Artist Feature: Kissing The Flint

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Always obsessed with singing, Leah Chynoweth-Tidy began song-writing and performing professionally in 2012 after learning to play the guitar and ukulele. Over the next few years she fronted Gladstone Region cover bands ded@27, Cosmic String Theory and Dr Trouble at various venues and events, most notably for 4 consecutive years at the Agnes Water Blues Roots & Rock Festival.

After all three bands dissolved, Leah initially began performing solo as “Kissing The Flint”, then in duo format with husband Ken at various Discovery Coast venues and events as well as Beach Arts Music, Crow Street Creative, the Queens Commonwealth Games Baton Relay and the Feast on East Cruise Ship public events in Gladstone.

Leah has twice been selected to appear on stage as part of the RocKwiz National Tour in 2010 and again in 2017 when her voice stood out during both selection heats; admirably performing an unrehearsed impromptu song both times out front of the RocKwiz Orchestra.

She was also chosen in 2017 on merit as 1 of 12 finalists across three Regional Queensland locations (1 of 4 finalists in Gladstone) to participate in the Queensland Music Festival’s inaugural Songs That Made Me mentorship program; supporting emerging female singer- songwriters in regional areas and addressing the under-representation of females in the music industry in general. Mentored by Katie Noonan, Leigh Carriage, Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch, Hannah Macklin & Hayley Marsten, various workshops culminated in a free public performance on the Gladstone Marina stage with an all-female rhythm section.

Slave to no particular genre, Kissing the Flint perform an eclectic body of originals and covers across roots, folk, reggae, soul, funk, rock and pop; driven by guitar, bass, drum loops and Leah's versatile, power-house vocals with appreciable natural vibrato. They are currently recording Leah’s original songs with Dave Beacon at High Lion Studios near Gladstone and she is also currently being mentored in voice and song-writing by Tania Doko of Bachelor Girl.

“Kissing the Flint initially came into my mind as a simple visual image,” says Leah, “but to ‘kiss the flint’ also means ‘to cause a spark’, to ‘light a fire’ - which is what music has done since its very beginnings. Music sparks emotion, communication, passion, joy, the urge to move, to vocalise. What a fantastic buzz to create sparks, to be able to share and affect others positively through what we absolutely love to do. Very few “jobs” allow the opportunity to dress up and get up on stage in front of a live audience – what’s not to love about that?”

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Rhiannon Cooper