Here is the letter Kyla Brox, winner of EBC 2019 in Ponta Delgada, has forwarded to the EBU with some of her impressions after the Challenge:
Our Experience at the 9th EBC
I’m so proud to have represented the UK Blues Federation at the 9th European Blues Challenge and thrilled that we won! The response from the crowd, the judges and our fellow musicians was amazing and it feels great to receive this huge accolade. I can’t stop smiling!
The event itself was truly brilliant. It went so smoothly; everything seemed to run exactly to time and exactly as planned, at least from my point of view. Congratulations must go to the European Blues Union and the Santa Maria Blues Festival Association for doing such a great job of organising it all. Held in Ponta Delgada, The Azores, we couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful setting: an amazing venue on a gorgeous island. I loved every minute.
The occasion and the dramatic venue demanded that we came on stage at the top of our game. The full weight of support and the pressure of expectation definitely spurred me on. Not only did we need to deliver our best performance, we had to make sure that we weren’t over or under time. As we got to the end of our last song, “Honestly Blues”, we still had over a minute left on the clock and I decided I wasn’t going to stop! I hoped the band would follow me and just carried on singing. It was that moment of improvisation, flying blind, when I really felt like we were playing out of our skin, purely in the music and the crowd could feel it, too. I dedicated the whole performance to Blues broadcasting legend, Dave Raven, who we lost to cancer so recently, and I’m pretty sure he was shining a light on me through the whole thing.
We are already reaping rewards from our win in the Azores; many new opportunities to play in countries we haven’t visited before, more DJs playing our music, some great press coverage. Taking part in the UK, European and International Blues Challenges has been an emotional rollercoaster, but it has definitely been a good thing for my career. Many thanks to the UK Blues Federation, the European Blues Union and The Blues Foundation for their dedication to the Challenges and the Blues. I’m so happy!