The fourth instalment of Leading Lights is just on the horizon, this time teaming up with Listen Up Music for a spirited night highlighting music collaboration at its finest. The show will be presented by Small Time on the 22nd of April and will feature the talent of many artists from the RSOM Community including Nussy, Seb Szabo, Taylah Carroll and Benjamin Trillado.

Listen Up Music is a registered mental health music charity that aims to empower professionals within the music industry while promoting and practicing positive mental health. All money raised from the concert will go directly towards the foundation.

Mornington Peninsula based singer/songwriter Maxon is the creator of the Leading Lights initiative. Amongst other exciting projects, Maxon has dispersed her light far and wide gracing audiences with the Leading Lights series.

In our latest Q&A, we chat to Maxon about her story behind Leading Lights and what we can expect from this special night next Thursday evening.

How did the idea for Leading Lights come about?  

“I played a really beautiful intimate single launch for my song ‘History’ a few years ago. I Invited some friends to come along and feature with me on certain songs during the show. It was such a heartwarming evening and we all felt this real sense of community and connection. I often feel like the industry forces us to be quite competitive with one another, when this just isn’t in our nature as artists and performers. We all know that music is healing for the audience, but what we as songwriter’s get to experience is so profound that when done with others you get this sense of belonging. I called the single launch Maxon & The Leading Lights!”

Where did the inspiration for the name come from?

“I believe there is space for everyone to shine in this world. As corny as that sounds :p The show is about bringing a bunch of independent musicians together on stage uniting as one. But it’s also about equality. Everyone is a leader on this stage.”

How did your collaboration with Listen Up Music come to be?

“I met the Listen Up Music team as a finalist for their songwriting competition in 2019. We’ve been meaning to team up for a while and we’ve finally made it. I’m so happy with this collaboration! Listen Up Music is a mental health charity raising awareness and helping many musicians and music industry professionals actively practice positive mental health.”

What can we expect from the gig on April 22nd?

“Think extraordinary vocal prowess and a string of perfectly harmonic-driven anthems. It’s a night of collaboration, community, love and music. I always have a real good cry so bring some tissues and get ready for a whole lot of love to fill up your bodies!!!”

Could you share a little about the artists performing and why they have been selected for the show?

“This is a really special edition of Leading Lights because most of the line-up is affiliated with Listen Up Music including their ambassadors Nussy and Sir Jude. The other artists I’ve selected for this show are Taylah Carroll, Seb Szabo and Benjamin Trillado. All songs will be performed in their most stripped-back intimate, raw state so I do try my best to make sure we have a diverse blend of styles. Everyone brings something truly special to the table. I also absolutely love each and every single one of these artists from the bottom of my heart. Individually, these are some of the best solo artists Melbourne has to offer and their storytelling just blows your mind. I can only imagine how wonderful it’s going to be seeing them all collaborate and working together for this show!!!”

Many gigs have unfortunately had to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely due to the unpredictable circumstances of the pandemic. As Leading Lights is a wonderful platform for raising awareness and fundraising for Listen Up Music and mental health, has that affected your determination to ensure that the gig does happen and is a success? If so, how? 

“It is unfortunate to cancel. Even though we probably would have been safe to play, “probably would have been safe” isn’t really good enough when you’re thinking about the health of all parties. I believe it was the best decision at the time. We’re all really just rolling with the punches and trying to be prepared for any outcome. Honestly though, it only makes this event even more exciting because there are so many of us looking forward to sharing this moment together and donations to the charity have been incredibly generous. We teamed up with Listen Up Music and have coordinated the affiliated artists with Listen Up Ambassadors and songwriting comp finalists. So every person involved is beautifully connected in some way. It only makes us want to push harder to ensure the gig does actually happen.

Any future plans coming up for Leading Lights?

“I’m a local Mornington Peninsula girl so I’ve actually been planning a home town Leading Lights instalment for later on in 2021… with local Peninsula artists! So excited about this one too.”

Leading Lights in support of Listen Up Music will feature at Small Time Group next Thursday 22nd April.
Come along and support an amazing cause!


Written by Meli Szabo.

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