Our mentors are chosen for their outstanding skills and credentials. This is the opportunity for students to collaborate with some of Australia’s best:
Graduating in Sound from WAAPA, Anna moved to London and joined Miloco Studios, working under the guidance of multi-award winning producers Paul Epworth (Adele, Foster The People) and Ben Hillier (Blur, U2). Since returning to Australia she has been busy on projects for artists including Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Cut Copy, Paul Dempsey and New Gods’ critically acclaimed album ‘Beloved’. Q&A with Anna Laverty
Grant won APRA’s inaugural Jazz Professional Development Awards in 2001 and has gone on since then to stun the world with his skills as a flautist, pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and producer. His PDA win took him to New York, LA and then London, where he relocated for a decade. ‘My early years in London were tough, but I wouldn’t take no for an answer. The most important thing is to put your craft first and the business later. Be original, have intent and you’ve a greater chance of breaking through. Know what you’re about. The dollars will follow,” he says.
Ilan is an award-winning singer, songwriter and producer. As frontman of dance band, The Potbelleez, he co-wrote the group’s breakthrough, double platinum single, “Don’t Hold Back”. In addition to his work with the Potbelleez, he is an in-demand co-writer and producer, working with artists including Ricky Martin, Jessica Mauboy and Tina Arena.
JP started out at Sydney’s renowned Big Jesus Burger (BJB) studios where the first three years of his career were spent cutting his teeth as an in-house engineer. Since then, his credits as a producer/writer read like a who’s who of Oz music: Silverchair, Jet, Birds Of Tokyo, Little Red, 360, Bluejuice, Josh Pyke, Art Vs Science, Washington, Last Dinosaurs & Reece Mastin all have his name in their liner notes. He’s also managed to jump behind the desk for new recordings by legendary Cold Chisel. One of the new breed of writer/producers, JP’s songwriting collaborations include Audra Mae (Kelly Clarkson, Avicii), Don Walker (Cold Chisel) and Megan Washington.
Kav is front-man and songwriter of double-platinum, multi ARIA award-winning band, Eskimo Joe, and a member of Basement Birds. ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ was the Eskies’ iconic breakthrough song, bringing the band international recognition. “How Does It Feel” featured in a pivotal scene in Gossip Girl’s first season.
Improbably, DJ, singer, producer and triple j’s House Party host, Kristy Lee Peters, (KLP), kicked off her career in music with a stint in 90s girl band Real Blondes, auditioning when she was just 13. “I just got to travel around and perform, meet people like Gwen Stefani, who at the time I was obsessed with. It was like living out a teenage dream.” Fast forward and Kristy now tours with the likes of Art Vs Science and has her own distinctive sound of layered vocal harmonies.
Lior’s 2005 first album ‘Autumn Flow’ became one of the most successful independent debuts in Australian history. It earned a swag of accolades, including nominations for three Arias as well as Triple J’s Album of the Year. Several acclaimed studio albums followed, along with journeys into many new musical places including a stunning collaboration with classical composer, Nigel Westlake, on a song cycle for voice and orchestra, ‘Compassion’ and music for the ABC kids series, Giggle & Hoot, which landed him an APRA/AGSC screen music award.
Megan is a multi award winning writer and performer whose style has evolved from her jazz origins to indie pop and alternative rock. In 2009 Washington won the inaugural Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition for her track How to Tame Lions. In 2010 she released her debut album, I Believe You Liar, which peaked at number 3 on the ARIA Albums Chart and had gone platinum by 2011. She took out 7 ARIA nominations in 2010, winning Best Female Artist and Breakthrough Artist. She has been a mentor on ‘The Voice’ and as an in-demand co-writer and collaborator.
Milan is a Gibson-endorsed guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and business woman. Writing for herself or collaborating with others, she creates music that shimmies across electronic, pop, R&B and hip hop. Armed with a degree in sound engineering, a universal publishing deal and fresh back from a mentorship in LA with Neff-u (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar) plus collabs with the Social Experiment Crew & D.R.A.M. Milan will see her second EP release, an international tour and a heap of creative projects in 2017.
Rai is a one of Australia’s most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. As front-man of multi-platinum Aussie rock band Thirsty Merc, he has toured extensively and released a string of hits on to the Australian Music Charts. He tours North American and Australia with his solo show, Sun Rai.‘I know that in these classrooms there is the potential to uncover the next Australian superstar songwriter.’
Robert is one of Australia’s most in-demand songwriter/ producers. Early in his career, while working as assistant engineer on ‘KISS Alive III’ in LA, Robert so impressed Grammy award-winning producer, Walter Afanasieff, that he was hired on the spot. That set him on a path to work on artists including Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana and many more. Now living in Sydney, Robert has his own publishing company and record label Specific Music. ‘Seeing these kids accomplish SO much in 2 days is an absolute inspiration to me.’
Award-winning singer/songwriter Tom Busby is one half of Blues/Roots outfit, Busby Marou. Turning his back on his old life as a lawyer, Tom penned songs for the band’s debut self-titled album in 2010, which won a Deadly Award. An APRA ‘Best Blues & Roots Album’ Award followed in 2011 and the single, Biding my Time made the Triple J Hottest 100 in that year, too. Busby Marou has toured, written and recorded in the US, Canada and Australia.
Thelma picked up her 2012 triple j Unearthed win and ran with it all the way to NIMA and DEADLY gongs, publishing and recording deals, co-writes with luminaries such as Paul Kelly and beatsmith, M-Phazes (Kimbra, Eminem), national tours, and sessions in the US with a multi-grammy winning producer. Her much-anticipated debut album is out soon and follows her highly acclaimed recent single ‘How Much Does Your Love Cost?.
“If only a program like this existed when I was in high school!”Lior, mentor