Gabrielle Montalbo on stage at Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPop Media
Gabrielle Montalbo took some time to tell us about her love of singing, song writing and all things music! She also reveals what it was like winning the Sydney Eisteddfod Singer/Songwriter event and the motivation behind her winning song ‘Colours’.
What was it like to win the Sydney Eisteddfod Singer/Songwriter event?
It was quite unexpected. All of the contestants had such amazing compositions! I honestly thought I couldn't compare to how good everyone's songs were, so it was hard for me to believe I had won.
What was the name of the song you wrote and why did you write it?
I wrote and named my original song 'Colours' because I wanted to show not only others, but myself, what expressing yourself means and feeling proud about it. From my personal experience, I wanted people to shine no matter how dark the struggle was. By writing this song, I learnt how expressing myself through music and song writing became an outcome of the purpose of this song.
In this event, you accompanied yourself on piano, so you are obviously into music as well as singing?
Yes, I am into all types of music. I play piano, violin and also sing other genres and styles other than contemporary pop music. Attending a music school has really broadened my repertoire, giving me many more opportunities to perform a variety of songs.
What encouraged you to begin singing and playing?
Loving both piano and singing made me realise how amazing it would be to be able to do both at the same time. I felt that playing the piano while singing gave me freedom for me to move the song and put my heart and soul into the music because I could take it at my own pace, own time and drive it in my own style with depth and feeling.
Which artists inspire you most?
Artists such as Sara Bareilles, Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys inspired me to continue to play acoustically with piano or even guitar whilst singing.
You also won the Vocal Performance and Song from a Musical/Music Theatre events for your age group. What have you learned about yourself through competing at Sydney Eisteddfod?
After competing in these events for quite a few years now, I have learned that it takes a whole load of confidence to be able to stand up on that stage and perform in front of so many other amazing singers. After these experiences, I learned that believing in yourself can take you so much further than doubting yourself and not trying your best. Performing in front of an audience was really challenging, and I'm sure it was for almost every competitor in these events, but having confidence in yourself and knowing that you can do what you are good at is the key.
What would you tell somebody who was interested in entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
Definitely do it! It's such a great experience! Meeting new faces, finding new talents, seeing new things, it's very rewarding!