Paul Bibby

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songwriters and music makers are invited to attend Byron’s SAE Creative Media Institute for the two-day Standing Ground workshop on September 19 and 20.

The workshop, organised by the Australasian Performing Right Association and Create NSW, is for those looking to gain knowledge about the creative and business aspects of being a songwriter and/or musician.

Sessions run between 9am-5pm each day, with participants having access to the state-of-the-art recording studios, equipment and facilities at SAE Byron Bay.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sue Ray returns as a mentor to Starting Ground. Image supplied

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sue Ray returns as a mentor at the workshop and will be joined by rising songwriter/hip-hop artists Kaylah Truth and Ziggy Ramo to guide participants on song craft and career paths.

‘Our voices need to be heard so an initiative that helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians develop their artistry and career plan is so important,’ Mr Ramo said.

‘Knowledge should be available to us all. Supporting each other in the studio is supporting our community.’

In music industry mentoring roles will be Bigsound’s First Nations Producer and Artistic Director for Digi Youth Arts, Alethea Beetson, SGC Music Group publicist Nick Price, and producer/engineer Yanto Browning of Brisbane’s Airlock Studios.

‘The Starting Ground workshops are a fantastic way to bring music and culture together in an immersive and joyful way,’ Ms Ray said.

‘All participants are able to bring something special and learn and share in a safe and supportive space, ending with the creation of music that everybody was able to contribute to and be proud of.’

Established in 2015 with support from the New South Wales Government, the Starting Ground project was created to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians build their skills, promote their work, develop career pathways and access mainstream music markets.

Following the success of the NSW-based program, the first Starting Ground to take place outside of of the state was held in Kalgoorlie, WA, in April this year, with potential for further expansion to different regions.


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