Nine Queensland musicians have been selected to attend QMusic’s exclusive Songwriting Retreat, AMPLIFY, taking place from 11 - 14 July at Heliport Studios in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Now in its second year, AMPLIFY will play host to an impressive array of artists, songwriters and producers.
This year’s intake includes a triple j Unearthed DMA’s Remix competition winner, a local songwriter signed to Swedish publisher The Kennel (home of E^st, Conrad Sewell), a Gold Coast act signed to Nettwerk Records with over 100,000 YouTube followers, a triple j Unearthed Big Pineapple stage opener, an artist featured on the Future Classic Recommends Youtube playlist, and a finalist at the International Songwriting Competition.
“The pool of artists who have been selected to attend this year’s AMPLIFY are an exciting snapshot of the massive amount of talent coming out of Queensland at present. We are thrilled to support these Queensland artists who will take part in this songwriting and development opportunity and co-write, collaborate, connect and learn from successful songwriters and producers,” said QMusic CEO, Angela Samut.
“The quality of artists that applied for this year’s AMPLIFY was so impressive and something we should be celebrating. QMusic is all about supporting grassroots music throughout the state and we also want to help develop pathways for artists to make their mark outside of Queensland and Amplify is the first step,” says QMusic Program Manager, Gav Parry.
Congratulations to Brooke Toia (BROOKLNN), Callam MacDonald (Daste), Chloe Wilson (Cloe Terare), Emily Coulston, Kayla Smart (Dorah Jacson), Luke Middleton (Borderland State), Ryan Dobbrick (Du0), Ryan Henderson (Hollow Coves) and Thomas Daley (I AM D).
On the list to facilitate is the Head of A&R at Central Station Records, Archie Magliulo who's had a hand in the careers of Starley, Antony & Cleopatra and Ryan Riback. Archie brings more than 20 years of experience into the retreat.
Joining Archie artist and producer DVNA who’s clocked over 1 million streams from her two latest releases. As well as songwriter/artist JANEVA who's signed to Sony ATV and has written with the likes of Alex Newell, Twice as Nice (DJ Snake, Rihanna), The Eleven (Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony) and Stefen Lit (One Direction). Lastly, producer Jim Alxndr who's worked alongside Carly Rae Jepsen (Three time Juno Award winner), Broods (Ten time winners of The New Zealand Music Award) and Elle Graham (a.k.a. WOODES).
Brooke Toia who was discovered by Hayden Bell (Savage Garden, The Veronicas) is focused on using the opportunity to co-write on creating a track that can find its home within Australia’s music landscape. “Most of the songs I’ve co-written and released have all been within Europe or Asia. So I’m very keen to create and be apart of music in my home country. I really feel like you always learn something from meeting and writing with new people too. New energies, new lyrics, new stories, etc. so I’m always excited for that!”
Always looking to build on his extensive musical capabilities, Thomas Daley says, “Considering I'm new to the production world, I'm really looking forward to working with different artists and expanding my sound and capabilities, blending genres and not limiting myself.” Daley, who goes by I AM D, has been a previous recipient of the APRA AMCOS Hilltop Hoods Initiative as well as supporting Thundamentals, Allday, Briggs, Ghostface Killah and other leading touring acts.
“I'm really hoping to meet a bunch of like-minded people, make great music and be inspired . I know I have a lot to learn so this will be an incredible experience for me,” says Chloe Wilson. Also following this train of thought is Luke Middleton, “I’m really looking forward to gaining the connections with other artists and industry people. Also to have a couple days strictly set for studio time and music making is something that I’m really excited for.”
The four-day songwriting retreat will take place on Heliport Studio’s 54-hectare tropical rainforest property nestled in the Buderim hinterland. The world-class facility features multiple recording, mixing and mastering spaces with state of the art equipment (and some killer views for when you need a creative refresh).
AMPLIFY is open to participants of QMusic’s free professional development program Industry Connect. Since its inception in 2017, Industry Connect has helped 1,500 artists and music industry practitioners from across seven regions of Queensland to gain a deeper understanding of the Australian and global music landscape and navigate their career with the skills, tools and confidence required.
Also attending AMPLIFY for select sessions are four additional Queensland artists whose applications spoke to their hunger and dedication to their projects. These select participants include Tiarne Todd (Tiarne), Phoebe Sinclair, Max Mitchell (Major Minor) and Calan Mai.
Brooke Toia (BROOKLNN)
At age 22, BROOKLNN was discovered by Hayden Bell (founder of Savage Garden and The Veronicas) and asked her to travel to Stockholm for a week of sessions, after only 2 day she was signed by Swedish Publisher, The Kennel and Universal Music.
Since being signed with The Kennel and UMPG, she has travelled to write music all around Europe, Los Angeles and Australia.
Callum MacDonald (Daste)
Daste's debut and sophomore singles 'Thinkin’ Of' and 'SOBER' have already clocked in over 150k Spotify streams each, which is a testament to the bands creative direction and song-writing ability.
The group receive props from acclaimed Australian label Future Classic via their Future Classic Recommends YouTube playlist and furthering their credentials by collaborating with US clothing company Urban Outfitters.
Chloe Wilson (Cloe Terare)
Choe Terare's first single ‘Take Me Home' scored #1 on the indigenous triple J unearthed charts and #24 Top Charts (unearthed).
The release of the music video has been covered by Happy Mag Magazine, WeRaveYou, Gas Mask Magazine and FemmePowerAu.
Emily Coulston co-wrote "Hope" with electronic music producer Ben Phipps which received over 100,000 streams, and a licensing deal with HBO show "Pretty Little Liars". With a quickly growing fan base, Emily released her second EP, Oh Fire.
The 3-song acoustic-driven, romantic album catapulted her success with over half a million streams on Spotify alone and over 60,000 views on YouTube. Aero Chocolate got a hold of her single "Moon" and offered a spot on a worldwide commercial.
Kayla Smart (Dorah Jacson)
Dorah Jacson is quite the mellifluous soul, and a talented songwriter to add. The Sunshine Coaster has performed solo around the region for over a year, and has supported many bands such as Ayla, High Tropics, Fragile Animals and Bugs at her local venue Solbar.
Throughout this time, she captivated her audience, and has gained an admirable following resulting in a place on the triple j Unearthed stage at Big Pineapple 2019.
Luke Middleton (Borderland State)
Borderland State’s rework of DMA’s tune The End stood out amongst 400 other entries to win a recent triple j Unearthed remix competition, and he subsequently signed his first original work to the Here To Hell label, helmed by Kim Moyes (from The Presets, and producer of the DMA’s album).
Borderland State has also supported the likes of Crooked Colours, The Kite String Tangle and Cassian.
Ryan Dobbrick (Du0)
Du0’s ‘It’s OK’ has garnered widespread support from the likes of Spotify, Pilerats, Acid Stag, Run The Trap and breaking into the top 10 in Hype Machine’s esteemed Now chart. This has been capped off with a feature on Back To Back Radio w/ Willy Joy and Diplo.
Du0’s songwriting has already received well-deserved recognition with an LA Music Award and as a finalist at the International Songwriting Competition.
Ryan Henderson (Hollow Coves)
Hollow Coves released the debut EP “Wanderlust” last year on Nettwerk Records, which featured the standout and hugely popular track “The Woods.”
The single reached #1 on both Hype Machine and THR’s “Top TV Songs” chart, and has since seen millions of plays across the globe.The pair have also come off the back of their first-ever North American tour.
Thomas Daley (I AM D)
In 2013, I AM D won the APRA AMCOS Hilltop Hoods and has supported Xzibit, Ghostface Killah, Thundamentals, David Dallas, Drapht, Allday and Briggs.
His most notable release to date is the 2016 EP distributed through GoldenEra Universal titled “Mirrors Never Told Nice Stories” or MNTNS as well as a sleuth of stand alone songs & singles heʼs released since 2016 right up until now.
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