It’s been two years since the Melbourne-based eclectic, indie singer Heloise was crowned the winner of Melbourne Music Bank with her winning song ‘This Is Home’ and she is yet to look back. As an opportunity for emerging original artists to get a foot into the industry, winning the competition was the ultimate kick start for Heloise’s career, with the release of her single scoring airplay on Triple J, ABC Radio and over 100 community radio stations throughout Australia.
Chatting with Forte Magazine, the vibrant and bubbly vocalist shared her thoughts about music as a career and the awesome initiative created by the Bank of Melbourne.
Putting together a massive prize pool each year, Melbourne Music Bank awards artists with the tools and resources they need to kick start their career. In 2014, Heloise was awarded that chance to spend some recording time at Sing Sing Studios, have a film clip made by film maker Wilk, receive album artwork, media training and have her song played in a Bank of Melbourne ad, amongst other incredible opportunities.
“The prizes are so well thought out. It was a really good way to have access to things that I, or many other emerging artists, don’t often have access to, financial or otherwise, like the video clip, the PR, and the networking side of things that you get, which has been really beneficial,” Heloise says.
This year’s prize is valued at over $60,000, including four days of recording at The Studios In The City to record, mix and master an EP, two film clips, album artwork, printed CDs, styling, media training, and an artist photoshoot for the release. If that wasn’t enough, you also get exclusive management and mentoring by Matt O’Connor, publicity by On The Map PR, radio plugging by Varrasso PR and gig bookings by 123 Agency. The winner will also be awarded the facilities to tour the east coast of Australia, and a performance slot at the renowned festival Beyond The Valley.
With a prize like that Heloise jokes: “I should have entered this year! They are killing it and have really amped it up this year. They have really thought about the prizes and how young artists can benefit from it.”
Having freshly moved to Melbourne from Tasmania in search of opportunity only a year before the competition, Heloise credits her career development to the fellow musicians and industry professionals she has met through the initiative, which recognises the average emerging artist’s struggle in an industry flooded with established artists.
“It’s so hard to catch a break in the industry now. There are so many amazing artists out there now, especially in Australia, so it’s a really good way to get noticed. And by the right people as well. You know that anyone involved is not necessarily going to be a shark who is just out to get you to make money from you. All the people I’ve met over the past two years have been so lovely and just genuinely want to support local and original artists.”
Between chatting about Melbourne’s ambrosial food scene and a comprehensible love of napping, the spirited musician reflects on the way the competition helped grow her self confidence, as both an artist and a person.
“As a musician you are always putting your heart and soul out there to be critiqued constantly, so you know there is always going to be moments of self doubt and wondering whether you should throw in the towel and do something that pays well. If your art is appreciated then it sort of inspires you to keep going with it, which is really important, especially for emerging artists where you’re so stuck in a huge sea full of lots and lots of fish.
“Over the past two years I’ve been super inspired to write and really push the boundaries of the genre of music by experiencing different things, meeting new people and making connections in the industry. It’s been kind of nice to really grow and slip into how I see myself and what I want from music as a career.”
Recently completing the national tour for her last EP ‘Nothin’ But The Bones’, Heloise and her band haven’t slowed down just yet, aiming to get back on the road as soon as possible.
“That’s always been the goal for me – just been on the road and playing shows. Stuck in a van with your mates. Everyone’s doing what they want to be doing. I just love it, that’s why I play music – because I love performing and I love playing shows and I love everything that comes with it. Poor or not!”
Not wasting a single opportunity, Heloise has a few exciting plans for the not-so-distant future.
“We’re also hoping to get another film clip out in the next couple of months (if I can get my act together and get myself organised), so for now we are just working on the next EP and just waiting to confirm a couple of potential support spots with other bands going on tour.
“We’re also hoping to head to the states in the next couple of years to do some shows, and we want to start working on an album!”
Amid giggling and excited talking, the unfettered folk artist shares some words of wisdom for any emerging artists or future entrants.
“Definitely just stick at it. You know, as much as people doubt themselves, and can feel a bit knocked back from not necessarily winning; you never know who is watching or who will be willing to help you out. You only need one start. For me, the PR from the campaign and the connections I made enabled me to record my second EP, which in turn gave us the opportunity to tour, from which we’ve been offered tour slots with other bands. It’s just sort of helped my career grow I suppose.
“It has changed my life – I know it sounds silly when people say it, but you never know what could have happened if it didn’t happen. It’s just such a good experience. What have you got to lose anyway?”
Well said girl, well said.
The Melbourne Music Bank competition is open until August 27, aiming to once again change an emerging musician’s life. Enter online at their website.
Main image: Heloise pictured
Written by Talia Rinaldo