A major new festival and workshops with internationally successful artists and producers are part of a new program to boost the careers and international profile of Victorian songwriters and composers.
A partnership between the Andrews Labor Government and national music rights organisation APRA AMCOS, Connect and Create is a three-year program that will support local songwriters and composers to build sustainable careers and create music that will connect with audiences across the globe.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley met with a group of Australian artists including singer/songwriters Megan Washington and Georgi Kay; film composer, Francois Tetaz, and songwriter, producer and lead singer of Evermore Jon Hume, to announce the new program.
“Connect and Create is another way that we are backing our creative talent. Not only will it support songwriters creatively, it will actively help Victorian artists make a living from their music,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley.
“We are proud to partner with APRA AMCOS whose worldwide network of songwriters, composers and producers will provide invaluable insights to local artists. Connect and Create is a ground-breaking program that will strengthen Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s contemporary music heartland.”
Connect and Create will be made up of two streams: SongHubs – a series of immersive writing camps that will pair Victorian artists with internationally renowned songwriters and producers; and a new songwriting festival which will include panels, masterclasses, workshops and performances.
SongHubs is an extension of a global program piloted by APRA AMCOS in 2013. Past participants include Victorian indie outfit Client Liaison, artist and producer M-Phazes and Jon Hume, who continues to write massive hits with international collaborators he met through SongHubs including Mr Hudson, JP Cooper and Trey Campbell.
Victoria is a songwriting hotspot. Of the top ten suburbs for Australian songwriters, six suburbs are in Melbourne. In addition to music for performance and recordings, Victorian songwriters and composers create work for films and television programs, digital games and advertisements.
Music licensing and royalties are a key income stream for artists. In 2015-16, APRA AMCOS collected $333m in royalties on behalf of songwriters and publishers, with $38 million coming from outside of Australia. Connect and Create programs will support local songwriters to expand their revenue – particularly in international markets.
Support for Connect and Create is part of the Labor Government’s landmark $22.2 million Music Works initiative to grow the state’s music industry. The first SongHubs event will be held in Melbourne later this year.