International recognition for Geelong songwriter

Bella Deer's song Care Too Much received honourable mention at the finals of the International Song Competition. (David Fromholtz)

Matt Hewson

A Geelong musician has been recognised with an honourable mention at the finals of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC).

Isabella Losi, under her stage name Bella Deer, received the nod for her song Care Too Much, which she co-wrote with Joel Quartermain (Eskimo Joe).

The song reached the final cut of the Adult Contemporary section of the prestigious ISC, the world’s largest songwriting competition.

This year’s judging panel included music industry luminaries such as Mariah Carey, Tom Waits, Paul Stanley (Kiss) and Columbia Records senior vice president John Doelp.

Losi, who balances her music career with her job as a school teacher, said had not expected to get to the semi finals, much less receive an honourable mention in the final round.

“To get this kind of international recognition is a nice nod that I’m going in the right direction,” she said.

“Obviously it doesn’t come with any prize money, but what it does do is give you credibility. And that in itself is invaluable.

“I’d been hanging on to this song for so long because I felt like it was a special song… so it’s literally years of work. It’s really nice to know your work is at an international level.”

Losi said bringing in Quartermain to help co-write Care Too Much had done wonders for her confidence.

“I’d rewritten the song dozens of times and I was in a bit of a rut,” she said.

“The song was there, but I just couldn’t make a decision. That’s when I decided to contact Joel.

“He came in and went, move this, repeat that, you should extend this a bit, just tweak this melody. It was mostly just him affirming things for me… when you’re really invested in the content and what the song is about, sometimes you can’t see past that.”