The Aussie BBQ 2014 – STREWTH.



An Australian, or “Aussie”, exclaimation, similar to the somewhat more popular “Crikey!”
Strewth, that was a hard day, toss me a Fosters mate!

Every year a number of ‘activations’ occur for the company Sounds Australia.

Sounds Australia is Australia’s music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access domestic and international business opportunities.

This Sunday 11th May is the Aussie BBQ London 2014. Some of my favourite Australian bands are playing including (but definitely not limited to…) DUNE RATS, Money for Rope, Jeremy Neale and The John Steel Singers.

The first thing that comes to mind when people think of Australia is how ridiculously far away it is. I speak from first hand experience when I say that bands in Australia also feel the same way. It is a dream to play at festivals like Primavera Sound and  Glastonbury (Stonefield – one of the bands at this years BBQ has done just that) or even smaller festivals like The Great Escape.  That dream often seems impossible, as building a fan base and getting to Europe seems geographically unrealistic.

It is thanks to companies like Sounds Australia that help that dream become reality. The whole process seems extremely natural. The bands are some of the best the country has to offer and the venue has a great reputation in London.

Make sure you get to The Hoxton Bar and Kitchen this weekend for one hell of a Sunday Session. Get there early for a free Sausage Sizzle (a sausage in a piece of bread…) also known as the perfect hangover cure.





is Australia’s music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access domestic and international business opportunities. – See more at:
is Australia’s music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access domestic and international business opportunities. – See more at:

is Australia’s music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access domestic and international business opportunities. – See more at:
is Australia’s music market development initiative, established to provide a cohesive and strategic platform to assist the Australian music industry access domestic and international business opportunities. – See more at:

Better Late Than Never…KIMBRA


One day last month, I was listening to music on one of my favorite streaming platforms, and I decided to check out some of the artist recommendations. To my surprise, I stumbled across a gem…an artist named Kimbra.

The RunDown:
Origin: New Zealand & Australia
Genre: Electropop
Label: Warner Bros.
Age: 23
Instruments: Vocals, tambourine, guitar

Kimbra Vows

I listened to her debut album, “Vows”.  It was released in 2011, so please forgive me for tardiness…but now that I’m hip to who she is, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of new material. In the past I had heard mentions here and there of Kimbra, but that was mainly from Gotye’s top-charting single “Somebody That I Use to Know,” but other than that, she was an artist that I didn’t know.  Recently in 2013, she was featured on John Legend’s track “Made To Love” which I absolutely think is amazing! Once again, I didn’t know it was her until after the fact.

The following singles were released from “Vows”:

  • Settle Down
  • Cameo Lover
  • Good Intent
  • Warrior
  • Two Way Street
  • Come Into My Head

This album garnered Kimbra numerous awards during 2011 and 2012 from the APRA Awards and ARIA Awards. She also won a Grammy during 2013 for her collaboration with Gotye.

Here’s her official vid for the album’s 1st single “Settle Down”

Check out one of my faves from the album, “Something In The Way You Are”…






MIDEM, as experienced by me.

 Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. – Orison Swett Marden

  Going into MIDEM my focus was to network with as many people as possible in the hopes of developing some job opportunities come July.  No one was going to come up to me and say, “Hey there, would you like a job?”  the only way I was going to take anything out of MIDEM was to network, and network I did.  Though my random conversations at the conference , The Carlton and Morrison’s proved to be quite entertaining it was the meetings I arranged before hand that turned out to be the focal points of my entire trip and gave me the most insight about the industry.  After about 20 e-mails sent and a couple of replies,  I arranged 4 meetings and one volunteer opportunity.

Meeting 1

My first meeting was with Toomas Olljum an Estonian artist manager who works with some of Estonia’s biggest musicians female vocalist Iiris and the alternative band Ewert and the Two Dragons.   We spent close to an hour talking about all his different avenues of work including being a consultant for a Nordic Region festival called Tallin Music Week  and starting his own management company.  Toomas shared his story about how got into the industry and highlighted a lot of experiences that gave me insight on how to be a successful artist manager. One of the most important things he said was to “rarely say no to an opportunity” he delved into the importance on how every opportunity and every experience can be useful especially in the music industry.  So when he emailed to me to offer me the chance to work on some projects in Estonia for Tallin Music Week my immediate answer was yes.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 5.43.16 PM

Meeting 2

  My second meeting was with Alastair Burns from HeartStop Music in Australia.  Lets just say this meeting didn’t go as well as the others. To be short and to the point the meeting fell through because I could´t find him during the Aussie BBQ.  Some takeaways for successful networking I learned from this encounter are; 1) Research/google the person you are meeting because their google picture might not be an accurate representation of what they look like in the present 2)  Set up a meeting in a space that is less crowded. All hope was not lost though as I received a very detailed e-mail from Alastair giving me a lot of good advice and insight about the music industry in Australia.



Meeting 3

My third meeting was with Scott Cohen one of the founders of The Orchard  a “pio­neer­ing music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network oper­at­ing in more than 25 global markets”.  This meeting out of all 4 was probably the most helpful and insightful in regards to my culminating experience project.  Scott was really interested in the band I was managing and was very insightful on how to develop the bands social media engagement.



Meeting 4

My final meeting was with 141a Management  “a music management company representing artists from all music genres. They are one of the few companies who still believe in the old method of developing artists and not manufacturing them”.  This meeting came about rather randomly, I tried  to just walk into the British Music area to meet some of the London based companies and labels but that didn’t end up so well.  So once again I was left with an e-mails as my main avenue to network, but hey why not it worked before. I contacted 4 labels and didn’t hear back from any until my last night at MIDEM.  I got a message  from the assistant manager saying if I was still interested to meet her at the British Music lounge at 6.  I sat down at the table with 2 other people sitting down and they turned out to be the CEO of the company and another manager, before I knew it this meeting turned into a type of interview.  I expressed my interest in artist development and how I admire the fact that their company focuses on developing their artists and works hard to ensure their success rather than trying manufacturing it.  They continued to ask more questions and finally ended the meeting asking me if I was interested in a job and that if I was to send my resume in to their office so they can work out an offer.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 6.22.23 PM


To be honest, I did not expect any of this when I got on that 15 hour bus ride to Canne.  I knew I was going to spend most of time trying to meet people rather than attending the various workshops and speeches. A lot of the people I met at random during the conference expressed confusion on why a graduate student would be attending the conference and at the time my only answer was to network but I think I got more out of it than that.  I got to talk to industry professionals and get an insight on the way the industry is working at the moment, and yes I know that the music industry is ever-changing but to foresee its future you have to understand where it came from and the problems that made it not successful,  MIDEM gave me some perspective on that. For me MIDEM was about seizing the opportunity at hand and I think I was able to do that.


**Artists to Watch in 2014**

Here’s my prediction for 2014…take a look at 5 different artists/bands that I believe will be successful in the next year.  Feel free to take a peep to see if you agree and to discover some new music to add to your ever-growing collection..Enjoy!

1.  Snarky Puppy
Snarky Puppy

  • The band features a collective of nearly 40 musicians, referred to as “The Fam” on their recordings and tours.
  •  Snarky Puppy was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best R&B Performance” category, with their cover of Lalah Hathaway’s song “Somethin”

Watch the video for “Somethin” below..

2.  Hiatus Kaiyote

  • From Melbourne, Australia
  • Nice blend of soul music with Jazz vocals
  • Currently nominated for a grammy for their song “Nakamarra”–listen to it below

3.  Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

I absolutely love this artist! Her first album was amazing and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for 2014.

  • Her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? was awarded the title of iTunes Album of The Year 2012.
  • She was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll
  • Listen to “Elusive” below (one of my favorite records from her debut album)–the video was released this year

4.  Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark Jr.

  • Influences:  Blues, jazz, soul, country, hip hop
  •  Clark’s musical trademarks are his extremely fuzzy guitar sound and smooth vocal style.
  • Currently nominated for a Grammy for “Please Come Home”

Listen to his live performance of “Please Come Home”

5.  Lorde


Lorde is only 17 years old and her debut album, Pure Heroine has received worldwide critical acclaim…

  • Lorde is nominated for a total of four Grammys, which include ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ for “Royals” and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album’ for Pure Heroine.
  • Her musical debut was an EP entitled, whicThe Love Clubh was released in November 2012
  • Her first single, “Royals”, debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40, and also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States.

Lorde’s video “Royals”

Fading West in Review


Fading West,  a music documentary following Grammy-winning alternative-rock band Switchfoot, hit the internet in preparation for their full length album release in the new year. The film features the group in a travel-musiclogue-like fashion as they search for inspiration and waves during their 2012 World Tour.

Directed by Matt Katsolis, the film offers an intimate and authentic look at the journey of the San Diego based musicians, as they cope with maintaining the right balance between family and music life.

The two major takeaways from this piece are that John and Time Foreman can really surf and the cinematography is second to none.  The scenes captured in New Zeland, Australia, Bali and South Africa are visually captivating and make up for the lack of overall depth in the film.  Although it follows a rough storyline of the tour, the tensive breaks in the film seem to mimic the climax of a Much Music Disband episode.

That’s not to say the events were insignificant, they were just poorly portrayed. They didn’t go deep enough and for that, they missed out on the opportunity to create something really special.

In terms of music documentaries,  Fading West comes in around a 3/5. However, some of the images captured would make for a really good Hurley ad.

*Also note: Switchfoot’s guitarist Drew Shirley,  looks a lot like Joe Hursley’s character from Accepted:


You can purchase the film here:

I would also recommend reading more about their  “Bro-Am”. You can find that here:

Tyler & —- Infinite Playlist : A beginner’s guide to the musical commonwealth.

Alright Wanka’s…As many of you have noted upon entering our kickin’ crib,  we tend to have a pretty decent selection in tunes. So, instead of cracking out SHAZAM on your mobile telephones the next time you’re over, we’ve decided to make your life much, much easier. As a result, it only seemed logical to compile a setlist of our favourite tunes from our native lands in the commonwealth ( God Save the Queen or something like that).Although this is no simple feat, we’ve also decided to  take it even a step further by finding these artists’ playing their crafty beats  in ‘creative’ places ( Don’t worry, all of this music is extremely relevant, so you can BORROW it for your A&R Blogs).Without further adieu and in the infamous words of Carl Pires, ‘Swag, swag, swag’


Australia # 1 : Ball Park Music – It’s Nice to Be Alive // Live in a grocery cart

Canada # 1 Lights – Quiet // Complete with a glory hole… enjoy.

Australia # 2 Dune Rats – Fuck it  // Live from atop a firetruck

Canada # 2 Hey Rosetta! – There’s an Arch  – In the hood.

Australia # 3 Jack Dawson // Being August Rush.

Canada # 3

Dan Mangan – Rows of Houses/ Leaves, Trees Forest //  In a River ?

Australia #4 – Vance Joy – Riptide // On a Tram (also, commonly referred to as a train)

Canada # 4- Michael Bernard Fitzgerald – Suzie ( I love you ) //  Barefoot, with an interpretive Dancer, being hip as F#Ck.

Honourable Mentions:

Lights – In the Dark I See // In a cellar ( I feel as though she needs a new location scout…poor girl).

Vance Joy – Riptide //  Technically, this is just a music video, but it might be the most literal of all time – literally ( Sorry, I dislike puns as much as the next person, but I couldn’t help it).

Thanks for reading