The Business Of Music: It’s The BOM!

The Business Of Music (BOM) is a group mentoring program for those working within the music industry (from artists and musicians through to venue owners, producers, managers and creatives), who are looking to take their business acumen to the next level.

In the words of course convener (and all-round Gold Coast music legend, Brad Hosking), “it’s an opportunity for local Gold Coast music and arts practitioners to up-skill their music business knowledge and practice, and to build a community of local musicians with skills to positively impact and develop the local industry.”

The program is delivered in partnership with the Gold Coast City Council as part of their Music Action Plan. It’s a fairly new initiative, utilising the expertise and resources of TAFE Queensland, who were proud sponsors of the ‘Musician of the Year’ category at this year’s Gold Coast Music Awards (which was taken out by Julz Parker of Hussy Hicks.)

The program has already run twice, and has two more intakes schedules for 2021. The May intake has just kicked off and there’s an October one to come. What’s special about these intakes, apart from the fact that they’re being delivered online in order to adapt to the current social climate, is that their fees are being completely subsidised, meaning students won’t pay a cent.

The course is dynamically tailored to the individualised needs of the participants of each intake, as Brad explains; “This program is not like a typical music business TAFE program where you have modules that students need to progress through. Everything that is covered, and the guest mentors/speakers that we invite in, are all determined by the students’ needs, whose knowledge gaps we look to fill. We survey the participants areas of interest in week one and develop content specifically for that group of participants, and tailor the guest speakers to those areas of interest.”

Brad is also a senior lecturer and course coordinator in the Southern Cross University Bachelor of Contemporary Music at TAFE Coomera campus, as well as being a member of the Music Advisory Group for the city. So he’s clearly very qualified to be taking the lead role in delivering the BOM.

Upon asking him what his role in delivering the course specifically entails, it turns out he’s quite the multi-faceted all-rounder!

“My role is somewhere in between a facilitator, a teacher, a mentor and an industry rolodex. I lean on my contacts throughout the industry – from label heads, A&R from major publishing companies, festival programmers, sync agents, major label artists, successful independent artists, booking agents, artist managers, tour managers, distribution companies, major radio stations, publicists, ticketing companies, online music marketers etc – to deliver really up to date knowledge and advice for current music businesses. We also have some great support staff from our other amazing music department at TAFE Queensland in Sam Besmehn-Burt, Dylan Blackman, Donovan Lee and Ben Crawford.”

The upcoming intake into the next BOM will be the fourth cohort to progress through the ranks. The roll-call of previous graduates is impressive, and Brad is enthusiastic about what they’ve been achieving.

“We have seen a lot of artists now starting to release music, develop working relationships with others in the group and think about their businesses in different ways to how they have before. Some of the alumni that have recently released music include Elska, Michael McCartney, Harry J Hart, Eleea, Matt Gray, Bones Rivers, Chloe Styler, Soft Nylon and Danny Dyson.

“Michael McCartney is in the process of releasing some amazing music that he has been planning out for many years and getting great response from national radio. And Elska played a leading role in organising #goldcoastsoundslike – a virtual music festival during COVID-19 isolation that featured a number of Business of Music alumni.”

With COVID-19 changing the face of the musical landscape for the time being, I ask Brad if the course has needed to be tweaked to reflect this.

“As mentioned earlier, the content is driven by the needs of the current cohort and COVID-19 has certainly temporarily shifted a lot of the industry”, says Brad. “The major change to the course itself is the online delivery for the next cohort. We finished the previous cohort online with Gang of Youths and Amy Shark’s tour manager, Zack Marshall and Gregg Donovan from Wonderlick Entertainment, where COVID-19 became a major focus of those discussions.

“Artists are still releasing music and music consumers are still hungry for it, so although being heavily impacted, the music business itself is still very active.”

Upon wrapping things up with Brad, I ask him about of few of his other endeavours when he’s not in teaching mode. Turns out he has a few!

“Blind Boy Studios is my production facility where I am lucky enough to produce, write with and/or mix some amazing work. Just recently a number of artists that I’m working with have released some great work, including Ella Fence, Soft Nylon, Karlou, Pure Milk, Calan Mai, Electrik Lemonade, Eleea, and Mardi Wilson to name a few.

“I also am the MD and play guitar/bass/synths for Amy Shark. When I can, I play trumpet with Electrik Lemonade and guitar/piano for City Over Sand.”

Phew! That’s one busy Brad.

Places are limited to 20 per intake for Gold Coast-based music industry professionals who can evidence a minimum of two years professional activity. Note: you must also be a GC Resident and an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. And as mentioned, to help support the music sector in the current environment places in the next intake will have fees 100% supported by the MAP and TAFE Queensland valued at over $2000 per place. For those interested in finding out more about the course, go here.

IMAGE (C) Peter Wheeler Photography

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