Jeff Harwood on the Connecting Song Project and working alongside rock icon Adalita

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Jeff Harwood on the Connecting Song Project and working alongside rock icon Adalita

Physician by day, muso by night; that’s the life of Jeff Harwood, one of three lucky musicians who were selected to be a part of the Connecting Song project – an initiative implemented by City of Greater Geelong with the aim of supporting up-and-coming acts.

The project would see three industry professionals choose a singular act from the vast selection of competition entries, who would then work to mentor their chosen act throughout the course of the project.

“I actually saw it [the advertisement for Connecting Song] in Forte Magazine. I was eating a kebab for lunch and it [the magazine] was just in one of the kebab stores there [in the Geelong CBD]. I just thought it sounded like a great opportunity and I just applied for it. I didn’t think I’d have much chance of getting it really… so it was fantastic to get it and it’s just been really great,” says Harwood of how he first encountered the Connecting Song initiative.

Working alongside Harwood as a mentor was Aussie rock icon Adalita from rock band Magic Dirt. Adalita returned to her roots here in Geelong in playing her part in the Connecting Song Project, having begun her career in one of the most successful indie rock bands to come out of Geelong during the ’90s.

“It was really cool [working alongside Adalita], it was just cool to hang out with her. It was just really good validation because the mentors chose the song writers so to have someone who is like Australian rock royalty say, ‘oh yeah, he could do a good job of that’ is just really encouraging and gives a great sense of validation. The mentoring process has been good as well. She helped arrange the song and gave some tips on the recording process,” he says.

Connecting Song has worked in conjunction with the City of Greater Geelong’s Mountain to Mouth project, which is inclusive of an 80km Extreme Arts Walk. Taking place every other year, the next walk is set for 2018. The two projects go hand in hand toward contributing to the region’s contemporary songline.

As a part of the Connecting Song project, selected acts were required to produce a song that was inspired by a location on the Mountain to Mouth Arts Walk, which would be featured at this year’s Geelong After Dark festival that took place on Friday May 5.

“The song is based on the whole sea-change idea. Barwon Heads is where they filmed the iconic Seachange show. Just the whole idea of escaping the city and moving to the coast, we were sort of playing on that idea and it’s just a good indie pop-rock song with nice guitar lines and nice melodies,” says Harwood on what can be expected from his song, titled ‘Live By The Sea’.

“I went [to the Geelong After Dark Festival], it was great. All the artists that were a part of the Connecting Song project got invited to the official launch. Everyone was around just drinking beers,” he laughs, “I think there was something close to 2000 people who came through our little section where we had the clips screening and everyone seemed to really like it and there was a variety between the blues, the hip-hop and the rock.”

While Harwood has recently been keeping busy with working full-time, writing songs in his bedroom part-time and drinking lattes around the clock, he has his sights set for the future.

“Long-term I’d love to just be able to record albums in the middle of the mountains somewhere and just make lots of money from that. Or maybe just tour in the winter months to foreign countries, but I don’t know how realistic that is, even for the greats out there. In the short term, when winter comes and the days are too short to do any outdoor activities, I’d like to start working on recording either an EP or an album.”

You can check out the clip to his new song ‘Live By The Sea’ just below.

Written by Helena Metzke