Melbourne Music Bank
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Melbourne Music Bank

Break the Bank WebLong nights and early mornings, cheap beer (and even cheaper food), beat-up cars carting banged-up gear, couch surfing, half-rehearsed songs, rooms filled with little more than roped-in family and friends, unreliable drummers and barely enough money at the end of the night to cover costs – the music world wouldn’t be the same without young, aspiring musicians scrapping for gigs. Still, with such a tough slog, why the hell would you do it? Because it’s music, man. And when it’s in you, you just gotta get it out.
Created by the Bank of Melbourne, the Music Melbourne Bank is asking the question, ‘Will you be the next big name in music?’ Don’t let the bank thing dissuade you; it’s actually a pretty cool thing they’ve got going on. Basically, bedrooms rockers are encouraged to shoot off an mp3 file of a song or piece of music inspired by Melbourne that they have created. From there, a public vote comes into things. 12 finalists will then be whittled down via the public vote, with four finalists chosen to perform in front of a judging panel of industry experts at the Melbourne Recital Centre. We’ll get to the prizes in a sec.
Ella Hooper is your Melbourne Music Bank Ambassador. Only in her early thirties, Ella is already a veteran of the Australian music scene, and caught a similar big break the odd album and ARIA Award ago. You probably know her best for fronting Killing Heidi, the band that put Violet Town on the map. They cleaned up at the 2000 ARIA Awards, picking up four gongs including ‘Best Group’ and ‘Album of the Year’. Since Killing Heidi disbanded in 2006, Ella has kept busy with The Verses, solo work (her debut solo album is In Tongues) and a stint on the revived Spicks and Specks.
“It’s so important that we encourage and celebrate our local talent, and this is exactly what this project is all about,” said Hooper. “I got my big break after being discovered at a local fete in Violet Town. It led to free studio time to record and here I am today!”
The judging panel, meanwhile, includes Cara Williams from Beat Magazine, Chelsea Wilson of PBS 106.7FM, Kirsten Siddle of the Melbourne Recital Centre and Jac Phillips, Head of Brand Marketing, Bank of Melbourne.
Up for grabs is a prize bag filled with pretty much everything one needs to take things to the next level, including two days of recording at Sing Sing Studios, a video clip by filmmaker Wilk, live gigs, album artwork and 500 CDs, PR and marketing advice and the chance to have their song used in a Bank of Melbourne advertising campaign. Composer Simon Watt, who won 2013’s inaugural event for his composition ‘A Melbourne Morning’, scored a cinema advertisement promoting children’s savings accounts. It was a challenge for Watt, who said, “I usually score longer projects so working with a 30-second format was a bit more exciting. It allowed me to experiment more.”
The competition is open to all Victorian songwriters and musicians and has been designed for musicians to tap into Victoria’s, and arguably Australia’s, musical heart, Melbourne. Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Scott Tanner: “Melbourne is undoubtedly Australia’s arts and culture capital. Bank of Melbourne is delighted to help celebrate and support local music talent with this exciting program.”
Artists have until September 7 to submit their work. Further information can be found through bankofmelbourne.com.au/melbmusicbank. Good luck.
Written by Wylie Caird
 

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