Simone Waddell is a world class singer, songwriter and voice for justice.
Simone’s voice and music have been described as “world class”, “drenched with soul and feeling” and “utterly amazing”.
As a child growing up in Sydney Australia, Simone was known to bring her young local friends together to create performances and shows for the neighbours in the street. Simone embraced multiple performing arts through her childhood and teenage years with ballet, dance, and acting.
Her desire to learn piano was finally realised at age seven after much pleading with her parents to begin lessons. Her love of music was profound from an early age and has never waned across her entire life. To this day she is grateful to live the dynamic and creative life that music brings. Simone felt at home at McDonald College Performing Arts High School where it was quite normal for friends to be working on scripts, practising dance routines, or bursting into three part harmony in the playground. Years later, Simone coached singers at The College, ran performance workshops, and was invited to speak as a representative Alumni for the thirty five year anniversary in 2019.
Simone began her tertiary music studies at Southern Cross University in Lismore, N.S.W. A truly amazing season surrounded by passionate wonderful musicians, and picturesque nature. Whilst there, Simone was personally invited to perform for Dr Warwick Carter, the Dean of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Simone then became the first Australian to ever be awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee, creating media coverage and also attracting a generous grant from OzMusic. Simone was soon announced as the winner of the Nescafe Big Break Competition receiving $20,000, resulting in more media coverage.
After finishing her Contemporary Music Bachelor of Arts Degree at Berklee, and performing nightly with magnificent live jazz and pop bands on the Luxury Cruise Liner, “The Odyssey” on Boston Harbour, Simone’s career hit a new level in America with the launch of her first two albums Take My Love and Make it Happen.
Upon returning to Sydney from successful singing engagements and contracts in America, Asia, and Europe, Simone was quickly sought after by some of Australia’s most accomplished musicians as a solo performer and/or backing vocalist for both live and studio work. She has performed professionally in many top venues for over twenty five years, her styles including gospel, jazz, soul, funk, pop, ballads, and R&B.
Simone was extremely overjoyed to accept a highly coveted $40,000 Research Award from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Jazz Faculty, and completed her post graduate degree: Masters of Music (Performance) under the supervision of Dr Helen Mitchell. She was also under the instruction of the late Kerrie Biddell – the top Australian jazz vocalist. This led to Simone being invited to perform as a featured artist at the Manly Jazz Festival, one of the leading jazz festivals in Australia. Simone returned to the Manly Jazz Festival in 2019 for the Billie Holiday Show with The Rodric White Septet who have also performed their exquisite show in Sydney Jazz venues.
Simone was the first jazz vocalist to ever attain a Masters Research Degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She received a research grant and was invited to travel to New Zealand where she presented her research at Auckland University at the Australian and New Zealand Musicological Society Conference. She also presented her research at the Seymour Centre and at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Simone was a featured artist performing with her world class band at the 5th annual Bastille Festival held at the iconic Circular Quay in Sydney, and returned the next year with the ARIA award winning Pat Powell and Doug Williams, to perform their show stopping a’capella songs.
Her love of travel and other cultures has remained strong over the years, and her live interview and radio support of her music from The Booth Ghana, resulted in an exciting opportunity to soon perform in Ghana and judge the “Ghana Got Talent” competition.
Simone’s dream to travel to Africa was fulfilled in 2018, as she was privileged to work with the globally renowned WATOTO CHILDREN’S CHOIR in Uganda mentoring the young singers, the teenage music academy, and the worship leaders at Watoto Church. She also served the women in the Living Hope program helping to empower the women of Africa, and at Baby Watoto where she fell in love with the babies and toddlers.
Simone collaborated with the great Australian jazz guitarist Jim Kelly, to produce an album full of stunning jazz tunes with equally exquisite arrangements. “My Romance” is a timeless and quality body of work that has been a total joy for Simone to create. Highlight tracks include, Summertime, You’ve Changed, and You Don’t Know What Love Is, and feature some of Australia’s finest musicians. The album launch for “My Romance” was a sold out night at Sydney’s leading jazz club in October 2015, with audience reviews such as:
“Stunning! It was one of the best nights of my life!”
“Beautiful songs and very real stories”
“It was the best album launch I’ve attended!!”
Simone enjoyed the experience of working with Jim immensely and enlisted him again as her Producer to record SURRENDER, an album of her original music. The songs are full of glorious moments of musical creativity with strong melodies, layered harmonies and magnificent instrumentation. Notably, Jim describes this work as “the best playing of his life.”
Simone launched SURRENDER over two sold out nights at well known venues in Sydney with a knock out band. These nights were met with incredible feedback from the audience and also included a featured duet with her dear friend Doug Williams who sang backing vocals on the album.
“I walked out a different person, because your lyrics penetrated my soul and I THANK YOU”
“Inspirational and awesome! Beautiful original songs written from the heart – Simone absolutely captured the audience.”
“SURRENDER – I have been listening to it over and over.”
Simone’s music videos for Brokenness, This Too Will Pass and I Fell have received over half a million views on YouTube and Facebook combined.
Her touring schedule has been full as she has performed on the incredibly popular show “Elvis to the Max” around Australia. Simone was also privileged to play keyboard and sing backing vocals touring nationally with the multi-award winning hit artist Taylor Dayne.
Performing as the lead female singer in “The Marvin Gaye Experience” in 2015 with the impeccable American and Australian fifteen piece band was an amazingly unforgettable experience for Simone, all before she headed back to her much loved Japanese audience to perform solo in Fukuoka, Japan for four months at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. There are only two crystal pianos in all of Japan and Simone played one of those every night when she performed her shows in Japan.
Singing with the Cameraygal Wind Symphony Orchestra and with world class pianist Simon Tedeschi were also beautiful and highly memorable experiences.
Simone collaborated with the late Cornell Thigpen (Babyface, Mary J Blige, Stevie Nicks, Chaka Khan) on a duet, “Breathe” for his final album release. Cornell was an extraordinary talent.
Simone has performed numerous times across many years for well-known Politicians and National Leaders at Parliament House in Sydney, which is an extreme honour.
2016 brought more adventures to Simone when she sang on the premium tribute show, “The Adele Experience.” Also touring with the wildly popular Mark Anthony on his ELVIS – “If I Can Dream” show, and singing with the incomparable Joseph Calderazzo and his thirteen piece band on, “The Hits of 1976” in numerous theatres. Simone also sang with Jazz Nouveau for a magnificent New Years Eve event at the best spot in town… the highest floor of The Shangri La Hotel which overlooked the iconic Sydney Harbour and Opera House for an outstanding fireworks display. 2018 was another incredible New Years Eve Event performing with Buzz Band at the AMP building, the premier fireworks vantage point in Sydney, also looking over the harbour.
Simone was filled with gratitude to be the Opening Act for the Number #1 Australian Jazz Singer, Vince Jones during Australian Music Week. Vince Jones had a major influence on Simone as a singer, which made this night unforgettable.
Accepting the invitation to perform a concert for Jazz @The Gallery in Tasmania was a definite honour, where Simone worked with one of the top trios in the Tasmanian Jazz scene.
“Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club” the iconic Melbourne Jazz venue, was graced with a Live and Intimate show featuring Simone and Lucas Michailidis, (guitar) and in 2018 Simone had her full band for a successful debut to a packed house at “The Paris Cat” – Melbourne’s finest dedicated live jazz venue. “A venue committed to featuring the best jazz – and always on a pursuit to discover the next generation of Australian Jazz artists.”
“Simone, thank you so very much for a successful debut at the club last Wednesday night!! We would LOVE to have you back again!” – Paris Cat
Simone returned to Paris Cat in November 2018 and June 2019, and looks forward to many more wonderful experiences in Melbourne.
Simone returned to Japan in June 2018 to speak at EMPOWER CONFERENCE in Fukuoka and to perform a concert to raise awareness and funds for Messenger Rescue – bringing freedom for those trapped in sex trafficking. Simone also performed a live concert in Nagano for the same cause as well as a series of sold out jazz shows with Hiroaki Takei (double bass) and Tadao Tsunoda, (jazz guitar) both Japanese musicians.
Singing a concert with the legendary Australian keyboard player Sam McNally and Friends in Shenzhen CHINA, at the world famous Poly Theatre, commonly termed “The Carnegie Hall of China” was an incredible experience, complete with a beautifully receptive sold out audience. Simone and Sam perform together often and collaborated in 2019 on “Are You Listening Sydney” which is an initiative to showcase some of the best LIVE music talents in Sydney. They also performed at JMC Academy Concert Series, which is a well known music college in the heart of Sydney.
Simone performs in many of the top Sydney venues such as Venue 505, the Vanguard, Brass Monkey, Lazybones, Foundry 616, Camelot Lounge, Django Bar, and Music @Street Market.
Simone collaborated with Signature Music Design, an American based record label, and released her EP, “NEW DAY’ in December 2017. A collection of inspiring and empowering songs that weave a theme of hope and strength through each note. The EP supports Messenger Rescue, an organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking on the earth. Simone is known for her advocacy and voice for justice in areas of sex trafficking, domestic violence, and child abuse.
The music videos for each song were filmed in amazing locations in Australia including Byron Bay, the Hunter Valley, and overlooking Sydney Harbour. “Here To Win” is the bonus release from the project which instigated a new campaign in 2019 to continue the important advocacy work. Simone also created her own clothing line called, “Not Silent” and these t-shirts and singlets with their unique design send a powerful message, and also help in raising funds for freedom. More information is HERE.
Simone performed alongside Australian country music stars Hayley Jensen and Kirsty Anderson at “Silence Broken” at The Basement in Sydney, to support sufferers of Domestic Violence – a cause very close to the heart of each of these performers.
Simone also sang as a featured artist for “Collaborate!” which is a special series of concerts for Australian original artists held in Sydney. Her incredible live band and fantastic audience made the night a great success.
Due to her expertise in vocal training and coupled with her dynamic personality, Simone is also considered an expert in her field of vocal coaching after teaching thousands of singing lessons stretched across two decades.
Many of those years were spent as the Contemporary Voice Coach for Newtown Performing Arts High School, McDonald College Performing Arts High School, Casimir Catholic College and Campbelltown Performing Arts High School. Simone was also a vocal coach at the esteemed Bristol Voice Studios in Boston, U.S.A, and at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts in the U.S.A. Simone’s coaching work extends to vocal producing for singers in the studio, running vocal workshops and privately mentoring singers of all levels. Her popular vocal resources, products, clothing, and DVDs are themed with inspiring and empowering lessons and detailed, clear musical exercises.
Simone authored her popular Ebook, “How To Strengthen Your Voice in 5 Easy Steps” in 2013 to assist singers of all levels.
Her expert coaching includes her, “Coaching Beyond The Song” work.
This is because there are times when the voice is suppressed or affected by life’s circumstances such as:
Loss of relationships
Fear of the unknown/failure
Abuse and trauma
Lack of support from family and/or loved ones
Lack of clarity and purpose
Inability to make money doing what you love
Feeing blocked, held back, frustrated or misunderstood
Unhealed subconscious patterns and childhood wounding
Faulty and unsupportive core beliefs
Simone, upon request, works with select clients not just on their voice, but on THE SONG OF THEIR LIFE. Freedom, clarity, true alignment, breakthrough, peace and joy are all there to be received and for many years Simone has been coaching people to have the voice and the life that they want. Simone also worked as an assistant coach for Dr Jeanine Staples and mentors clients from around the globe in the U.S.A, Canada, New Zealand, and Costa Rica.
Simone is a TOTAL COACH. She is known for her ability to inspire people to make all kinds of magic with their gifts. She supports creative people and helps identify where there is a lack of knowledge, opportunities, skills, confidence, clarity or understanding.
Simone creates opportunities for people to grow creatively and have transformative whole life experiences.
She knows how to “pull it all together.”
Her unique online interactive twelve month course, “You Have A Voice Academy” is nothing short of groundbreaking and is accepting enrolments now.The feedback has been beyond any expectation, and this comment from one of the participants say so much, “It is my honour to be in the You Have A Voice Academy….I just feel happier, more focussed, disciplined and in control. I am so much more confident and free.” More information is HERE.
She helps people find their voice.
Simone has run numerous YOU HAVE A VOICE, SING FROM YOUR SOUL, FOCUS, BE FREE, YOU HAVE A GROOVE, AND EXPERIENCE THE RECORDING STUDIO workshops involving artists and coaches such as Jenny Morris, Kerrie Biddell, Maria Venuti, Leigh McCrae, Jess Ciampa, Josh Quong Tart, Michael Carpenter, Doug Williams, Esther King, Rebecca Henry, Pat Powell, Mary Kiani, Gail Page, Jim Kelly, and the globally influential Melanie Tonia Evans. Simone also collaborated with Steve Clisby from The Voice, while they ran their three day Hearts Have Beats Singers Mentorship.
Simone also facilitates stunning four and five day retreats in beautiful natural settings which are transformational and life changing for all who attend. “Song of Your Life Retreat” and “You Have A Voice Summit” are world class programs.
Simone was honoured to accept an invitation from the esteemed Executive Producer Pauline McFetridge to judge Miss World Australia. This led to further judging of Miss Sydney Australia, Miss Southern Highlands, Miss NSW, Miss Australasian, and Miss Lebanon Australia. This treasured relationship led to Simone appearing as a featured vocalist and working behind the scenes multiple times as Production Assistant for the five star events of The Annual Life Education Harold Gold Awards.
Being a judge for the Nescafe Big Break competitions was an honoured invitation accepted by Simone, after previously winning that same competition. Simone worked for many years as the Jazz/Blues/Funk expert, judging all entries in those categories as well as serving on the grand final panel.
Simone has performed every year for the opening of the prestigious Miss Lebanon Australia Pageant at Doltone House in Sydney, since 2012. An event that draws major media coverage and acclaim.
Being a prolific songwriter, Simone has released four albums, two EPs and numerous singles. Simone’s inspirational song “Born to Win” had high rotation on Sydney radio receiving rave reviews, and was selected as the headlining song which Simone performed at the crowning of Miss World Australia.
It is also the theme song at Heal For Life, a healing program for adults and teens recovering from abuse. Simone has donated all sales from this song to charities in Australia and overseas to help African orphans, young women with life controlling issues of eating disorders and self harm, and people suffering from trauma and abuse.
Her latest gospel track, Surely You Know produced by well known Australian Musical Director and bass player Ralph Marshall, is featured on the “Aussie Hope Album” with all profits going towards Live Connection Aid projects in developing countries.
Over the years Simone has performed at countless charity events, assisting in raising millions of dollars for various worthy causes and bringing hope to the disadvantaged.
Simone’s first ever ZOUK song, No One Comes Close (Zouk Remix), represents a style popular in West Africa, France, Brazil and Dominica. This track reached #5 on the Australian iTunes World Music Charts and is the first time in history that an Australian female has released a Zouk song with such success.
Various radio stations embrace Simone’s music including:
Northside radio FM 99.3
The Rock’n DownUnder Show – California, U.S.A
New Grooves Program – 96.5
Inner FM – Melbourne
Aussie Grown Radio – 106five FM
Hope 103.2 – Sydney
Rhema FM – Newcastle
The Booth – Ghana
Regarded as an astute and dynamic speaker, M.C, host, and presenter, Simone is a complete natural on the stage and with people. Her keynote talks and presentations are powerful and impacting.
Simone is an accomplished model and actor featuring in television commercials for NAB, Target, Allans Lollies, Splenda, Riva Gold Coffee, Carefree, Lite and Easy, David Jones, Optus, Real Insurance, Debts No More, and Squirrel Superannuation. Also if you look closely you will see Simone in the mini – series BOND – the life of Alan Bond.
During 2019 Simone collaborated with pianist and arranger Rodric White to feature as the lead singer on his Billie Holiday Show with a stunning seven piece band. This was performed at Foundry 616, Camelot Lounge, and The Manly International Jazz Festival in Sydney. Simone also performed on Rodric’s show at Foundry 616, featuring music by Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Bill Evans. Performing at the Zambia’s Child Annual Dinner, JMC Academy Concert Series and “Are You Listening Sydney?” with her dear friend and piano player Sam McNally were all highlight experiences. Performing with the beautiful Hayley Jensen for “The Leukaemia Foundation Light The Night” Event underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge was also very special and moving. One of her big moments of 2019 was singing with the talented West African musician Gervais Koffi and his band the African Diaspora, when the late Greedy Smith from the iconic band “Mental As Anything” was invited onto the stage. Simone sang impromptu backing vocals for Greedy on the song, “Live It Up” which was a huge Aussie hit and said, “it felt so surreal, I am still on a high!” 2019 also opened the doors for Simone to return to China to perform in Guangzhou at the Xinghai Concert Hall and in Shenzhen at the state of the art Haiya Theatre, as well as teaching many vocal workshops in Shenzhen. Amazing! December 7th 2019 was Simone’s debut show at Doo Bop Jazz Club in Brisbane. An unforgettable night! – “The room went nuts!” – “It was an exhilarating experience watching Simone perform. A true professional.”- “Awesome Show! Loved every song and every note!”
Inspired by a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“For you must do the thing you think you cannot.”
“Continually refining her own craft as an incredible singer. Open to all the things that the creative world throws at her. Loyal and committed to what she believes in.” – Michael Carpenter
“Your singing is superb, just simply superb.” – Liz Mullinar AM
“Simone, your voice will give and gives the world a voice for transformation. Please keep helping this world sing a song of peace. You are peace. Thank you for the amazing gift you bring to us all.” – Jeff Slayter
“Simone is a beautiful whirling dervish of energetic creative talent. The studio environment bares the souls of all participants and Simone would stand as one of the easiest and focused artists that I’ve worked with. She possesses an open creative spirit and the musicianship and vocal technique allowing it all to come together. I’m looking forward to a long musical relationship with Simone over the ensuing years.” – Jim Kelly
“Working with Simone is a dream.” – Mick Malouf
“When I first heard Simone’s song, “Born To Win” I was moved to tears and blown away by the message and the inspiration it brings! I liked the song so much that I taught the song and the lyrics to a large women’s conference in Singapore and play it often at my Find Your Million Dollar Voice program all over the world. The song encourages everyone who is fortunate enough to hear it.” – Deborah Torres Patel
“I have had the privilege of working with many awe inspiring vocalists throughout my career and can openly say from my heart that Simone Waddell is amongst the very best of them. Her voice is stunning, as is her personality, that shines through every time she sings. Simone is a gift to the world of music.” – Martha Baartz