At just 15, Bulli High School student Alara Livingstone has been eyed by a new local record label to release her original song Because of You in early 2024.
The teenager from the Yuin Nation will be mentored by the Wollongong record label Silhouette, who already can envisage a bright future for her.
"If I end up like Harry Styles one day I would be through the roof," Alara said.
"I was basically just thrilled because I really want to pursue music when I'm older so getting the news was just unreal ... I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."
The fledgling record label, Silhouette, was founded by some of Wollongong's most notable figures from the music industry like James Kates and Russell Webster of Shining Bird, and Jeb Taylor the co-owner of Music Farmers.
Illawarra landscapes in debut track
Russell worked with Alara on writing her debut song, part of a trial program with Bulli High School, and said he felt shivers and "the welling up of like tears, that don't quite come" when listening to her perform.
"[She's] not really trying to sound like anyone else and it was really simple. The moments in it were very subtle," he said.
"I could definitely picture her having a long rewarding career in music for sure, I just think she's got the personality and absolutely the talent," he said.
Because of You is an acoustic indie-folk song about the grief someone feels when a close friend or loved one moves away from home.
"It's going through the process of grieving that loss even though they're not dead, but they're not there with you," Alara said, excited to write more songs with the label.
"It's coming to terms with the fact that just because they're not there doesn't mean that they're not still connected to you."
A star in the making
Mr Webster will act as a producer for Alara's songs and Silhouette will release her music, write press releases, organise shows, and take care of the distribution.
"This is just a massive opportunity for someone that age... [to perform] at shows where she can really reach people that are going to be moved," he said.
Meet Wollongong's new record label Silhouette
Mr Webster describes the new label as the "sister" to well-known Wollongong label Farmer and the Owl, with a drive to help up-and-coming musicians.
"[We're] not as concerned with making money at the outset and more concerned with supporting these kind of musicians that are either young or just the ones that are kind of falling in the cracks that are just incredible from around here."
The musician would like to see Silhouette measure success around meaningful and valuable experiences rather than financial success or digital statistics.