In 2008, Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it, Taylor Swift was singing love songs to Romeo, and Britney Spears reappeared post-head shaving breakdown with ‘Womaniser’. Vampire Weekend released their debut self titled album and no iPod was without KOL’s ‘Sex on Fire’.
In that same year a budding music enthusiast, Julia Wilson, launched the Sydney based record label, ‘Rice Is Nice’. Now celebrating their tenth birthday, we took Wilson down memory lane, from idea to inception, to industry head.
“It’s surreal in a way that it’s 10 years. I guess that’s just life in general that the years roll on by pretty quickly but I think having to stop and look back on 10 years now that this decade has happened it’s really cool and something I’m really proud of and it doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing it for that long,” Wilson reflects. “My mum has always said ‘do something and keep doing it and maybe in 10 years it will start to become something’. I feel like ‘wow it already IS 10 years and it IS something and we’ll continue’. It feels like it’s just getting started in a way.”
Named after Welsh post-hardcore band Mclusky’s 2000 single, Rice Is Nice has been at the forefront of Australian artist and industry representation from day one showcasing Australian talent the way it deserves to be shown off.
“I wanted to be an established Australian record label that really works and promotes Australian artists. I think it evolved from just wanting to promote musicians to having transparent agreements and really solid support and the right people pushing these records, and bands not getting confused and ripped off and jaded… but I think my passion throughout the whole thing is trying to push Australian music.
“Before I started the label I would go overseas and go to concerts and festivals and conferences and see all these international bands and think ‘our bands are way better’.” Wilson continues. “I think what we have in Australia is really, really, really strong and 10 years on that’s shown; they are touring overseas, and we are supporting Australian and booking our own bands for festivals and it’s getting the support it needs.”
From having artists touring nationally and internationally and spawning off into new projects, to co-hosting Henry Rollins KCRW in LA, Rice Is Nice is kicking goals and the next decade looks just as good! But first things first; to celebrate their double digit milestone, Rice Is Nice is throwing a party partnering with Melbourne Music Week, and you’re all invited!
Bringing their friends Rebel Yell, Richard In Your Mind, Sarah Mary Chadwick, SPOD, Straight Arrows and Summer Flake, and guest DJs Lowtide, You Beauty and Doug Wallen, The Hub at ACMI will be going off! The free event on Thursday 22 November, from 6pm will also include artwork projections from the multi-talented Rice Is Nice roster to really set the mood.
Having showcased twice already in previous years, Wilson couldn’t think of a more perfect way to commemorate the journey. “We’ve kind of respected Melbourne Music Week and what they do and the curation behind it, and it was a real honour to pitch my show years ago… From then on I wanted to keep working with them because it’s an incredible thing that Melbourne does and they do it so well that I just kind of want to be involved. It’s a real honour. Especially to have my 10 year birthday, it’s just perfect and I’m glad that they said yes!”
This free event goes down on Thursday November 22.
Melbourne Music Week starts 16 November. Check it all out at mmw.melbourne.vic.gov.au/
Written by Tammy Walters