You've probably never heard of artist and musician Fiona Joy Hawkins.
But the Camden Haven resident has contributed to a Grammy-winning album, played Carnegie Hall, toured solo through China and regularly collaborates with musical royalty.
"My career is overseas," she says.
"I have a unique, defining musical style that is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because my music can't be pigeon-holed but a blessing because I've built a career."
Her first stint at the piano was as an eight year old. Her grandmother bought her an ancient iron-framed piano.
"I remember dreaming of being a composer, but nobody ever pushes you to go down that path," she said.
"So I did nothing with music for many years and started painting more. I thought that would be my career. Music took a back seat.
"It wasn't until I was 38 years of age that I started to look at music as my path. I guess I decided to overcome my fear of failure."
Fiona says she tells stories with her music and her art is a reflection of her music. "There is a connection between the two," she adds.
She writes orchestrated classical piano music and uses the manuscript on the canvas.
She paints bright abstracts but composes contemporary classical music usually in a minor key.
"The viewer can see and hear the music at the same time," she says.
The viewer can see and hear the music at the same time.Fiona Joy Hawkins
Her passion for art has seen Fiona open the Q Pop Up Gallery in Kew.
Having toured China three times, Fiona Joy is nicknamed The Piano Angel, not just for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements, but also for her gracious and mesmerizingly ballet-like performance style in concert.
A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and stories.
It follows that her upbringing was filled with music.
She recalls that her father embraced Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, playing Jesus in the Tamworth Musical Society production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
In 2014, a version of Fiona’s song “Grace” was chosen for a GRAMMY®-winning album that also reached #1 on the Billboard charts, and in 2013, her evocative piano and ethereal vocals earned her the global broadcaster’s choice and honor as the Best Instrumental Piano Album for 600 Years in a Moment at the ZMR Awards, whose airplay charts she also graced at #1 for several months with Signature Solo.
As a forward-looking artist, Fiona is interested in pioneering new musical concepts and recording techniques to better serve her highly-interactive fan base.
Producer of 4 of Fiona’s albums, Will Ackerman, founder of both Windham Hill Records and Imaginary Road Studios, embraced and encouraged Fiona’s music years ago.
As a collaborator, Fiona has worked with Will Ackerman, Lawrence Blatt, T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates), Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits), Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny), Eugene Friesen (Paul Winter Consort), Heather Rankin, Charlie Bisharat (Shadowfax), Rebecca Daniel (ACO), Jeff Oster and many others.
In 2014, she and Ackerman co-produced the successful debut album of Jennifer DeFrayne, who won Best New Artist in the 2015 ZMR Awards for her album By A Wire.
When not recording or touring, Fiona is busy directing the entrepreneurial side of her music business, an effort which is crucial to the success of every independent artist.
She manages her growing record label, Little Hartley Music, and promotes Fiona Joy Jewellery, her new line offering the upscale Swarovsky crystal-adorned bracelets and foot jewellery that she wears while performing barefooted in concert.
When not on the road, Fiona escapes to her peaceful home in the Camden Haven.