Music Australia appoints new council members + all the latest Australian music industry news

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Music Australia appoints new council members + all the latest Australian music industry news

Australian Music industry news
Words by Christie Eliezer

Read the latest Australian music industry news - from the Barbie soundtrack hitting #1 on the ARIA charts to Music Australia's new council recruits.

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in Australian music industry news recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music biz stories from the past fortnight.

Read all the latest product & music industry news here.

The Top Headlines:

  • Greta Gerwig’s Barbie soundtrack hits #1 on the Aria charts.
  • The Australian music industry has welcomed the musicians and industry executives chosen by the Australian Government for its 8-person Council of Music Australia.
  • Nick Yates and Gerry Bull have launch How Good, a multi-service music company offering artist development, project management, publicity, partnerships, sponsorship, venue bookings and events via targeted strategies and creative campaigns for music, culture, brands and the arts.

Barbie Helps Women Discover New Music

The box office phenomenon that is Barbie has seen the soundtrack hit #1 on the ARIA chart, the first soundtrack to top the chart since Encanto last March, and globally earned 235.9 million in On-Demand Audio streams during the first week of release.

It generated hits for Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” (three weeks at #1); “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice and Aqua; and “Dance The Night” by Dua Lipa.

It’s also been a launching pad for music discovery. US research firm Luminate found this to be so, as the film targets females across multiple age groups, especially Gen Z’ers & Millennials. 

Gen Z and Millennial females are 16% more likely to seek out new music than the general population.

30% of Gen Z and Millennial women discover new music and artists through movies/movie soundtracks, which makes them 15% more likely than to than the remainder of the population.

Music Biz Thumbs Up: Music Australia Appointments

The Australian music industry has welcomed the musicians and industry executives chosen by the Australian Government for its 8-person Council of Music Australia, a key element of its new national cultural policy – Revive.

Music Australia has $69 million in funding over four years to support and grow the contemporary music sector, through strategic initiatives and industry partnerships, research, skills development and export promotion, and more.

The eight are:

Fred Alale, co-founder and chair of African Music and Cultural Festivals Inc.

Lisa Baker, manager of creative cultural development, City of Playford

Danielle Caruana (Mama Kin), artist and founder/director of The Seed Fund

Michael Chugg, founder of Chugg Entertainment

Petrina Convey, owner and director of UNITY. Mgmt

Fred Leone, artist

Nathan McLay, CEO of Future Classic

Dr Sophie Payten (Gordi), artist

“Now it all comes down to execution,” said ARIA and PPCA CEO, Annabelle Herd. 

“Now is the time to think big, consult wide, and deliver the solutions that Australian recording artists and industry professionals deserve; restoring the infrastructure to help them achieve sustainable careers at home and providing a greater platform for them to reach new audiences by cutting through an increasingly saturated market.

“Australia’s contemporary music industry is an incredible incubator for world-class talent. But for the world to discover that talent, we need the right strategic support and investment. There’s no time to waste.”

Dean Ormston, CEO of APRA AMCOS, representing the rights of songwriters, composers and publishers, added:

“With new opportunities for songwriters, new stages and regional, national and international touring, Australia could become a music powerhouse, in the league of Britain, United States and Sweden.

“There are three countries in the world that are net exporters of music and Australia could be the fourth. We are setting our sights high for the next ten years.”

Hip Hop Summit, Docos On Netflix, SBS

The 50th celebration of hip hop’s birth in America continues in Australia as well.

The 4Elements HipHop Festival & Conference (4ESydney) returns for its ninth edition from November 23 to 25 in Blacktown, Sydney.

The conference, at the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, has thought leaders sharing their thoughts on the music’s legacy, impact on society, understanding ego’s influence on artistic and industry growth, the consequences of erasing history and hip hop’s future waves.

More info, including the return of the mentor program, can be found at

In the meantime, Onefour: Against All Odds, Gabriel Gasparinatos’ doco on the rise of controversial Sydney drillers Onefour is one of four local productions green-lit by Netflix.

Another Aussie hip hop doco, Burn Gently, which hit cinemas in March, hits SBS on Demand on September 7, with broadcasts promised on NITV from December.

“This project has been a genuine labour of love, 6 years is a hell of a long time to give to any single project!” said director Antony Attridge.

“But hip hop has given us so much, we don’t just want to be a flash in the pan with this film, we want people to walk away inspired to create – and that includes creating change in an industry that perhaps still misrepresents (at times) Hip Hop as a culture and not just a music.”

Indie Music Now Has 40% Global Market Share

The independent sector takes 40% of the global music market, according to the new 2022/23 annual report from London-based Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).

It is responsible for 80% of the world’s new releases, with US$4.1 billion (AU$6.38 billion) invested in discovering and nurturing global independent talent, and creating 80% of jobs.

The last indie share for Australia, as per AIR, was 31%, generating $183 million revenue in the 2018/19 year up from $153 million in 2014/15.

WIN’s network now spans 36 trade associations and 40 territories, which represent over 8,000 music companies and entrepreneurs worldwide.

AIR’s Melbourne-based GM Maria Amato who was chair of WIN is now its treasurer.

Calling Creatives To Eradicate Modern Day Slavery

Australian creatives are asked, along with those around the world, to help eradicate modern day slavery.

New non-profit production house xPropelr is calling for orchestral musicians and singers to take part in a recording that will be transformed into an immersive audio-visual installation that will be appear in pop-up locations in key cities to sonically disrupt, educate and raise awareness and available for streaming from late October.

 “While slavery is not a new issue in our world, more than 40 million are living through it today,” points out xPropelr founder Tammy Ari, an Aussie expat composer based in Los Angeles who studied under Hans Zimmer.

“That’s more than ever before in history. Yet many don’t know how astronomical this issue is and how it impacts our everyday lives.”

Auditions for the track, as part of the inaugural creative project Dreaming Freedom, close on September 8 at

Those on board include Alex Isley of Kendrick Lamar’s band, Gloria Estefan’s guitarist John DeFaria, Izzy Bizu of Coldplay’s touring band, Hans Zimmer bassist Juan Garcia- Herreros, R&B singer Gary Pinto and Illy/G Flip drummer Ben Ellingsworth.

Nick Yates & Gerry Bull Launch How Good

Industry stalwarts Nick Yates and Gerry Bull have launched How Good, a multi-service music company offering artist development, project management, publicity, partnerships, sponsorship, venue bookings and events via targeted strategies and creative campaigns for music, culture, brands and the arts.  

Yates was a Senior Artist Manager and Head of Artist Management at UNIFIED Music Group for years, managing Illy, Amy Shark, Violent Soho, Nina Las Vegas and The Kite String Tangle. 

He spent the last year leading the music festival partnerships for AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience), a charity tackling educational inequity by creatively connecting marginalised kids with mentorship programs.

Bull, in her 13 years as a Triple j Publicist ran publicity campaigns for Triple j, Double J, Triple j Unearthed, rage, ABC TV, Hottest 100, J Awards and Ausmusic Month, as well as the One Night Stand and Beat The Drum concerts and Falls and Harvest Rock festivals. 

She implemented diversity guidelines to Triple j partnerships, played a key part in moving the date of Triple j’s Hottest 100 away from 26 January and ran campaigns encouraging young people to vote in Federal Elections and the Same-Sex Marriage plebiscite, and helped raise millions of dollars for charities like AIME and Lifeline through Hottest 100 partnerships, as well as played an integral role in the creation of Ausmusic T-Shirt Day, which has gone on to raise much needed funds for Support Act and countless Australian artists

How To Stop Fans Throwing Crap at Artists

The spate of crap being thrown at artists on stage has got to be such a worrying concern that tour promoter Live Nation has thrown some money at a UK university to study why.

There are a number of reasons being offered by crowd specialists.

One is that post-COVID crowds have become more rowdy, not just at concerts but at sports, comedy and theatre events.

It’s suggested that new gig-goers who were sidelined for three years due to the pandemic, returned without learning the etiquette of what to do and not to do at shows from older fans.

John Drury, a professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex in England explained to Billboard every crowd has its natural leaders.

Aside from training security to identify the trouble makers early and ensure that they are seen as being punished for bad behaviour (as in thrown out with great amount of humiliation), they should also tap on these leaders to create a self-policing culture at a venue and the “transformative power of large groups”, and to communicate before the show through signs or email, the need for patrons to connect with each other and create a joyful live experience.

Stars do get hurt from such antics. But not all are caused by spite, more instead by stupidity. They’re an extension of how technology allows fans to virtually play an active role in the show by “being on stage” with their heroes.

Crowd safety manager Paul Wertheimer told The Guardian that acts themselves sometimes interact with their audiences. Billie Eilish, One Direction, Shawn Mendes and Drake have picked up mobile phones, filmed themselves and returned it to their owners.

“There is a long history of artists throwing guitars, bottles, and clothing into the crowd.

“It’s a two-way street: if artists don’t want to be hit by projectiles, they shouldn’t throw projectiles themselves. There’s mutual respect there.”


Ian Bray, one time manager of TMG in the late 1970s, passed away in Pattaya, Thailand.

He worked closely with Sherbet, running their successful merchandising arm at a time when no other Australian band had seen the potential, and through his company Dabble Productions, published their best seller Sherbet On Tour.

Bray ran the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne, building it up as a live music venue, before leaving the industry.

Robert Dunstan, long time editor of Adelaide street paper Rip It Up and founder of BSide magazine, passed at his home aged 68.

Also a presenter on Radio 5 Triple Z, ‘Bertie’ was acclaimed for his support of local talent and constant presence at gigs with his cowboy hat, with music venue the Governor ‘the Gov’ Hindmarsh naming one its bars in his honour.

Long time Gold Coast music photographer Barry O’Callaghan died just hours before a benefit with Brian Cadd, Russel Morris and Brian Mannix at Miami Marketta raised $30,000 for his family.

O’Callaghan was diagnosed in April with inoperable liver, lung and pelvic cancer and recently hospitalised for bleeding on the brain.

Been out of the loop? Read last month’s industry news here.