Casey Donovan takes songwriter Justine Eltakchi on Eurovision dream

By the end of next week, Justine Eltakchi might be a lot more famous than she ever expected.

She has written a song called Proud for Eurovision Australia and on February 8, SBS will televise it live and the public will have the chance to vote for the winner.

"It's a dream come true," she said.

"If I was to win, it would change my life absolutely, writers are always looking for opportunities - to be seen by other artists, producers. It would be on the stage to 180 million people, it would be nuts.

"But I'm pretty nervous. I'm trying not to have any expectation."

Ms Eltakchi, 30, has been working towards a music career since studying three unit music at her NSW Blue Mountains high school and said she "formed much of my creative identity in the quiet surrounds of the Mountains".

But before being chosen in September as the song for former Australian Idol star, Casey Donovan, Ms Eltakchi was on the verge of throwing it all away.

"It's such a hard industry - the day I got the phone call I was feeling so down I was like, should I just quit? That was when I got a phone call to say, 'We love your song so much we want to send it to Casey Donovan'."

Donovan has "championed" her songwriter, mentioning her in every interview.

"She doesn't have to do that but she has, that's Casey, she's so kind and generous."

Proud was produced by Idol musical director John Foreman and the Australian Pops Orchestra and is already charting well.

"When the five songs competing were released ... Proud peaked at 10 on the iTunes pop charts and 25 on the overall chart," she said.

"It was the best performing song so far of the Eurovision Australia entries ... sitting amongst Ed Sheeran and Lizzo."

Ms Eltakchi's family still lives in Glenbrook, where she regularly visits. Her first gigs were at age 16 at the Blue Tongue Cafe in Glenbrook, and she has performed 700 of her own shows since.

"I am very grateful to the Mountains community for the opportunities I was given," she said.

Six hundred entries were received for Eurovision Australia, via an open "song portal" that anyone in the country could enter.

"The song was inspired by two people close to me in the LGBTQI community, but as I started to write it, it became about being proud of being different."

Ms Eltakchi has been legally blind from birth.

"Obviously it was hard for me having this limitation, I had to be okay about being different from a young age."

Donovan has called the song an "anthem" to her life.

This story Casey Donovan takes songwriter on Eurovision dream first appeared on Blue Mountains Gazette.