KELLI BROGAN 

Kelli Brogan (July 18, 1976) is an Australian singer and songwriter known for her storytelling in song and blessed with a powerful, emotive voice. In 2015, she released her first self-titled album ‘Kelli Brogan’, 10 original country songs produced by indie label - SCL Records, followed by the 2018 EP titled ‘The Woman I Was’. Although she has been honoured by Akademia for her first album, which sat for 10 consecutive weeks at number 1 on the fan voted charts in the USA, and her single from her EP ‘If This Is All There Is’, finishing number 3 on the Indie Star Radio Pop Chart, she is still relatively unknown. 

EARLY LIFE

Born on July 18, 1976, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Kelli grew up in Melton and spent most of her life there. She was the oldest of two children. Her father, Neil Brogan, was a ballroom dancer, carpenter, firefighter and security guard. Her mother, Sandra (née Duncan), was a ballroom dancer, childcare worker and single mother. From an early age, Kelli displayed interest in art and music. When she was two, she started dance lessons, by four she was competing.  Kelli grew up surrounded by drawing, painting and creativity with her family. She started singing lessons at age 13, but this only lasted 5 years, the rest of her vocal training would come from workshops and personal growth later in life.  

From the age of 15 Kelli sang in a variety of styles at weddings, corporate events, variety shows and pubs. While a student in secondary school, she studied music and learnt to play basic guitar and keyboard. Due to her school commitments and competitive ballroom dancing, Kelli moved away from singing for a while. She always had high expectations of herself and decided that it was important to achieve good grades and get a good job rather than pursue a music career. 

Kelli completed her VCE and later a Bachelor of Education (with Honours) and went straight into primary school teaching at Killara Primary School in Sunbury.  Throughout this time, she also won two Australian Dancesport titles as an amateur dancer and went on to a professional career.  Kelli represented Australia at the World Ten Dance Championships in the Netherlands reaching the semi-final, the World Ballroom Championships in England and Germany Finishing 21st, and also won another Australian title in 2009. 

Kelli loved being a schoolteacher, teaching children was so rewarding.  Being able to help shape their minds and futures was something that she felt honoured to be able to do. In 2008, after returning from a World Championship, Kelli was called upon to change her role.  She was to become the Performing Arts teacher at the school. Kelli wasn’t sure about doing this, anything new always brought up reservations in her own ability, however she successfully continued in this role for the next 11 years. 

During those years Kelli learnt to play basic drums, film making, basic recoding techniques, studied media, other forms of dance, many different forms of music, and dabbled in drama, which was something else from her childhood. Her passion for music and singing, which she had pushed aside, had now been ignited once more and she was beginning to wonder whether she had made the right decision all those years ago. Kelli joined a band, ENCORE, in 2007 and stayed with them for the next 5 years, performing at weddings, dinner dances and private functions. The band then went their own way and Kelli decided to do some work on her own at small venues and private functions before joining a duo called HOT ICE. 

In 2012, on her birthday and while at work, Kelli suffered a TIA (Trans Ischemic Attack) that lead to the discovery of a brain aneurysm on the right ICA.  While this was a traumatic time in her life leading up to her operation, it was also a time when she turned to the things, she loved the most to help her cope, of course that was music and dance.  It was during this time and the months after the operation that Kelli started to evaluate her life decisions and started to make some small, but lasting changes. 

MUSIC CAREER

With music now in the forefront of Kelli’s mind once more she was given the opportunity to record a demo for an independent record label (SCL Records) in her hometown. This recording of the song – ‘But That Was Yesterday’ was so well received by the label head that he offered Kelli the opportunity to record a country album. The album was finished in 2014 and released in 2015 with ‘But That Was Yesterday’ as the single. The album won three awards at the 2017 Akademia Independent Music Awards – Best Country Song and Best Country Ballad for ‘But That Was Yesterday’ and Best Country Album.  Kelli and the label were overwhelmed by its success as she was unknown locally, let alone anywhere else in the world. While in the USA for the award ceremony Kelli made a side trip to Las Vegas for sightseeing, and also to see Celine Dion live in concert. Celine had always been one of Kelli’s inspirations as an artist.  She loved her musical range, vocal artistry and the emotive connection she seemed to be able to portray in her lyrical interpretations. That concert turned out to be another pivotal moment in Kelli’s life. Celine had once again ignited the fire that had burned in Kelli so long ago.  Her love of big ballads, of uplifting, impassioned and powerful music and lyrics. The songs from her childhood and formative years. These were the songs that Kelli loved to sing, that she was passionate about and these were the songs that she now knew she had to go back to if she was really going to fall in love with singing and performing again. 

Upon her return to Australia, Kelli started researching songs and songwriters who she could work with or write songs with, like the ones she longed to sing.  Kelli came across a demo of the song ‘If This Is All There Is’.  At the time, this song ticked all the boxes for Kelli.  She was going through a turbulent time both at work and in her personal life and asking herself what was her true purpose in life, and was she in fact supposed to do more with her life than what she was currently doing. 

Kelli contacted the songwriter – Greg Critchley - in the USA and asked if the song had been recorded and whether he would be happy for her to record it. Greg was more than happy for Kelli to do this and was thrilled that she had connected with the song.  This started a beautiful friendship, as Greg was also an award-winning producer and would go on to find songs, co-write a song with Kelli and produce her EP titled ‘The Woman I Was’.  The EP was released in 2018, but unfortunately it never really gave Kelli the recognition she was hoping for.  It did however create more exposure for her as an artist and allowed her to learn so much more about the music industry than she ever thought possible.  In 2020, during what would be a year to go down in history, Kelli wrote the song, ‘I Miss The Little Things’.  This was a celebration of all the little things in life that we take for granted and don’t really appreciate until they are taken from us.  2020 was a year where Australia suffered floods, extreme bushfires and the Covid world-wide pandemic. Melbourne in particular suffered through extensive periods of lockdown. It was certainly a year where everyone needed inspiration and Kelli’s song, ‘I Miss The Little Things’, gave them just that.