Third time was certainly the charm for Katie Hardyman, who is celebrating a surprise win at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA) in Los Angeles.
The Manning songwriter, who now lives in Sydney, won the holiday song music genre category for Snowflake, a “simple story about a dancing snowflake at Christmas time”, written while on holiday in Les Gets, France.
“It feels so surreal that I actually won! I never thought a little song about a snowflake would lead to Hollywood - the place I told my Dad when I was eight years old I’d someday get to.”
All the artists who helped Katie bring the song to life have been or are still Taree-based.
“Laura Zarb on vocals, Matty Zarb on guitar and Juen Van Hand on violin and the beautiful production by Pete Stevenson at Turn Around Music. This award is for all of us as without the musicians to bring my songs to life there wouldn’t be a song, so I’m truly grateful to all those involved.”
Katie had travelled to LA and attended the awards with her daughter Lucy but didn’t think she had a chance at winning.
“The other artists in the category were so so talented and one has had her music placed in many films including the Hobbit).
“I was completely surprised and it was so special to have won with Lucy by my side. It’s a moment I will simply never forget. I’m not sure who screamed louder, Lucy or myself!
“The event itself was spectacular and a performance by the writers from the movie the Bodyguard was absolutely gorgeous.”
Prior to the ceremony, Katie and Lucy walked the red carpet together under “an overwhelming array of lights and cameras everywhere”.
“I was interviewed and spoke about the song live across the LA networks.”
Katie said it was surreal to be in the same room as celebrities Dianne Warren (who received the HMMA Career Achievement Award), Ray Parker Jnr (Ghostbusters), Ron Pearson (comedian), Alexandre Desplat, Randy Jackson (American Idol judge), and Verdine White form Earth, Wind and Fire.
It was the third time Katie has been a finalist in the awards and has travelled to LA for the ceremony.
Her previous nominations were in 2015 for the song Fly in the adult contemporary category and 2016 for the song Just Wanna Say Hello in the folk/acoustic category.
HMMA is widely acknowledged as the precursor to other mainstream award shows such as The Golden Globes, Grammys and Emmys.
“Over the past three years we have met some lovely people who we kept in contact with so it was fantastic to have celebrated all together this year.”
Katie said she couldn’t do it without the support of many people.
“I want to say a huge thank you to my parents Ray and Geraldine Stack who have supported and encouraged my songwriting for as long as I can remember – I am truly grateful to them.
“And to Pete Stevenson, thank you for always believing in me.
“My amazing children are my world and my boys back home have all sent beautiful messages of how proud they are. It’s pretty special.
“And to Lucy, my biggest fan, thank you.”
Snowflake was a winner in the UK songwriting awards in 2015 and winner of the Vox Pop vote in the Independent Music Awards in America in 2016.
The song was also was runner up in the National Australian Songwriters Association Songwriting contest and Dallas Songwriters Competition in 2014.