GRID (Grass Roots Indie Development) is inviting emerging artists and bands from the outer southeastern, Frankston and Peninsula region to take part in its 2016 series of mentoring workshops, live performances and recording sessions.
Melbourne-based producer Ariel Blum established GRID with Ayesha Mehta, the co-founder of Taiwan’s Red Room, after it became apparent that many of the artists he was working with were eager to get as much information as possible on how to manage and grow their careers.
“I'd found that these artists were super hungry for new opportunities and I wanted to create a space where they had access to this information in a personalised fashion,” Ariel says. “Ayesha and I wanted to create a non-competitive space where artists are encouraged to build a community among themselves and grow together.
“When you look at the way music scenes have come to be, it has so often been numerous bands coming up together. We want to see GRID do the same thing. We want to enable artists to have the confidence and knowledge to go into the world with their record and give themselves the best shot at making an impact locally.”
Artists who live in the region and perform their own material are invited to apply before July 24, after which eight will receive one fully produced track from El Perro Productions, two paid gigs at Frankston’s Pelly Bar and The Village Green in Mulgrave, and a weekend of one-on-one mentoring with music industry professionals from Music Victoria.
“We'd like to see the eight selected artists who join the series to flourish and build new and exciting opportunities for themselves, and we encourage all the artists who apply to be involved to come to the shows, make new connections and build on the scene within their region. The shows are all happening locally and this gives the artists the best chance to involve their own community.
“There is amazing talent in this region. We want to give these artists the same opportunity and access that their peers in the inner city have.
“We'd like to also invite musicians whose first language may not be English to be involved. We've just launched a broad poster campaign in the region in English, Chinese, Hindi, Sudanese Arabic and Dari. Provided an artist writes and performs their own material, we'd love them to be involved in the series by applying to be a performer.”
Success stories have already emerged from previous GRID series. The Fabric, a nine-piece band “doing really amazing things in Melbourne”, had a song from GRID 2014 picked up by
Qantas inflight radio and went on to play the St Kilda Festival. Natalia Hayden (AKA Straythread) had one of her songs nominated for the Independent Music Awards.
“Outside of these more public outcomes, the response from all the artists involved was really positive,” Ariel says. “The environment gave them a chance to really focus on the particulars of their project with mentors who were totally committed to helping them get to where they wanted to go.”
For more details and to apply for GRID 2016, go to http://www.gridseries.com.au