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

LUCCA FRANCO

“Hopefully it’s the kind of show Aretha would’ve put on thirty years ago except in Melbourne, sung by a little Italian-Australian girl.”

You’d be correct in thinking Motown was a thing of the past, right? Wrong. Meet Lucinda, known musically as Lucca Franco. The 24-year-old from Oakleigh has always had a love for Motown and soul, and is now taking her passion and reinventing the sound. And how did it all start? I hear you asking. Well as Lucinda recalls, it all started with one talent show that took place 14 years ago.

“When I was 10 years old I entered a talent competition where I placed and ended up winning. From there I started singing lessons and it wasn’t until I was about 13/14 that I really started taking it seriously. I just fell in love with music and that sound. I found my first Aretha Franklin record at that age, it was kind of like a ‘Best Of’ record, and I just fell madly in love with her sound and that genre of music- the old soul singers, Motown. People like Aretha, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Michael Jackson and I just started singing all her tunes all the time. I became obsessed with the soul sound.”

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The talent competition wasn’t the only competition Lucinda starred in during her youth, either. The up and coming soul star placed in a song writing competition at the age of 12, adapting her with the skills she ended up using to write her debut album from a young age. The song, There Are Days, was the first song she ever recorded. She also admits that she came across it on one of her old computers the other day and “completely lost it.”

“I was 12 years old and it was the school holidays and my dad had bought me a little keyboard and I worked out all these functions where you could make beats and stuff. At school I was severely bullied, like I didn’t have very many friends when I was younger and it was just this song about having your family and friends support you through any situation.”

So many achievements at such a young age, and Lucinda had realised that music was the path she had to be on. Many artists make sacrifices when they first enter the industry, however Lucinda was beginning before she even finished school. Despite this, she admits that moving to Sandringham College from an all-girls Catholic school for year 11 and 12 was the best decision she ever made.

“Sandringham had amazing music teachers that nurtured my music and my creative side. One of the bands I started in the classroom became the band I ended up playing in right up until recently. We were like a reggae, funk band and worked our butts off and gigged from the age of 16 to about 22. Then Michael, the guitarist went overseas and worked on a cruise ship so whilst we never disbanded, it kind of put a halt to our music which led me to start the Lucca project.

“After that, I was really lost for a couple of years. I knew what I wanted to write but because I wasn’t super confident on guitar or piano, I was just banging out a few simple cords here and there whilst the chords were all in my head. I got myself a vocal loop station so I started writing with that but I was never really doing anything with the songs I wrote, I was just keeping them there.”

Lucinda was fortunate enough to meet her current producer, Lee Bradshaw at an event 18 months ago, where Lucinda worked as a vocal coach. Describing their meeting as a “serendipitous” moment, she says he completely understood the artist she wanted to become. The two went on to work together, with Lucinda going on to record not only a song he wrote, but writing, producing and recording her entire up and coming album with him.

“We wrote a bunch of songs that I’m really happy with that turned into this project. I worked with some incredibly songwriters and had some cool people playing on the recording- we did live recordings of the album. We’d spend 9 hour days in the studio and played these songs and it came out incredible. We’d overdubbed different sections as we couldn’t fit all the musicians in the room at the time. I got other vocalists in as I wanted it to echo the old soul sound and it was just so much fun. It seems like a lifetime ago now even thought it was only 6 months ago but I’m really excited to get it out on stage. It is my proudest achievement.”

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The Lucca Project was written entirely on piano and according to Lucinda each song was recorded with up to eight different musicians. She emphasises the team effort behind the album through the writing, recording and production as inspired by the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown. About The Funk Brothers, Lucinda describes the collaborative effort that they underwent and how she wanted to replicate that. Despite having been working on her debut single Sinking Feeling for years, she admits the support she had from her team was what solidified it into becoming her entrance into the industry.

“I started writing it ages ago. But I only ever had a chorus for it and it was constantly stuck in my head. I never knew where to go from there- I’m one of those people who has books and books and books filled with unfinished songs. When we started the process of writing Lee was like “Well what have you got? Bring your old stuff in” and he liked it. The way we worked on that song together was like thinking about what was going on and what I was feeling when I wrote it. It’s when you’ve got that ‘sinking feeling’ when you’re starting to date someone new and it’s all going cool and then things just start changing and getting weird really quickly. I write very differently by myself to when I’m co-writing as well but a lot of this album came out with just talking about what I was feeling when I was writing and it brought out all these cool songs.”

And the rest of Lucca’s debut album is set to have the same vibe, according to Lucinda with the ‘break-up’ theme no doubt playing a huge role. Fans are to expect it to be sassy and funky, whilst the sole love song on the able is sultry and sensual- “all of the songs are really different, but the theme of the album is definitely there,” she admits.

Showing just how much Lucinda wants to echo the Motown days, she will be pressing her album onto vinyl for die-hard vinyl fans. She also plans to head over to the United States and go back to where Motown all began, and also where her love for Motown all began.

“I want to bring my myself back to where this style of music was made. And if people like this project enough, then I want to create another one because I’ve already got a million ideas. I want to make Lucca my original – and full time – work. That’d be awesome.”

Lucinda is launching her debut single Sinking Feeling later on Sunday April 23 at The Toff in Town and hopes to replicate her Motown idols.

“Hopefully it’s the kind of show Aretha would’ve put on thirty years ago except in Melbourne, sung by a little Italian-Australian girl alongside some incredible musicians. There’ll be hooks that grab people’s attention and singalong music, especially with Sinking Feeling.”

Check out details for her EP launch on Facebook here

Check out Lucca Franco on
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra

REVIEW: NOAH EARP ALBUM LAUNCH- THE TOFF IN TOWN, MELBOURNE (27/10/16)

The minute I stepped into The Toff in Town at the Curtin House, I knew it was going to be a good night. For starters, I adored the venue from first sight! It was relatively small, but I loved that the bar was set up at the back of the room and the tables set up.

I’d missed the first supporting act, Easy, but made it just in time for Gretta Ray, who I was excited to see. The year 12 student (who had sat her VCE English exam only the day before!) was crowned the national winner of the 2016 Triple J Unearthed competition. She is the 2016 winner of the Vanda & Young songwriting competition, which was announced the same day as the gig.

With so many accolades at such a young age, you could only imagine the pressure placed on her to perform well to a crowd of people she mostly knew. But she definitely did not  disappoint.

At just 18 years of age her songwriting ability is beyond what most of us could even imagine. And while her vocals were versatile and impressive, it was her vivid, occasionally haunting lyrics that drew me to wanting to hear more.

I appreciated that she performed a set full of original songs, as she was able to show everything she had to offer. She also went out of her way to interact with the audience. Providing the whole package, the short set she played was enough to gain me as a fan.

The final act of the night was the headliner: Noah Earp. Noah, launching his debut album ‘Disinheritor,’ was supported by his band, including the violin-playing manager of both Noah and Gretta- “Jono.”

I was transfixed by his voice from the opening song. His unique, bluesy tone took me back to the 1960s/70s (a period where I wasn’t even alive) and his talent was shining through. The band too were talented, however, for most of the night they overpowered his vocals! The set-up of the stage meant that any sound coming from it was most likely to echo as well so at times it was difficult to understand what he was singing. Regardless, Noah is definitely one to watch.


Listen to Noah Earp’s new single, The Raw and the Cooked.

I loved that he played his entire album in order. Sometimes the ‘no surprise’ element can become predictable, but as I think this was done perfectly considering he was debuting the album. The best possible advertising he could’ve done was to play the entire thing in order, so everyone who ended up buying one knew exactly what they were getting.

The highlight of Noah’s set was his instrumental tribute to American Delta Blues Artist Blind Billy. Despite being introduced as an instrumental, Noah admitted at the start that he was ‘still going to sing’ in it. And honestly, it worked. The song was a true reflection of his feelings towards this artist and his story, leaving everyone in the room in awe.

Two great sets were performed by Gretta and Noah. We’ll definitely be seeing more from both of them in the future. 

Follow Noah on
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra.

L A C U N A

Singer, songwriter and composer Tamara Violet Partridge opens up about loss, recovery and her transition from classical to electronica under the new project name LACUNA.

‘Recovery’, LACUNA’s debut EP showcases Tamara’s talents as a songwriter and artist in the electronica genre, however, she admits that this wasn’t always her path. Having resided in Melbourne her entire life, the 22-year-old discovered her passion for music at the mere age of seven. After being told she was too small to play the trombone, she took up the flute which has driven a love for both woodwind instruments and classical music ever since.

‘I wasn’t good at anything else, I suppose. I didn’t come from a musical family, but my whole family loved music. They were always playing records or going to live shows, so they’ve always supported me. They never told me I couldn’t do music, which has had a really big impact.’

Not only is Tamara writing, recording and performing as LACUNA, she runs her own business composing music for film and games. The multi-talented musician, who also plays guitar, teaches instrumental piano, woodwind and voice lessons to students.

‘I didn’t get into composition until I was about 16, after being diagnosed with chronic tendonitis in my wrists, which caused me trouble playing music.’ 

This would’ve been enough for most people to throw it all in, however, not Tamara. After the loss of her father, music became her only escape. It wasn’t enough to give up just because she couldn’t follow her original plan of becoming a concert pianist or flautist.

‘I found composing and the use of technology a much better avenue and I was actually able to do it. So I went to university to study composition, film and sound design and began performing again. I could still play a lot of jazz and soul on the piano, just no longer for eight hours a day. This seems like a lot but that’s what is required of you to become a professional.’

 Despite no longer having the same classical-based focus she once had, she believes that her background has been beneficial in all areas of her work. Along with composing, Tamara began writing songs at the age of 10. Coming from a music loving family, her influences growing up ranged from Black Sabbath and Cat Stevens, to Frank Sinatra and the Eagles. There were a few particular songwriters from the electronic genre, however, that caught her eye.

‘My influences in song writing go all the way back to women including Delia Darbyshire, Daphne Oram and Wendy Carlos [prominent in the early/mid 1900s]. These women were pioneers in electronic music at a time where it was such a battle for women to partake in any industry, let alone something creative.”

And while she isn’t afraid to admit that her writing is driven by emotion, she aims for her music to create awareness about taboo subjects.

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‘My music comes down to stories and what I want to talk about. And what I want to talk about a lot of the time is making taboos not taboo. So that people don’t feel so isolated, judged or separated because they’ve experience something others haven’t. This generates a negative emotion around the situation rather than honouring the peripherals that we feel.’

The individuality of her music can only be constructed by the methods, or lack of methods, she uses in her song writing. Tamara acknowledges that song writing is different from multimedia composition, which is often formulaic.

‘I can’t tell sometimes [the way in which she writes]. It depends on the song. Sometimes it’s the melody, sometimes it’s the harmony and sometimes it’s the beat that comes first. The melody and lyrics always play into each other, however. I find that melody is the sonorous aspect of portraying what the words are saying. You might have three words for the entire song but it can be really powerful with the right ‘rise and fall’ of melodic content.’

Debuting her new project LACUNA in May with the launch of the EP ‘Recovery,’ Tamara was able to use her emerging passion for electronic music to push past the grief that is associated with loss. She created ‘Recovery,’ focusing on “five stages of grief” and the desire to make death a less taboo subject. As a result, she felt an entire album was unnecessary to encapsulate her feelings.

‘It [the death of loved ones] kind of happened really early for my family and me. People say “oh my goodness, that must’ve been awful” and it’s like “yeah, but I’m alright now. It’s going to be alright because this happens to everyone.” And the more we just keep going, it won’t be a huge burden where you can’t handle life.’

Each song in the EP explores an element of the grief and heartbreak Tamara went through and the progression of coming to realise the accepting her experience was the only way to move forward.

‘It’s a progression from “Anomalous,” which is about being in a state where you can’t have an attachment to anything but yourself and the experience of being an anomaly to yourself. Then is “Epiphany,” where I have recognised that this is an issue and I need an awakening in which I can realise how I can get out of this. It depicts the idea that the more you look for something, the less you are to find it. The third track “Isthatall” is the realisation that emotions are valid. Validation was really important to me.’ 

In the final two tracks, “Fleshandbone” and “Atomically,” Tamara recollects her experience, the underlying anger that later arose and the ability to think metaphysically. It was “Atomically” that concluded her journey of realising that acceptance is required before moving on.

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Tamara will be launching the single “Shake + Bake,” under LACUNA at the Revolver Bandroom on October 28 with special guests. You can buy tickets on their website.

Check out LACUNA on:
Facebook | InstagramSpotify

Written by Jordyn Hoekstra.

JESSIKA ALLEGRA

2015 is the year for soon to be 23-year-old Jessika Allegra as it was her chance to write and release new material.

 “This year, I wanted to take it seriously and become my own artist,” she says.

The comeback to original music came after she decided to take a break from songwriting after appearing on reality TV show, The Voice Australia in 2013.

Beginning songwriting at 13, Jessika released her first single on iTunes titled, Exclusively, which received a lot of attention from DJ’s around Australia and overseas.

“Someone from France got in contact with me, (out of the blue), and asked for my song and then he sent me a video of the song remixed playing at a nightclub. That was amazing, I’d love to do that again.”

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Entering the Melbourne gig scene at 18, her first stint was at the popular Veludo bar in St Kilda.

Today, she regularly plays with her cover band Mixed Method at various bars in Crown Casino as well as acoustic gigs at World Bar, Southbank and Republica at St Kilda Beach.

Another motivator to get back into writing, she mentions, is the difficulty to obtain original gigs.

“You can’t get original gigs unless you have made it and have a big fan base. The gigs are usually unpaid and it’s not worth it.”

After a trip to Europe, she got back into songwriting at the start of this year.

When writing her music, Jessika uses a few methods.

One includes scheduling time out of her day to sit down and write something, which can be very hard for some songwriters. This normally consists of playing around with a few chords on the piano before writing lyrics.

Another way, she says, is spontaneous as she may think of a melody all of a sudden, and then have to quickly get out something to record it on. Thirdly, in the studio when writing her tracks, her producer would play some beats and that, she says is completely different but great as she can get a different perspective on writing.

Just recently, Jessika’s debut EP, Phenomenon features 4 tracks and shows great versatility.

Her single, Phenomenon, the title track on the EP is an upbeat and party-like song. It’s described as a song dedicated to anyone that has had a huge positive impact on someone’s life. Similar to Katy Perry’s Firework, the song is catchy and a video clip has also been released, which was shot at Melbourne venue Bobby McGee’s.

Other tracks on the EP include, Is This Love and Phoenix Rising which are said to be more personal ballads with the last track, Chasing The Thrill featuring rapper Nee-Q who co-wrote the song.

After releasing the EP, Jessika can definitely confirm that she has grown a lot of confidence with herself and her music.

“If you’re confident with yourself, you will get used to seeing and hearing yourself. It took me years to listen to myself and to be OK with it.”

In 2016, Jessika aims to get more attention with the release of her EP as well as continue to play around Melbourne.

Check out Jessika Allegra on:
Website Facebook | Soundcloud
Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

You can purchase her EP, Phenomenon now on iTunes

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Single Premiere: No Hands – Connor Ross

No Hands is the first single off the anticipated debut EP, Come To Think set for release next month. 

Written and produced by 19 year old singer/songwriter Connor Ross, the EP was produced at his parents’ home in NSW in the cold winter of 2015.

The single promises great versatility in the debut EP as the instrumentation in the track uses the synth, an initial experiment for the artist, in order to create a sinister mood.

“I really wanted to capture as much of the raw, rough, powerful sound of the synth that I could within the mix, to give the piece a real moody vibe.”

https://soundcloud.com/connor-ross-sounds/no-hands/s-4HEKz

He also said that the five-track EP was a chance to test himself as a songwriter and producer as he experimented with big band sounds as well as soft folk guitars. By doing this, Ross’ aim is to make the wider public aware of the many different aspects of music.

In a recent interview on RSOM TV , Connor described his music as alternative/folk influenced with jazz and blues. He goes by the motto, “If you can play jazz, you can play anything.”

Growing up in country New South Wales, his parents would play artists like Nick Drake, Nick Cave, Miles Davis, James Morrison as well as contemporary artists such as The Cat Empire which have had a great impact in his songwriting.

Connor packed his bags and moved to Melbourne last year and is currently studying music at RMIT. He praises Melbourne as the music capital of Australia. “If you want to be doing music in Australia, the best place to start is Melbourne. There are not only great musicians but so many bodies that advocate for music that nowhere else has yet.”

He has supported many artists in metro and regional Australia and has learnt along the way that there is never a bad gig.

“Even if you seem like a pretty big artist, you can still have some pretty rubbish gigs, but you have to got to push through those. Even if it is a small gig with three drunk people heckling you the whole time, you never know who might be in the corner of the room.”

You can check out Connor Ross’ interview on Real Songwriters TV below.

Follow Connor Ross on
Facebook | Instagram| Soundcloud | YouTube