Donna Dyson may just be one of Australia’s most prolific songwriters, but many people will not know her name. That may all be about to change with her nomination in the 2021 AIR awards. Donna, who hails from Brisbane, has written almost 90 music singles, with 41 going straight to number one. She is an international award-winning composer and songwriter with her titles streaming daily on music platforms around the world. Even more incredible, Donna is legally blind. She Society had to find out more about this inspiring Queensland woman.
Donna says, “ When I lost my sight I gained my vision.”
Her vision began fading in 2012. She’s also had six strokes and TIA’s.
Donna continues, “ After the first stroke I realised I couldn’t speak straight away, but I could sing, create and compose. It just connected me even more with the people I write music for – kids.”
Donna is the genius behind music phenomenon, Spotty Kites, one of the most popular children’s music labels in the country, as well as Donna Dyson & Friends, the label that creates music that adults love. Now Donna is proud to share that she has been nominated as one of only five finalists up for ‘ Best Independent Children’s Album ‘ at the 2021 AIR ( Australian Independent Recording) Awards.
Known as the Golden Globes of the Australian music industry, the AIR AWARDS, recognise and celebrate the success of the independent music sector and its music makers. Past winners include Vance Joy, SIA, Sheppard, Peking Duck and Violent Soho. These awards will be held in Adelaide on August 5.
Donna Dyson, and her Spotty Kites album – Have A Spotty Christmas, is the only Queenslander in the field. She’s up against a who’s who of Australian children’s music including The Wiggles, Amber Lawrence, Diver City and Teeny Tiny Stevie. We will all be crossing our fingers and toes for a terrific outcome for hometown songwriter, Donna.
Donna’s early career as a teacher, educator, university academic, lecturer and author mean she has a unique set of skills which she brings to her songs. When she lost her sight in 2012 she gained creative insight, which she now pours into fun songs with educational content for children. By 2016 Donna had been named ‘ Australian Songwriter of the Year ‘. 2018 was another breakthrough year for Donna when she was signed with MGM. This resulted in 47 #1 iTunes hit single releases, 87 singles, two albums and three EP’s released over the past two plus years.
Life is not always rainbows and lollipops for Donna. As well as being legally blind and because of an inoperable brain tumour, she has had six strokes and expects more to come. This doesn’t faze her though and she is currently collaborating with Damien Leith, Tyrone Noonan and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Craig Allister Young. Many of her songs feature QSO instrumentalists and hand – picked elite vocal artists.
Donna Dyson is proof that you don’t have to see to sing and that music is a universal language. Her well loved tunes, with an educational basis, provide a soundtrack for our children’s lives. Donna’s passion for music and ‘ can do ‘ attitude in the face of adversity are why #SheInspires.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).