The best in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Music

Shelly Atkins

Tamworth-based Shelly Atkins is the first female singer/songwriter to sign with CAAMA.

Shelly has been surrounded by music all her life. Her father, Mark Atkins, is a nationally acclaimed didgeridoo player with many recordings and performances to his credit.

As a young singer in Tamworth, Shelly found herself singing country music with various bands. But she soon realised that C&W just wasn’t her scene and so started to pursue her own style. She sang in a duo called Red Heads, and in another original band, At Random, for a year or two.

Greatly supported and encouraged by her father, Shelly began making demo tapes and appearing on compilation albums. In 1998, she was one of six winners in the Spur ’98 competition, which led to recording time at Megaphone Studios in Sydney. She was also invited to perform at the prestigious opening of The Studio at the Sydney Opera House.

Shelly’s debut solo album, Shell, was recorded at CAAMA’s studios in Alice Springs and talks about love, happiness and what it’s like to grow up a young Aboriginal woman in modern times. Shelly has a beautiful voice that is not easily forgotten and, what’s more, she wrote all the songs herself. How talented is that?

Check Shelly Atkins out on Deadly Sounds radio. Shell is also available from the Deadly Sounds Record Bar.

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