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Singer-songwriter Elly Kellner reads from her personal speech at Tamoil Cultuurprijs in Markiezenhof Bergen op Zoom in 2019.

TAMOIL Culture Award

Yesterday I had the honor of receiving the Tamoil Culture Award for the Arts & Literature. It was a glorious day. The jury awarded me because of my artistic, inspiring and heart-felt lyrics, music and comics. Excerpt from the Jury’s speech: “Elly is able to write about what is sharp and painful in a way that makes it slightly muffled and vague and therefore easier to digest and look at.  At the same time she knows how to make  the vague visible with exactly the right words and has thus far written over a 1000 songs.”

I have of course thought about what all of this means to me. With a big award like this expectations automatically appear; maybe you wish me fame & fortune or that the sun will always shine for me from now on. The internal pressure does arise when receiving an award like this but… I understand that I receive it for all the things I have already created thus far. With this award and all the things that have happened to me this year I can, without a doubt, say that 2019 is the year of beautiful opportunities! From out of nowhere I suddenly feel seen and heard and this is a very, very welcome feeling. Thank you ♥

With the award I also got to take sea knight home with me, a brave warrior with a big heart. That suits me well because I happened to be on the look out for a fine man! It is a bonus that he is also the keeper of secrets, stories and discoveries.  Myself, I am not a keeper of secrets, more likely a whistle blower. Or to put it differently: I sometimes feel like the canary in the coalmine. When the canary stops singing it’s a warning to the miners that there was a gas leak. My antenna is sensitive, my body responds swiftly and my belly is wise like a guru. If only I listened to it sooner, more often.

As a child I had my own story that I needed to tell and this is how the need to create drawings and songs came about. Luckily my mother gave me a voice that people love to listen to, I am really thankful for that gift. I think it is really special I can reach people with my words and melodies and that it brings something different to each individual.

To all those who have been there from the start… to the people who understand that I use my life and my art to process things, to examine and improve myself and thus make life more bearable… YOU are my tribe and everybody needs a tribe. Thank you for being here.

Music and creativity has been the common thread throughout my life. Even if I sometimes lose the plot, I am very happy with where it has brought me. I am going to try continuing on this path to see where it will lead me.

Thank you so much,

Elly 🧡



Photo by SHOOT!ByGitta

Aftermovie Tamoil Cultuurprijs by IVision
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