Donna Weston knows music. She heads up the Bachelor of Popular Music (BPM) course at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and is exposed to music, in one way or another, all day long.
The course was set up to provide emerging musicians with the ability to effectively produce and represent themselves while performing professionally, launching EPs and videos, and establishing fan bases.
Donna says that selling music isn’t usually the main revenue stream for musicians anymore. “They need to look for alternative income, and live performance is increasingly becoming that source,” she said.
The BPM was launched in 1999 and has seen an incredible line up of musicians come through its doors.
The Kite String Tangle, The Delta Riggs, Bobby Alu, Ian Peres from Wolfmother, The John Steele Singers, Caligula’s Horse, Nine Sons of Dan have all had their start at Griffith on the Gold Coast.
Given that the goals of the BPM are focused on supporting emerging popular music artists and launching them on their career path, it’s no wonder that Donna jumped on the chance to become a sponsor of the 2015 Gold Coast Music Awards. Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University was the first sponsor locked in for this year’s event – which is the first time the Gold Coast has had a music awards program for more than 20 years.
Seed, which is a project of the Queensland Conservatorium, is allowing young musicians to produce, licence and sell their music on iTunes, promote themselves online, make industry connections, and perform in high-profile venues like QPAC with a schedule that includes more than 200 paid gigs every year.
“Making music is always the number one focus of the BPM, but it has to be bolstered with grounding in technology and business,” Donna says. “It’s a hugely competitive industry, so aspiring musicians have to balance their creative skills with an entrepreneurial side – that’s what Seed aims to do.”
And Donna acknowledges that sometimes emerging musicians need much more than that. “They need the right industry support, they need exposure and they need strong advice as to what steps to take to make sure their music gets heard,” she said.
“And so the Gold Coast Music Awards are very much needed,” she said. “Especially in helping with that exposure.”
“It’s a hugely competitive industry, so aspiring musicians have to balance their creative skills with an entrepreneurial side – that’s what Seed aims to do and that’s why we’re supporting the Music Awards,” she said.
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The Seed Project kicks off its 2015 tour, showcasing new and emerging talent from 19 June. Visit blankgc.com.au/goldcoastgigguide to check dates and artists.
Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University is a major partner for the 2015 Gold Coast Music Awards, sponsoring the Emerging Artist of the Year category. Nominations close Sunday 31 May and the event will be held Wednesday 22 July. More at gcmusicawards.com.au.
For online hyperlinks: http://www.griffith.edu.au/music/popular-music/student-music/seed