Alums

Becca Hatch

SongMakers year: 2017 | State: NSW

Becca Hatch has established herself as one of Australia's most promising talents. Her resume is already littered with stellar achievements; from winning triple j's Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative in 2017, to show-stopping performances at the State of Origin and the Sydney Opera House. With a sound rooted in R&B, Becca leans into her Samoan heritage with powerful gospel choir vocals while her Indigenous roots are evident through storytelling and self-reflection. She has worked with renowned producers including Willstah (Ariana Grande, Ella Mai) and Solo (OneFour, Justice Crew), and performed a brilliant Like A Version for triple j in 2020.

"Testimonial to come.."

CHITRA RIDWAN

SongMakers year: 2014 | State: VIC

Growing up surrounded by the diverse musical influences on the Bellarine Peninsula, Chitra’s sound is unrefined by formal training and blossoms with the self-assuredness and freedom of a coastal kid.Chitra’s debut self-titled EP was recorded with James Cecil (Architecture in Helsinki) and covers complex narratives of unspoken thoughts and self preservation. Chitra was triple j Unearthed’s 2019 The Drop festival winner, winner of the 2020 Victorian Up Start Award, has supported the likes of Tyne-James Organ and graced festival stages from Port Fairy to Brisbane’s Mountain Goat Valley Crawl.

"What I remember the most about [SongMakers] was it taught me more about working with other people on a project. The only other people I had worked with were band members at that stage. To have a producer come in and to workshop a song with everyone was a first for me, normally it's quite an intimate process but this was really insightful; to be thinking further about how it sounds sonically and how to get it there with someone specialising in that area."

Chloe Dadd

SongMakers year: 2016 | State: NSW

Chloe Dadd is a 21 year old songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from the surf town of Ulladulla on the East Coast. While a student at Ulladulla High, she did the SongMakers program twice, in years 11 and 12. After school she moved to Sydney and enrolled in a music industry course at JMC Academy and was soon talent-spotted and offered an in-house assistant engineer gig at Golden Retriever Studios in Marrickville. As well as showcasing what she’s capable of in the studio, Chloe plays with local favourites FiKa and The Zilzies, and plays and produces all the elements of her solo songwriting project.

"I think [SongMakers] was pivotal because for kids in the regions you don’t get to meet people from the industry, or get a chance to talk to them about music. I remember giving Robert Conley a USB with some of my stuff on it and wanting to soak up as much as I could of the experience."

Fergus James

SongMakers year: 2017 | State: NSW

Hailing from the country town of Armidale, Fergus James completed his final year of school at Newtown Performing Arts High where he participated in SongMakers. He released his debut single "Golden Age" with support from Triple J, and the track hit the charts. A support slot on Ed Sheeran's Australian tour followed and the young troubadour has since played the main stage at Splendour In The Grass after winning the triple j Unearthed competition, completed his first headline tour (including a sold-out shows in Sydney and his hometown) and released his debut EP All Of The Colours, from which all three singles took out the title of #1 most played song on triple j and received huge support at Spotify and Apple Music (accumulating over 10 million streams to date). Fergus is now signed to Mushroom Music Publishing and 100s + 1000s, and it seems there’s no stopping his upwards trajectory.

"Testimonial to come.."

Matilda Duncan

SongMakers year: 2017 | State: QLD

North-Queensland up-and-coming singer/songwriter Matilda Duncan has a vibe that combines indie, folk, and elements of pop rock in her own style. Matilda writes about her experiences as she's growing and discovering herself and finding her way through life. With a range of influences, Matilda's sound is continually growing and evolving from her typical ballads to fast-paced pop rock tunes. Matilda was a triple j Unearthed competition winner which saw her open for The Ruben on the Cairns leg of their album tour in 2018.

"Of course I remember [SongMakers]! I met some of my best mates in that workshop. Being thrown into that sort of sink or swim environment was a great push for me. I was really able to surprise myself with what we created in such a short time frame. The idea of writing anything and having it heard let alone recorded and critiqued by such reputable, *actual* musician/producers is terrifying as a sixteen year old - but it really solidified the idea that anything is possible and every opportunity needs to be given 100%."

Taka Perry

SongMakers year: 2015 | State: ACT

A SongMakers participant in 2015, Taka Perry is one of Australia’s most exciting producer/artists. He has since signed a worldwide record deal with TMRW Music and global publishing deal with Downtown Music; hitting the ground running as soon he left school. With a credit list consisting of Ruel, Denzel Curry, Stellie, JP the Wavy, Thomston, Max Frost, SACHI, and A.GIRL, his creative contributions have now amassed over 130 million plays on Spotify. He recently performed one of the best triple j Like A Versions of the year, covering Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Walks’.

TEEN JESUS AND THE JEAN TEASERS

SongMakers year: 2017 | State: ACT

Anna Ryan, Scarlett McKahey, Neve van Boxsel, Jaida Stephenson and Pip Gazard all participated in SongMakers together and now make up one of Australia’s coolest rock outfits - Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers. Formed in Canberra, Teen Jesus have performed alongside acts such as Polish Club, Northeast Party House, Alex Lahey, Press Club, Spiderbait, WAAX and Slowly Slowly. They have graced stages at Groovin’ The Moo, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Falls Festival, Lost Paradise, Spilt Milk, and Stonefest, on top of an at-capacity showcase at BIGSOUND which landed them atop many a list of ones to watch. The four-piece have been feature artists on triple j Unearthed and were winners of an Unearthed Level Up grant in 2020.

"The SongMakers workshop was a great experience for all of us. We were all quite young and hearing about the industry from people that had years of experience was definitely super inspiring. I in particular remember being put in a rehearsal room and told to just write something all together which we hadn’t really done until that point. Ilan [Kidron] gave us great pointers and challenged us to step outside of the box with our music and work together." – Anna Ryan

Tia Gostelow

SongMakers year: 2015 | State: QLD

Tia Gostelow won triple j Unearthed’s 2016 Indigenous Initiative and scored a place in their Triple J Unearthed High 2016 Top 5, and hasn’t slowed down since. 2017 saw 6 nominations at the Queensland Music Awards, including 2 wins in the Schools and Folk Singer/Songwriter categories. In September 2018, Gostelow released her debut studio album, Thick Skin to rave reviews. At the 2019 Queensland Music Awards, Gostelow made Australian history by being the youngest winner of Album of the Year. In February 2020, her 2018 single "Strangers" went certified gold in Australia and she released her second album “Chrysalis”.

"For me [SongMakers] was just an incredible experience. To work with someone like Thelma and especially with me being so young it was a bit of a dream come true. It was just really cool to watch someone I admired so much in their element and also being able to study her songwriting process."