From the outside, the career of any famous musician seems practically effortless. Just take Tash Sultana, a Melbourne-born roots and blues-indebted loop pedal master. Over the period of two brief years, Sultana has gone from uploading viral videos on Facebook and Youtube to playing some of the biggest stages in the world, picking up multiple award nominations around the world and winning the unearthed artist of the year, and courting fame as a “one-person band” – not to mention a thrilling prospect to behold live.

But even overnight successes don’t come easy, and big breaks of any sort require years of hard work and preparation. Sultana’s story involves hours spent slaving over a multitude of instruments – by her own reckoning, she can play over 20 instruments – not to mention the hard work of countless behind-the-scenes players, who supported Sultana in the plight to become the internationally-renowned performer she is today. Sultana was given a guitar at the tender age of three by her grandfather, and has since then poured her life into the instrument, amassing hours on the street as a busker, and using fake IDs to play open mic nights.

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To that end, here is an oral history of Sultana’s rise, told by the people who know her best.

Part One: Discovery

Regan Lethbridge, Co-Owner Of Lemon Tree Music: I first saw Tash at Little Buckley Festival in 2011 down in coastal Victoria. It was a Sunday lunchtime set: Tash was up there playing a 12-string and it blew my mind.