ABBEY STONE RELEASES NEW SINGLE – BADLADY

BADLADY, the female anthem of 2019 is the long awaited new release from the fearless Abbey Stone.

Out now, the track relates to the everyday working woman and sings the message of empowerment and strength. It recognises the importance of self worth and self love in a world that can put you down.

“It’s deciding to roll with the punches but making your confidence, peace and happiness a priority,” says Stone.

“BADLADY is a song that I wrote at the end of an awful day.  It sparked the idea that I couldn’t give from an empty cup. I had to reset and find a way to go about my daily life in the most empowered way possible; first and foremost for myself, and in turn, for those around me.”

The release is also a credit to Abbey’s growth and dedication as an independent Artist in the Melbourne music scene. Upon releasing her last EP, Complete, in 2017, in which she earned her first production credit, BADLADY steps up to the next level as the production has resulted in a sexy and sassy track.

Following the release of her last EP, Complete, Stone has been head deep in writing and performing with notable key performances including singing alongside Brian Cadd and Russell Morris at Crown Casino. Another big highlight for the 24 year old was performing at the Palais Theatre in November 2018 supporting Richard Marx.

BADLADY will become a part of an exciting new EP set to be released in summer 2020.

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LISTEN TO THE LATEST SINGLE FROM ABBEY STONE HERE

Check out Abbey Stone on:
Website| Facebook| Spotify| Instagram| YouTube|

A Conversation With LACUNA

Tamara Violet Partridge may only be 22 years of age, but she’s already making her stance in Melbourne’s electronic music scene. Apart from working on her debut album, she’s currently focusing on her headlining show ‘Ladies to the Front,’ a showcase of women in electronic music. RSOM sat down and spoke to Tamara about all things feminism and all things music. 

Welcome back to RSOM, do you just want to start by giving us a rundown of what you’ve been up to since we spoke to you last October?

“I’ve been teaching for the last year or so, and I’ve helped written the curriculum for the course I teach. Other than that, I’ve been working on the album which is set to release later this year or early next year. I’ve got a single with my first professional music video accompanying it in the next few months as well coming out, which has been fun to make and collaborate with people on. I’ve basically just been writing a heap of songs and working out which ones to pick and choose from, because I’d rather write 20 tracks and pick the 10 best ones, the great ones. Just a lot of writing at this stage is where I’m at.”

You’ve got an amazing project coming up called ‘Ladies to the Front,’ where you’re headlining. Are you able to tell us what that’s about?

“The whole process of it really was that I wanted to put on a show that showcased women in the electronic music scene in Melbourne, because there are a lot of really prevalent artists that just aren’t making it to radio play or are getting the recognition they deserve when they get to that touring or even international level that male artists are getting. I just think to myself ‘well why is that?’. It’s not in a negative way or to put down any male artists at all, we’re just trying to create equality in a safe space for female artists because it can be very confronting. Especially in electronic music where there’s still that association with technology being a ‘masculine’ thing. It’s a very boys club kind of thing, which is totally fine, but it’s making sure that everyone feels equal regardless of what industry they’re in. It’s the same thing with DJ’ing, it’s not something that should be surprising or more engaging, I want you to come see me because I’m a good DJ, not because I’m a woman. The more shows we put on with women involved, where women are in the front, the better. It’s just one evening where we’re saying, ‘these chicks have worked really hard, let’s celebrate that.’

What are you looking forward to most about it?

“People have said that it’s becoming a theme in society, which is actually kind of offensive in its own right. I feel like it’s been a major theme in society since the suffragettes, but now we have the technology, the statistics and the power to talk about it. It’s like when people say, ‘feminism doesn’t have a place in modern society’ and I’m like ‘well let me tell you why it does and I know you’re allowed to have your opinion but here’s why your opinion is wrong’- statistically speaking. It’s just about that education, because sometimes people just don’t know and that’s fine too. But you need to be open minded and be willing to learn new things that you didn’t learn whilst growing up. I’m looking forward to people seeing a great show and not single out the fact that it is women performing.”

It seems like a lot of female electronic artists adopt these badass stage names. Do you feel as if ‘Lacuna’ gives you a sense of identity and confidence when out in the industry?

“It does, because I feel like as a composer when I perform it’s a totally different approach to music and a totally different industry. Being able to put a ‘Lacuna’ hat on, I talk about feminine power and feminine sexuality and mental health and sexual harassment. These are all themes throughout my album and themes throughout my music, because I like to sing about taboos. So that they’re not taboos anymore and people don’t feel isolated in these situations. I don’t get the chance to do that in composition because I’m working with someone else’s story and I’ve worked so hard to control my attitude, like I never can really express how I feel. When I’m singing; however, I can just belt out or even scream how I feel and I can swear and it’s not to my name, it’s to the name of something inside of me. I feel like Lacuna is the part of me that just wants to aggressively yell about it.”

You’re obviously a deep songwriter, but you play electronic music. Do you find it difficult to reflect the lyrics you’ve written into the electronic sounds and songs you create?

“See, that’s the easy part, which is actually really weird. I find that the hardest part is finding the flow of the story, and bringing it back into a mainstream, popular approach. It comes down to personality which is the beautiful thing about music- every artist will have a different challenge. The lyrics have always been the easy part for me and it’s something that in the Lacuna project I start with and make the beat around it. The darker or the more societally unacceptable a topic is, the more upbeat and happier key I’ll put it in to mask that. So, when people listen to it, they’re like ‘oh it’s a really good song,’ but then they find out what it’s really about and they’re shocked but realise that the song actually has a really great message.”

What’s the electronic scene like in Melbourne and do you feel like you’re empowered by the other women around you?

“Yes! And that’s exactly why I’m doing this gig. There are so many people that were on the list that couldn’t make it for various reasons and it’s like ‘why aren’t as famous as Banks’ or even male artists, it’s just like why not!? I think there’s still that unconscious bias, even though it’s getting better. You look at some of the artists and you’re like ‘you have everything perfected and there’s nothing else you need to do with your music so why is it different?’ Even the bands we play with are amazing and have done heaps of things already but people are still unaware of who they are. There are so many B-grade male DJs that people know about, yet the A-grade female DJs are almost unheard of. I don’t understand why it’s still like ‘oh so you’re a female DJ.’ Like no, I’m just a DJ, I wouldn’t call you a “male DJ.” There are so many female electronic artists and mixed bands that have trouble over male acts. There’s a big support system though. I’d love to turn it into an ongoing series too, and I might not even need to play at the next one because there’s so many female electronic artists out there. Electronic music is popping up everywhere, especially female musicians and it’s just great.”

Who are your favourite women in music and in electronic music currently?

“I think the biggest person is Bjork, like from when I was a kid. There are a lot of European artists, as well as Banks, FKA Twigs. I also love the RnB side, the girls I grew up with like TLC, Destiny’s Child, Missy Elliot, those who are big in the electronic/RnB scene. They changed the world. It’s really great when artists are the turning point for you, like FKA Twigs inspired me to want to perform again because what she’s doing is so amazing.”

Check out LACUNA on:

Facebook | InstagramSpotify

 

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Written by Jordyn Hoekstra
Photos courtesy of Vinyl Planet 
Productions live at Ladies To The Front at
Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood June 1 2017

GRETTA RAY

“I think part of me always knew that I was going to be a performer – I was lucky enough to begin performing at a very young age, and became addicted to it pretty much instantly!”

At just 19 years of age, Gretta Ray has had a big couple of years. Having been announced 2016’s Triple J Unearthed High winner, Gretta has since gone on to play sets at Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass. 2017 has seen her return from a stint in the United States.

2016 was also the year Gretta won the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition, on the day of her Year 12 English exam, no less. It was an accomplishment, she says, she still can’t believe happened.

“It was amazing to be recognised and credited for my songwriting, because it is something that I have been working at for years. At that point in time, Drive was the song that I was most proud of. I am so grateful to have had the support from APRA that I have,” Gretta tells RSOM.

What was an eventful day for Gretta was also a reflection on her ability to balance her studies and her role in the music industry.

“I do recall feeling a sense of pride that I was able to maintain a balance (between school and music). I intended to give both areas of my life the same amount of energy, and that night I felt like that was something that I was achieving.” 

So surely such a stellar start to a career would require a kickstart from an early age? That certainly was the case for Gretta, with many of her family also being musicians. She says music was an underlying theme of her childhood.

“I grew up playing instruments and singing in choirs, as well as going to see a lot of shows with my mum, who made sure I was immersed in music from a young age.”

At the age of seven, songwriting had become a hobby, writing what she could on her keyboard, and she admits it was a hobby she quickly became passionate about.

“I didn’t write another song until about two years later, but from that point forward I really kicked into gear and was writing little ditties whenever I got the chance to.

“I perceived songwriting as a hobby that made me fantasise about being a performer. I think the moment that I knew that I wanted that fantasy to become a reality. I think the moment that I knew that I wanted that fantasy to become a reality was during the process of recording my debut EP ‘Elsewhere’. I was in my element in the space of a studio.”

Along with songwriting, Gretta began performing at a young age and as a result has years of experience performing music in Melbourne. Having performed with groups such as Young Voices of Melbourne and If You See Her, Say Hello, Gretta believes that her experience with these groups, particularly in Melbourne, have shaped her into the artist she is today.


“Within the choirs that I have been a part of in the past, I have learnt much about myself as a musician, and also made some beautiful, talented, life long friends.

The Melbourne music scene is an incredible community, too. I’m very proud to be a part of it.”

Some years later, Gretta is known in the Australian music scene for her perfect rhyming, and use of alliteration, when writing. Despite her love of the English language; however, she admits that she doesn’t have a particular song writing process, and says this is what makes song writing worthwhile.

“A song often starts with a seed of inspiration, a concept, that I have been pondering on for a while. I will accumulate a bunch of ideas in relation to the initial idea, and then set side time to sit down with my work and construct the song.” 

And as for what she finds herself writing about, Gretta is particularly interested writing autobiographically, reflecting, rather than focusing on a narrative.

“I have predominantly written about relationships and the notion of observing the human condition. I want to write about a range of things over the duration of my career. 

[With Drive] I wanted to write a song that explored that concept of the intimate, magical atmosphere that is created in the space of a car when one is driving around with someone they love. In this song, the idea is portrayed as more of a fantasy than a reality.” 

With an abundance of songs up her sleeve, an EP and plenty more music to follow, Gretta is aiming to perfect her new music. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the Melbourne music scene, it will definitely be easier this time around, and slowly becoming a household name, she has plenty advice to pass on to up-and-coming songwriters.

Work really hard, make your own decisions about the direction of your career, seek inspiration, listen to those whom are more experienced in the industry and take their advice on board, continue to grow as a writer and person, challenge yourself but don’t become overly obsessive about your writing. Let your emotions and creativity drive your project.” 

There is no doubt that Gretta has had a massive couple of years, and that 2018 will be even bigger. Having finished off 2017 touring the country with fellow Melburnian Vance Joy, Gretta is back in the studio and is hoping to release more music in the near future.

You can check out Gretta on:

Facebook | Twitter YouTube | Website

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra 

 

MADDIE LUCY

“I got into music at a really young age, like I started taking professional lessons from the age of about eight. It’s been ingrained in me for a really long time I guess.”

With an extensive background in musical theatre and performance, a career in the music industry was always going to be the pathway for Melburnian up-and-comer Maddie Lucy.

The RSOM team were fortunate enough to chat to Maddie about growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, springboard diving and the release of her new single Letting Me Go. 

J: Hey Maddie, welcome to RSOM.
Would you be able to start by telling us a bit about your background?

M: “I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, in Mt Eliza. When I was really young, I was involved in a lot of different things, not just music. My sister and I did springboard diving for a while, to the point where we thought that was going to be a serious path we were going to take. I guess you could probably say I never looked at taking the most conventional path no matter what. I got into music at a really young age, like I started taking professional lessons from the age of about eight. It’s been ingrained in me for a really long time I guess. I have an older sister and a younger brother, and we’re all very musical and entertainment-based. My dad also sings and my mum sung when she was younger as well. We’ve all tried our hand at it, and we all kind of started out doing music theatre first. My sister and I did that for a really long time, we really loved it. My brother tried it and was like ‘yeah no way’.”

 

J: Do you think your musical theatre background has helped shape elements of your artistry?

M: “Definitely. I’ve been performing since I was eight, so now performing in front of live audiences isn’t really something that scares me at all. It’s more just coming into a completely different side of the music industry which is the most daunting thing for me, because believe it or not, even though they’re both music, they’re totally different worlds. It’s been a massive learning curve for me, I’ve had to be really proactive in my research and finding out how everything works. Because I’ve always had the passion for writing my own songs, and I’ve always loved folk music, but it’s always been something I had done hidden away in my bedroom, just writing my own stuff. I decided to do something with it about a year or two ago, so it’s still new to me, but coming from the music theatre side has contributed to the style I do, it’s folk/singer-songwriter, sure, but sometimes it’s a little bit quirky and I like having those really pretty sounds sometimes, or big dramatic sounds sometimes. It’s something I’ve had to try and work on too as well. In music theatre, it’s so important to speak clearly and make sure everyone understands what you’re singing, and then in folk music, it’s almost a no-no to pronounce your words right, people don’t want to hear every single little detail of your voice. Sometimes it’s nice to have that raw, untrained sound in your voice, so I’ve had to tap back into that sound I had all those years ago.”

J: Was there ever a particular moment where you realised you wanted to pursue music professionally?

M: “I think I’ve always known in the back of my head that I’ll probably never be anything else but a musician or at least in the industry. I’ve tried other things- I studied media at RMIT straight out of school. I loved it and I’ve been able to use those skills, but the office 9-5 thing wasn’t for me. I’m a very creative person and I don’t want to be locked in an office staring at a computer screen. I’ve tried lots of other things, I did consider doing a law degree for a while, but I always just came back to wanting to do music.

J: When did you begin writing your own music?

 M: “I began writing music at about the age of 15. Back then I was just dabbling in it and kind of kept it hidden from everyone. It wasn’t until the end of 2015 and the very start of 2016 when I delved right into songwriting, and really give it a good go, so almost two years ago.”

 

 

J: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?

 M: “Yeah I do! I can still play it, and I still think it’s one of the better ones. I don’t know what that says about me! It definitely needs work, but I think it has legs to become something. Maybe.”

J: Do you have a particular songwriting process?

 M: “It’s probably different with every song. Sometimes, I have lyrics I might’ve just written but most of the time it comes from me playing the guitar or piano and mucking around with melodies or tunes that sound pretty and force myself to sing along with them. Then I’ll work out if it’s not going to work, or if it’s a cool concept that I’ll start to explore.”

J: Was the process the same when you wrote Letting Me Go?

 M: “Letting Me Go was interesting. I had some lyrics for it, about three years before I actually wrote it- just some lyrics that I’d put down in the notes on my phone that I thought might be cool. Then I didn’t look at it for a really long time. I came back to it when my brother got a ukulele. I’d never really played one before, so I picked it up and started mucking around with it- it’s easy to do that. I started playing around with some chords and they sounded cool together, and something came out which was similar to what I had written down. I then realised that it could all work quite well together. It ended up being an easy one to write once I’d broken the back of it. It sort of came out after a while.”

J: What’s Maddie Lucy’s plan for 2018?  

M: “I’ve actually recorded a whole EP, just released the first single at the moment and hope to do a single launch. From there I’ll probably release another single, and then the EP. Hopefully in the meantime, people here it, and they like it.”

You can check out Maddie Lucy on:

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Soundcloud 

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

RSOM at Face The Music Summit Day 2: 24/11/2017

An aspiring music industry professional, today was my turn to take on the 2017 Face the Music Summit, and honestly, it was something I had been looking forward to all year.

It was a grey, cloudy day in Melbourne and the rain came sporadically, but that didn’t deter myself, other media professionals, industry professionals, or fans, from making the most of everything the Melbourne music industry had to offer.

Kicking off the day was the beautiful Stella Donnelly out on the Carpark Stage, next to St. Pauls (the hub for this year’s Melbourne Music Week). As someone who has been the 2017 definition of success, she gave everything she possibly could to those who were brave enough to face the light showers in the skies at 9:30 on a Friday morning. Her song writing is outstanding, as she manages to cover topics from AFL, to working in a bar, to the Perth lifestyle. She rounded out her set with her single Boys will be Boys, and let me tell you guys, that is a song that people will be talking about for years to come.

Following on from Stella, I managed to catch the legendary Mikey Cahill in his Let There Be Rock City conference. When it comes to music journalism, particularly in the Australian music industry, you really can’t go past Mikey. His Rock City column has been featured in nearly every single Sunday Herald Sun for the last 11 years, keeping Melburnians up to date with everything going on in the music world.

As an experienced journalist, he had a lot to say. As a journalism student trying to break out into the bigger world, I had a lot to take in. According to Mikey, persistence and sheer hard work is the key. Seems straightforward enough- get the experience, take the interviews and get the internships, but there had to be more. There had to be more Mikey could tell us about standing out from the crowd.

He recalled attending and reviewing Meredith Music Festival one year, and this particular story has stuck with me since. He discussed being vigilant, and being alert to what you could see around you – especially in the craziness that is a festival, what people were doing and what people were saying. The ever too-true quote “the easiest thing to do is to go to the event, the hardest thing to do is write the review” came out, but he made it clear that by incorporating every single element possible of an event, it’ll be far easier.

Mikey also discussed the importance of being open-minded when you write: stick true to it, but it’s okay to be wrong about something, and it’s okay to change your mind. His string of guests on the panel, mostly Melbourne-based musicians, spoke of the importance of appreciating live music, and the initiatives supporting live music, and also the importance of equality in the industry.

Staying seated in St. Paul’s Cathedral, we were then graced with the presence of three incredible female songwriters. Ali Barter, Gretta Ray and Stella Donnelly joined journalist Chris Johnston on the Songwriters in the Round panel. Each artist discussed the writing process of one of their biggest songs, and then gave the audience a live-and-intimate performance of that song. It was incredible to be able to connect directly with each song right after delving into it and obtaining intricate knowledge about how it came to life.

Stella took to the spotlight first, discussing Boys will be Boys. Having already heard it that morning, I was left wanting more. Chris turned to her and opened up the discussion, saying that “the content of this song is direct and confrontational.” And as I had just heard it, this couldn’t be more true.

Stella replied that at the time of writing, she was confused and angry about rape culture in society, but what started out as a release from this became something much bigger.

“The first line is the real story and the rest is a conversation around the culture,” she told the audience, “it goes beyond that one story.”

Stella defies the usual societal expectation in the song, going beyond discussing rape culture and sexual assault and actually using the word “rape” in it. She admitted to feeling powerful in being able to do so, as most artists tend to avoid using such direct and confrontational language, but she also believed that it was worth doing so.

“If you’re pissing someone off, you’re doing something right,” she said in regard to the response about the song being so blunt, right before performing it again for a second time that morning.

Less intense, but not less well-written or performed was Gretta Ray’s Towers. Gretta has had a phenomenal year, and only continues to grow and get better. She discussed Towers in relation to being overly invested in a relationship, and the negative consequences this dedication can have. It addresses putting people on a pedestal and thinking they’re wonderful, and the feeling in learning that this isn’t the case.

One particular element of Gretta’s writing that was discussed was her use of rhyming and alliteration, and her love of the English language. Chris couldn’t believe that a nineteen-year-old would use the term “lucent” in a song, but Gretta admitted that Towers wasn’t her first example of that.

Despite this, she finished the discussion saying that she doesn’t intend to always write this way, and is concerned that if she is constantly focusing on creating the perfect rhyme, or finding a fitting metaphor for what she’s trying to say, it will cause writers’ block. Her performance of the song was near-flawless, as Gretta generally is, and the echoing from the church only enhanced this more.

Ali was the last songwriter to take to the stage, and potentially the one I was most looking forward to. Ali gives her songs her all, she has a slight cheek about her and completely embodies the whole “look” that supports her music. She performed her track Please Stay, a tune that was stuck in my head for a few days after the event.

Ali described the song as basically “an apology for being a bitch.” She goes on to explain that she often finds it difficult to use the word “sorry,” as does most of Australian culture, but actually includes it in the song. She’s brutally honest, and lays it all on the line whilst staying true to herself. Her performance of the song was everything you’d expect from Ali Barter- fun, somewhat upbeat (despite being an apology track) and her incorporation of a cheeky offside only enhanced this.

The last panel I sat on for the day was at Taxi Riverside, on the Yarra River. Start Me Up: Home Truths on Starting a New Business in Music with Bona Fide Entrepreneurs covered everything to do with the business side of the industry.

This was one panel that any industry professional – present or future – should’ve been attending. Led by industry expert Leanne de Souza, the line-up included Parlour Gigs’ Matt Walters, Collective Artists’ Rebecca Young, The Hills are Alive Group’s Aidan McLaren, and Pixie Weyand of both The Zoo and Feed Music. I’m fairly certain there was something for everyone.

Whilst the professionals did a lot of talking, and had a lot of beneficial things to say, there were a few things that stood out to me above the rest:

  • You’re very rarely only going to do one thing if you’re in the business side of the music industry. Be prepared to be flexible.
  • Outsource though! You don’t have to do it all on your own. Find people that want the same things as you, and form partnerships with them. Two heads are better than one.
  • From an artist’s perspective, the business/art balance is one of, if not the most crucial factor in becoming successful.
  • Learn how to differentiate and consequently balance your company or organisation’s brand with your own brand.
  • How you present yourself, and how you treat other people, is everything in the industry.

The panel also discussed the money side of the business- something that can often be forgotten about in the music industry, but at the end of the day is the driving factor behind any of us working in any industry at all.

If you’re thinking of starting a business and are looking for a name, the guys recommend not to get too “trigger happy”. This means that a name doesn’t have to be rushed, and it doesn’t have to be the be-all-and-end-all. As they said, some of the best brands have the worst names. It’s also crucial to trademark search a name you’re wanting to use before you settle on it, so that you know it’s all good to be used.

When it comes to money, they recommend saving as much as you can, if you can. Keep your costs as low as possible, even if it means working from home. On that note; however, Leanne recommended to never work in your pyjamas, and get out of the house at least once for the day before you start working, if you are working from home.

“We’re way more productive in the office than we’d ever be from home,” Matt added.

That wrapped up what was a slightly-overwhelming, but positively beneficial day. I recommend the summit, and even Melbourne Music Week as a whole for anyone who works or is thinking of working in the industry because the knowledge I have gained from the guys who know best is second to none.

The Real Songwriters of Melbourne team would like to thank Music Victoria and all the team behind Melbourne Music Week and Face the Music for having us, and we hope to be back next year!

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

RSOM at Face The Music Summit Day 1: 23/11/2017

Day one of Face The Music presented eager and aspiring talents in all facets of the music industry to join as a community and to hear from many different representatives in the music scene.

In Face The Music’s TENTH year, the beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral was the hub of the two day conference as well as for Melbourne Music Week.

As a member of the Melbourne music community both as a musician and a female in the music business world, there were three important key themes that stood out throughout the day.

1. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE – FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN A SALES POST AND AN ORGANIC POST. This was a major discussion in the first workshop titled “Meet Your Future Boss: Our Picks for Tomorrow’s Fearless Leaders.” Speakers featured Gloria Brancatisano, Music Editor of Beat Magazine, Alex Gleeson, Entertainment Manager of The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood, Hip/Hop Rap artist, Mallrat, Georgia Cooke, Promotions Lead at Remote Control Records, and Charlotte Ried, Executive Assistant at Michael Parisi Management. “The key is not to always post about stuff that people can do for you,” explained Mallrat as she believes social media should be used to not only promote yourself but to share your personality and to engage in conversation.

One of the biggest mistakes in the music industry is that artists use social media just to advertise where they are playing so that they can get people to come to their shows, but as social media now plays a huge part in our everyday lives, artists should become more honest on socials and show their personality to their fans.

“Putting yourself out there and taking yourself out of your comfort zone is important,” said Alex Gleeson. He explained to the crowd that when applying to play at venues, it is like applying for a job. The applications that stand out are ones who show enthousiasm, initiative and dedication and doesn’t look like a copy and paste job.

The same applies when going for a job or internship. Don’t wait for Facebook to show you a job opening, call or email the company and express your interest as that shows that you are taking initiative for your learning regardless of your experience in the industry. For those who are under 18 and are wanting experience before stepping out into the real world, apply to volunteer at festivals and events so that you can meet people and build relationships from then.

2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA DATA TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE Times have changed and social media is no longer something we should fear, but embrace. In the workshop titled, Building Blocks: How to Grow, Understand and Meet the Needs of your Audience, the panel highlighted that Melbourne has a massive audience out there who want to see live music on a regular basis.

The panel consisted of Yvette Myhill, Swan Hill Performing Arts, Harley Evans, Moshtix, Sally MatherCorner Hotel and Stacey Piggott, Secret Service.

Last year, Live Performance Australia survey results showed that 5.6 million people went to see a gig in 2016.

The panel encouraged artists to be proactive when putting on an event such as asking the venues for ticketing data after a show or doing their own publicity if they cannot afford a publicist.

If you know who your audience is, you can target your marketing to that specific group, whether it be female, 18 – 35 from the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne and use Facebook’s advertising functions to help you improve your reach. Or, why not use it for a completely different group to help spread the word and GROW your audience?

There are short tutorials on Facebook that you can watch under Facebook Blueprint that can help you utilise this great social media platform to spread the word as an artist.

3. THERE IS STILL NOT ENOUGH REPRESENTATION IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY OF FEMALES, AGE AND COLOUR.

There are a lot of females who are working in this music industry that are so good at their jobs and don’t get recognised. Georgia Cooke was one who stood out as the 22 year old Promotions Lead at Remote Control Records confesses that she left out her age on her resume as she had a fear that employers would immediately dismiss her application. “Diversity and representation is important,” said Cooke as the panel highlighted that we are still in a highly dominated male industry.

“Being young and a female is an issue that people should realise and push away,” said Mallrat as she discussed the idea of having more female sound engineers in the music industry. “Every female artist always records with a male sound engineer. It would be nice to have somebody that is like you.”

What should be commended is the equality of male and female speakers in each workshop today and how each workshop that I attended commended that. As a female, it is definitely refreshing and comforting hearing from successful females in the industry and gives hope to those who are struggling to find a job.

4. MENTAL HEALTH AND SUPPORT NETWORKS ARE KEY WHEN WORKING IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. Working in the music industry is not a 9 to 5 job for most people, therefore it is important to take care of your mental health. If you are an artist, you could be on the road with little sleep driving for 2 hours at a time to a gig, or you could be an artist manager checking up on a client on the phone at 3am who is currently overseas on a US tour.

This theme again appeared in another workshop titled, The Manager’s Special with guest speakers Leigh Treweek, Owner of The Music Magazine, Charlotte Abromsfrom Hear Hear Group (Gretta Ray, Haarlo, Angie McMahon), Ellen Kirk from Lookout Kid (Courtney Barnett, Fraser A. Gorman, Jen Cloher) and Jim McKinnon from Team Trick (Dead Letter Circus, Mallrat)

This gave both musicians and music business individuals an insight into the life of these  managers as they work closely with household artists.

A manager is someone who is ultimately responsible for the direction of an artists’ career.  It is very important for an artist to have a relationship with their manager in order for the manager to bring out the best of the artist where possible.

“If you’re not taking care of your artist, then it becomes creatively stifling for them,” said. Charlotte Abroms.

Also, it is important for an artist to not just have a vision musically, but also as a person and know how they want to be represented so that their manager can lead them in the right direction.

All in all, the workshops gave music lovers an insight into the reality of our industry and really honed in a sense of belonging and community. It was a place where musicians could gain more knowledge and learn the necessary skills for them to implement into their career, no matter what side of the music industry they decided to take.

RSOM would like to thank Face The Music for having us this year and we hope to be involved next year!

Stay tuned for our review of Day 2 of Face The Music.

Written by Jena Marino

RECAP: THE 2017 AGE MUSIC VICTORIA AWARDS- 170 Russell, 22/11/17

The night started promptly, with a Welcome to Country. Following this, it was straight into the awards. The 2017 awards were claimed by both new and previous winners. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Teskey Brothers, and A.B. Original stole the show, each act winning multiple awards.

With prizes on the night ranging from a $20 000 Moshtix marketing package, to a Bakehouse rehearsal package, to a $2000 Virgin Australia travel voucher, and a $3000 cash prize generously donated by APRA AMCOS, the well deserving winners certainly did not go home empty handed.

The awards were split up into two categories, Genre and Public-Voted. The wider Victorian community were given the opportunity to have their say on their favourite Victorian artists, bands, live acts and venues. The Genre Awards were decided by a specialised panel of selected people from within the industry.

The full list of winners is below:

GENRE AWARDS

BEST BLUES ALBUM

Fiona Boyes: “Professin’ The Blues”

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Raised By Eagles: “I Must Be Somewhere”

BEST SOUL, FUNK, RNB, AND GOSPEL ALBUM

The Teskey Brothers: “Half Mile Harvest”

BEST JAZZ ALBUM

Brenton Foster: “The Nature of Light”

BEST HIP HOP ALBUM

A.B. Original: “Reclaim Australia”

BEST ELECTRONIC ACT

Client Liaison

BEST HEAVY ALBUM

Divide and Dissolve: “Basic”

BEST ABORIGINAL ACT

A.B. Original

BEST GLOBAL OR REGGAE ALBUM

Lamine Sonko and the African Intelligence: “Afro Empire”

BEST FOLK OR ROOTS ALBUM

The Mae Trio: “Take Care, Take Cover”

BEST EXPERIMENTAL / AVANT-GARDE ACT

Winter Sound School / Bridget Chappell

PUBLIC-VOTED AWARDS

BEST FESTIVAL

Meredith Music Festival

BEST REGIONAL VENUE (UNDER 50 GIGS PER YEAR)

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

BEST REGIONAL VENUE (OVER 50 GIGS PER YEAR)

The Workers Club, Geelong

BEST VENUE (UNDER 500 CAPACITY)

The Tote

BEST VENUE (OVER 500 CAPACITY)

The Corner Hotel

BEST REGIONAL ACT

Cosmic Psychos

BEST LIVE BAND

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

BEST EMERGING ACT

The Teskey Brothers

BEST MALE ARTIST

Paul Kelly

BEST FEMALE ARTIST

Jen Cloher

BEST SONG

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: “Rattlesnake”

BEST BAND

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

BEST ALBUM

A.B. Original: “Reclaim Australia”

Concluding the awards ceremony was the induction of the late Tony Cohen into the Music Victoria Hall of Fame. Tony was a music producer and sound engineer, who over the course of his career worked with groups such as The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. His induction was accompanied with a video, compiled of many people in the industry, including Molly Meldrum.

Emcees Chris Gill and Lyndelle Wilkinson did a wonderful job of keeping the audience engaged, and even accepted awards on a few artist’s behalfs. Wrapping up the ceremony, once again promptly, the Afterparty then kicked off.

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With MzRizk on the decks and performances from Archie Roache, Mojo Juju, Gretta Ray, Josh Teskey and more, and full sets from Cable Ties, Gold Class, and Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda, the crowd were up on their feet and dancing away the night. It was the perfect way to wrap up another year of music in Melbourne, demonstrating just how incredible and diverse the Melbourne Music Scene truly is.

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra