves it.
The Sorrento 25-year-old will take to the stage in Tamworth this weekend singing Nancy Sinatra’s iconic These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ “with a more contemporary spin” as WA’s only finalist in the 39th annual country music Star Maker competition.
Having applied previously, this is the first time Joy has made the top 10 to compete for a title also won by the likes of Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban and Beccy Cole.
The singer-songwriter said she had experienced “a bit of success online” by singing classics like Dolly Parton’s Jolene and John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads, which made it “less daunting”.
“I’ve had 2 million views on my YouTube singing the classics,” she said.
“There’s also the potential for the crowd to enjoy them more because they know the songs and can join in.”
Joy will also perform her original song Karma’s Gonna Catch Me, which she released last year after winning Emerging Artist of the Year at the WA Country Music Awards.
“This is a very fun, upbeat, energetic country rock song; it’s cheeky,” she said.
“It’s about the little things in life that we all do but don’t want to admit to doing.”
This will be her fourth year in Tamworth for the Country Music Festival.
“The first year I went, I was a student and I started out busking,” she said.
“Since then, I have worked my way up, securing gigs on bigger stages.”
While winning the $100,000 Star Maker prize package would give Joy the use of a new car and an unlimited fuel card for 12 months, she said the exposure was the most valuable.
“It will put me on the map and allow me to reach new audiences,” she said.
“I would also get to go to Nashville and experience different performing and writing opportunities.
“It would just be incredible; I could record with some of the best people in the country.”
Joy has been singing for most of her life and was encouraged to take lessons when she was 11.
“Dad played John Denver but I grew up listening to pop music because that’s what my older sister played,” she said.
“But it’s the story that grabs me; the song writing lured me back to country music.
“My favourite style is country pop because it merges elements of pop rock and storytelling.”