Melbourne Music Bank

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Melbourne Music Bank

“It’s bloody hard out there when you’re trying to break into the music industry,” says Melbourne Music Bank ambassador Ella Hooper, “So anything I can do to help another artist, I’m always happy to do.” The singer-songwriter, radio presenter, TV personality and all-round Australian sweetheart is back on board with the Bank of Melbourne to help promote their popular initiative that gives one very talented musical act the chance to win the ultimate head start on their journey into the weird and wonderful world of the music industry.
“I would’ve been very excited to enter a competition like this early in my career. It was when we [Killing Heidi] won triple j Unearthed, that’s what got us on the radar,” Hooper explains. “So I do see value in music competitions because it gets your name out there and as I said it can be very hard to be successful from a standing start. You really want to be up and running, meeting people and taking every opportunity – and Melbourne Music Bank is a great opportunity for someone out there.”
Jac Phillips is the Bank of Melbourne’s Head of Brand and Marketing – and she knows first-hand what a leg-up means to any struggling artist. “We’ve got a fairly clear mission at the Bank of Melbourne and that’s to help people make it, and you can interpret ‘make it’ in whatever guise you want. So the whole point of the Melbourne Music Bank was to build a signature event that supports the music makers of Victoria, because we understand how very difficult the industry is to break into and that you need to be supported. We’re pretty proud of the fact that we can actually help identify, develop and nurture someone’s talent.”
Forte Magazine has been following the success of last year’s winner Tasmanian-born, now Melbourne-based, singer-songwriter Heloise closely since her win. After the release of her winning single ‘This Is Home’, she spent all of last summer on the tour circuit and has plans to record a second EP.
“Heloise is an incredibly talented woman and success was on the cards for her I’ve no doubt, but I’d like to think the Melbourne Music Bank has given her the opportunity to amplify her talent,” Phillips enthuses.
“She’s performed at Falls Festival and performed for us at Sleep at the G. We’ve [Bank of Melbourne] also hired her to perform at various corporate events, and of course she did her single launch show at The Workers Club, which was a sell-out. Heloise also has two songs in the triple j Unearthed charts at the moment. So as far as we’re concerned she’s absolutely riding the wave. She’s off and running and that’s exactly what the purpose of the Music Bank is.”
Now in its third year running, (Hooper wasn’t involved the first time around), from all accounts this year promises to be the biggest one yet. “I’m really proud to be a part of this for the second time. Last year was a really exciting start so I can’t wait to see what kind of talent it attracts because the judging process and the prize has been refined,” Hooper says.
“The guidelines are a little bit broader this year. We’re learning as we go and we’re trying to make it better each year,” Phillips smiles.
“So what we’re thinking is, given a lot of artists already have an original song up their sleeve it would be easy if you could simply submit that song via our website. So you don’t have to actually craft a song about Melbourne or specifically for the Melbourne Music Bank, like in the previous years. As long as it’s an original song that’s been penned by the artist or band and sang by them – then you’ve absolutely got an opportunity to enter. We’ve got a team of experts within our network that helps us identify the twelve finalists, we will be using incredible people like our ambassador Ella Hooper who is absolutely a star in her own right and completely understands this industry. We also have our own internal team like Simone Moss who actually runs this entire Melbourne Music Bank initiative as part of my marketing team. Simone is a real expert, she knows the Melbourne music industry and all the people in it. So between Ella, Simone, myself and a few others, we judge the entries.”
Potential finalists take note: “They will be judged on originality, musicality, suitability and appeal. Then we do is put it out to the public vote and the public chooses the top four.”
For anyone thinking this is the big break they’ve been searching for, Ella Hooper offers her advice on how to stand out from the crowd. “One thing that I always recommend in song-writing courses that I run, is to highlight your uniqueness. Your uniqueness is the thing that’s going to make you stand out as well as make you memorable. Even in life, regardless of being in a competition, being a unique artist, having a voice that only sounds like you or a style that’s only you is really how you get ahead.”
So you’ve written and performed an original song that highlights your uniqueness, made the Australian public fell in love with you (and your song), and by some godly twist of fate you’ve made it in to the final four, what happens next?
“From there we will have the finale which we will be held at the State Theatre. The State Theatre is pretty amazing, it’s home to the biggest stage in the Southern Hemisphere so it going to be a truly unique and memorable experience for those four finalists Then we will announce the winner at that event – no one will know the winner until that evening,” Phillips promises.
“Then the very next day the winner will be taken out to lunch by their new dream team,” she continues.
“They’re some of the best minds in the music business and they’ll provide the winner with advice as well as ongoing mentorship. Our winner will get a booking agent, a PR agent from On The Map PR, a radio plugger and all of those people in that team will be working together with our winner in order to nurture that artist well beyond the competition – and like last year the winner receives time at Sing Sing Studios to record their winning song, with a film clip made by Oh Yeah Wow, plus there’s the opportunity to make your own CD and we will also use their song in a Bank of Melbourne ad.”
The Bank of Melbourne are leaders in the field of community-based initiatives, and that’s what initially attracted Hooper to the worthy cause. “That’s something that excited me about the program, I was like ‘a bank giving money to musos!?’” she laughs.
MMB_Logo“I think it’s fantastic when the corporate world can come and support the arts because making money comes and goes in this profession. Sometimes you’re very fortunate and you do make money, but a lot of the time you don’t! You do it because you love it, you’re driven to do it, and it’s your passion. So we can always use a hand from the corporate world and other businesses. It’s great for them to be involved also, it’s fun, it’s inspiring – and we give back as well. By supporting the arts, they’re supporting our community. Music and the arts is such a big part of the community here in Melbourne, for me it’s the biggest part. Some people would say it’s footy, some people would say food, but I say music.”
Get involved upload your video to by the 23rd of August 2015. Good luck!
Written by Natalie Rogers