Local artist profile: Alice Bottomley

August 27, 2023 BY

Kicker: X marks the spot. Alice first came to prominence as an entrant in The X Factor Australia in 2014.

THIS week we chat with accomplished singer and musical theatre performer Alice Bottomley.


What initially motivated you to become a singer and performer?

My grandfather was the organist and choirmaster at our local church for 60 years. As children and young teenagers we were all a part of the choir. My parents are both singers too. My dad studied at Victorian College of the Arts and they were both involved in amateur and professional musical theatre. Every young girl aspires to be a pop star, don’t they?


How would you describe your style?

Obviously starting out as a choral singer, mainly with religious music, that was the way I was gently nudged, but always liked to push the boundaries. It took me a long time to discover my sound because I’d been sort of conditioned in that style. I would describe my sound as big and soulful. As I got older I spent a lot of time listening to Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Carole King, Fleetwood Mac and then I realised that whilst I was an average classical singer, I actually had something really special once I found what my voice could really do.


Which other singers inspire you?

I have such a broad range of inspiration, from Stevie Nicks to Van Morrison to Broadway, to Nat Cole, Tony Bennett, all the way through to Dolly Parton, Whitesnake, Air Supply, Foreigner, Elvis, and Johnny Cash. Whilst I enjoy your everyday top 40 artists, the music that really hits me in the soul is the old stuff and not just the songs but the history, the culture and the way music has evolved.


What are some highlights you have from your career so far?

I’ve been very lucky to have many incredible opportunities thus far, being a part of X Factor in 2014, flying to New York and singing for John Legend, all the amazing roles I’ve been fortunate to play within the musical theatre scene, working on and writing my own EP with an incredibly talented producer, who also happens to be a dear friend, performing at fundraisers, high profile events, and even something as simple as singing in the car with my family.  I find such joy in performing, it doesn’t matter where it is or who it’s for.


How has your work been affected by COVID?

Obviously COVID was devastating for many sectors. I was actually cast in a show that was postponed for 12 months due to COVID and then when we all came back had to navigate a couple of lockdowns and capacity restrictions, which was very hard, but the resilience and creativity of the performing arts community meant we were able to push through.


What would you say to young regional aspiring performers who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

Go for it! Life is too short to be doing something that you don’t want to be doing. As musicians, creative people and performers, there’s something very special about the way it all makes us feel and what it allows us to be. It’s a hard gig, but persistence and practice will go a long way. Don’t say no to anything, even if it’s a gig or opportunity that sounds a bit silly or not big enough. Everything is exposure and practice, and you just never know who might be sitting in the crowd.