Felicity Dowd is a young singer-songwriter from Bega, NSW/Yuin land who is yet to finish school but who has attended the Junior Academy of Country Music, in 2018, and whose new single, ‘Blue Skies’, won the 2020 Tamworth Songwriting Association Talent Quest (Youth Category) before it was even recorded. (Dowd also won prizes in 2021: the John P Toomey Commemorative Award for Youth Songwriting at the Tamworth Songwriters Association Awards, for ‘When the Party is Over’, and the Garry Koehler Commemorative Award also at the TSAs for Novice Songwriting for ‘Blue Skies’.)

Dowd wrote ‘Blue Skies’ before the summer of fires at the end of 2019 and start of 2020, saying, ‘It was written about natural disasters in general, and little did I know what devastation would occur so soon after. After seeing the fires come down the coast and the rebuilding, the song really grew in meaning for me.’

It was during that summer that the town of Cobargo was badly damaged; Dowd lived there for five years, and it was the first place she busked. She also has friends there who were affected by the fires. ‘Blue Skies’ is not just a heartfelt, articulate song that describes the cycle of hope and heartbreak that extreme weather brings – it’s helping to raise funds for the town, with donation details at the end of the video clip.

This year Dowd will take her Higher School Certificate; she’s also planning to record another song and play as many gigs as possible. With a song as good as ‘Blue Skies’ behind her, it’s tempting to say that there must be the proverbial blue skies ahead of her – but that’s a cliché unworthy of her talents, and this song shows she has many of them.

Instagram: @felicity_dowd_music