Connecting emerging songmakers to mentors

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Connecting emerging songmakers to mentors

Connecting Song is the newest music mentorship program for emerging musicians in the Geelong region to further their skills. The project is part of the bi-annual Mountain to Mouth event and was made possible after being successful in receiving a grant of $11,000 from Creative Victoria’s Music Works grant program.

“Connecting Song is about new voices, new collaborations, new content and new locations, invigorating Geelong’s music scene through developing the skills of young and emerging musicians,” said Mr Brett Luxford, General Manager – Investment & Attraction, City of Greater Geelong.

The project will see three emerging musicians paired up with either Adalita, hip hop artist Trem One or blues musician Tim Neal to produce an original song about their chosen Geelong place. The locations chosen will link back to the Mountain to Mouth event, will have a film clip made and be intergrated into this year’s Geelong After Dark event and next year’s Mountain to Mouth event. We spoke with co-ordinator of the project Fiona Duncan, who is artist manager of Spiderbait amongst other bands and has well-earned her stripes in the music industry.

The project is a chance to shine a light on emerging musicians in Geelong, what are your thoughts on the opportunities currently out there?
I think in Geelong – as is the case everywhere – it’s tough to get started; knowing what to do and how to get your music out there and where people will hear it. There are some really amazing people working in the local music scene of Geelong that are all about wanting the best for young musos and wanting the best for music in Geelong.

And what kind of opportunity will this project give to those involved?
This project gives unsigned musicians, who live anywhere in the Geelong region, the opportunity to work closely with an established professional musician. They will write a place-based song about somewhere in Geelong from the You Yangs through to the urban North, the city centre and to the Bellarine. This song will be professionally recorded and a film clip will also be made for them. The clip will then be debuted in a laneway event at 2017 Geelong After Dark. The song will form part of a new music component of the Mountain to Mouth Arts walk in 2018. Importantly, the musicians then have a story to tell. They will have recorded a song and film clip to use to help them get shows and build a following. They will also have access to the mentors and myself to ask questions and get advice on the music industry. It’s an amazing opportunity for three musicians, groups or bands.

There is the chance to “record a song, create a clip”, who will be involved in helping see these come to fruition?
The songs will be recorded at Don’t Poke The Bear, the professional recording studio at Oxygen College, and the film clips will be created at Pulse TV.

You’ve got three great mentors involved as well, how did you come to selecting these three musicians?
I spoke to a lot of professional musicians that either lived in Geelong or grew up in Geelong. The ones we selected were the ones who have had an extensive and varied experience in music. They are all at the tops of their game. They are songwriters and performers and are from very different genres. Adalita is an award winning solo artist and was front person of seminal Geelong band Magic Dirt that toured internationally. Trem One is a very respected member of the hip hop world and we were very lucky he was keen to be involved having recently moved back to the Geelong region after spending his teen years growing up in the area. Tim Neal has toured with many international and national stars and is a music teacher as well as performer – he is very experienced in mentoring artists.

What kind of applicants are you hoping to see enter the project?
We want everyone. You don’t need to be a virtuoso or professional. We are wanting unsigned artists who live in the Geelong Region. We want anyone who writes songs in their bedrooms or is out playing to apply. All ages, all cultural groups, all music styles. Solo artists, groups, bands. Rock, pop, hip hop, rap, blues and folk….and anything in between.

Applications close on January 20.
The application details can be found at