Well firstly it’s great to be back after a 10-year hiatus for the music void….and our first Australian music business conference to cover.
First up, we had the opening ceremony and smoke ceremony/welcome to the country from our indigenous brothers and sisters. Then there was a welcome from the Mayor of Brisbane. I found the video from Tony Burke our Federal Art’s Minister was very authentic and passionate.
We were then treated to a great teaser of live artists doing 1-2 songs. The standout being Dean Brady an indigenous soul artist and what a voice, along with Bic Runga which brought back super fond memories and incredible tones. Then there was this French-Canadian act Le Panda that is definitely pushing some great creative boundaries.
I came back to hear Mike Shinoda from Linken Park discussing how as artists you need to go with your gut and push back against labels and publishers pushing you in a direction that does not sit well with your creativity. This is super important advice to up-and-coming artists. The discussion then focused on Shinoda’s creative process which delivered countless insights for artists in attendance to learn from.
The key message I got from him was that artists need to be authentic and stay true to that authentic self. The discussion with Shinoda finished on the topic was AI, which everyone already no doubt realises we at The Music Void take a big interest in. He was not into using AI on his or other voices but gave an example of the band using it for one of their music videos. The interesting point he made though was that they trained the AI model using only images and sounds the band owned copyright for.
After this, I headed off to the Mushroom Music showcase event. Once again Dean Brady was stellar in his performance and his backing singers were supreme! But a lot of people were super rude, and you could hardly hear him unless you were 3 rows from the front of the small venue. I found it rather disgusting on a professional level. These artists are up here pouring their souls out literally, yet people are talking over them. I get that it was a Mushroom party – but hey there were plenty of other areas people could have gone instead of talking over artists performing showcases…
I also managed to catch up with some old friends from the US, UK, and Australian Industry, calling out … Scott Cohen (be sure to check out his keynote discussion on Wednesday afternoon), Adam a great PR guy for bands wanting exposure in the US and Steve a booking agent from the UK. It was great to see Dave Batty as well!
For the evening showcases artists that stood out for me included Nat Vazer a great shoe-gazing songwriter and frontwomen with tight as f$#K band – some sonic youth influences in there but with a mellower dissonance. I’m pretty sure our UK/EU Editor Irina will love their sounds.
Then I saw Full Flower Moon Band – what an awesome dose of psych rock, three guitars including the front women, and once against incredibly tight. The energy was massive and f$#K, that bass player can play!
Dr. Sures Unusual Practice, while delivering a good performance, suffered from subpar sound quality. It’s evident that they possess explosive energy, and a better mixer and a larger front-of-house sound system would undoubtedly enhance their stage performance.
I’ve been tipped to check out the Dandy’s and an artist that plays and sings like Joni Mitchel tonight stay tuned for my updates on those shows tomorrow.
The first day at BigSound 2023 was a whirlwind of music, insights, and connections, setting the stage for an exciting 2 more days of the conference and showcases.