Griffith popular music graduates have dominated nominations for the Gold Coast Music Awards (GCMAs) and Queensland Conservatorium alumni have been recognised across almost every category, with a record number of acts reaching the finals.

This year’s awards will go ahead online, with the official ceremony presented via Facebook this evening.

Recent alumni Doolie Shadforth (Doolie) and Olivia Dennis (DENNIS) are among three artists nominated for the inaugural Gold Coast Music Prize.

Doolie said her nomination was the culmination of an exciting 12 months, during which she performed at high profile events including Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival.

“It’s really special to me to be recognised within the Gold Coast community among such amazing musicians,” she said.

Doolie, whose work fuses pop, RnB and electronica, said she had developed a network of fellow musicians during her time at Griffith University.

“A lot of the success of my music career has been because of collaboration,” she said.

“I got to connect with so many amazing musicians in my course, coming from high school to an environment where everyone had such a strong passion for music was really contagious.”

The talented artist is continuing to write new material while in isolation, and has called on music fans to support local acts during the industry shutdown.

“Art and music is something that helps everyone get through difficult times like these, so buying merchandise or streaming your favourite local artists are just some of the ways to help out. When there’s so many incredible Queensland and Aussie musicians it’s definitely not a hard thing to do!”

Fellow popular music alumnus Olivia Dennis, who performs under the moniker DENNIS, has been nominated across four categories at this year’s Gold Coast Music Awards.

The talented indie-pop singer moved to the Gold Coast from Yeppoon to study at the Queensland Conservatorium, graduating in 2017.

“I had always been super in love with music growing up and studying music after school just made sense,” she said.

“During my degree I travelled to Nashville on a two-week scholarship and really made the connection that I was pretty serious about making music a full time thing!”

Associate Professor Donna Weston

Queensland Conservatorium Head of Popular Music, Associate Professor Donna Weston, said the unprecedented number of alumni finalists reflected the many popular music graduates making their mark on the local, national and international music scene.

“As in past years, our graduates have had strong representation across the board, with finalists in eight of the nine categories decided by the judging panel,” she said.

“A career in the music industry is hard work, but they graduate with the passion, skills, and perseverance to fulfil their dreams.”