Melbourne Music Bank with Ella Hooper
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Melbourne Music Bank with Ella Hooper

Break the Bank WebWhen you sit down to think about it, there are so many classic songs about Melbourne. From Paul Kelly’s ‘From St Kilda to Kings Cross’ to ‘The Boy Who Lost His Jocks on Flinders Street Station’, it’s no wonder that 4.5 million people choose to call it home. From the MCG to Federation Square, it is a very inspiring place, and the Bank of Melbourne is on the lookout for the next big thing courtesy of the Melbourne Music Bank. You may have read in the last issue about the competition – and I hope for your sake you are tuning up your guitar and starting to write because entries close on September 7.
In 1996, Ella Hooper (now a renowned Australian songstress and media personality) broke into the Australian music scene with her band Killing Heidi and the track ‘Kettle’ after winning triple j Unearthed. As the ambassador for this year’s competition, Hooper feels that this is a great opportunity for unsigned bands to get their name out there. “There is always something that helps young artists breakthrough, whether that’s somebody lending them some gear or recording time. For me it was recording time, and from there things seemed to snowball.”
At the time of writing ‘Kettle’, Hooper didn’t have any thoughts about where the song would eventually take the band. Reflector, the debut album for the band, is seen as a classic Australian rock album that was released in 2000. “We knew that Kettle was a special song, yet we didn’t think that it would connect as much as it did. From there, things really took off and we got to work with Paul Kosky who has worked with Crowded House and Rage Against the Machine, which was an amazing experience. We are lucky for that exposure opportunity, and it’s great to be given the opportunity to do the same for someone else.”
The prizes for taking out the Melbourne Music Bank this year are absolutely massive and include a few opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t get. “These days you are really lucky to record in Sing Sing if you are signed to a major label or save up a lot of money. This just puts you right there. It’s a great experience to work in a big recording studio, it teaches you a lot.”
The rewards don’t stop there, though. You get a film clip by Wilk, live gigs, PR advice, album artwork and 500 copies of your own CD, as well as your song featured in a Bank of Melbourne advert. With no age or genre limitations, what are you waiting for?
If you’re a local singer-songwriter just starting out and you think that penning a tune about Melbourne sounds fairly easy, ‘then do it’ is the main advice that Hooper imparts. “Even if you don’t win, you get to be heard by a pretty cool panel of industry judges. It’s a great opportunity for exposure and to get your tunes heard by people that you otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity to.”
With a debut solo album In Tongues on the way, I’m sure this isn’t the last we will hear of Ella Hooper in 2014. Looking forward to all of the entries, the winner will be announced at a showcase concert at the Recital Centre on October 29. Until then, get writing to be in it to win it!
Competition: Entries close September 7 visit bankofmelbourne.com.au/melbmusicbank to enter.
By Tex Miller
 

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