Independent musos looking for their break in the Australian music industry have a chance at the opportunity of a lifetime as the Telstra Road to Discovery talent development program opens nationally today.
Building on eight successful years as the Telstra Road to Tamworth, Telstra also announced the program’s name has changed to reflect a new era that opens it up to artists from a wider range of music genres, from blues and roots, to folk and country.
To sing in the program’s evolution and greater emphasis on talent development and music mentorship, Telstra has enlisted the help of big name Australian artists Tim Rogers (You Am I), Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything), Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi), Charles Jenkins (Icecream Hands) and solo artist Karl Broadie to perform alongside past winners at a live music event held in Sydney tonight.
Speaking of his passion for helping nurture independent Australian artists, Tim Rogers, who has enjoyed a huge amount of success with his bands You Am I, The Twin Set and his many solo endeavors, said it was important to cultivate local music talent.
“I was lucky enough to be surrounded by vagabond artists and musicians who would often part with sage advice perhaps without their knowledge of doing so. I learnt to listen to whoever you were stuck in a draughty band room with at 3am, through the brio and balderdash there’s always something to hang on to.
“How to do it, and how not to – in the end you have to write your own story,” Rogers continued.
ARIA Award winning artists The McClymonts, currently flying the Aussie flag on tour in the US, will continue their role as Telstra Road to Discovery Ambassadors, and will share their experience and knowledge with entrants.
The Telstra Road to Discovery will provide an avenue for independent songwriters and performers to connect with new audiences and industry professionals, with entrants vying for the prize at 12 live heat events being held across every state and territory, as well as a digital heat and separate songwriter category.
Telstra Country Wide Executive Director Andy Ellis said he was proud Telstra was creating opportunities to help Australia’s music artists across the country, and help boost their careers.
“This program has evolved from a country music talent quest into a bona fide talent development program which embraces artists across a number of music genres.
“Connecting up and coming artists with the right people is the first step towards a successful career in the Australian music industry and we’re committed to giving a helping hand to the many talented musicians we have around the country,” he continued.
Music artists who are unable to travel or live more than 300km from their nearest heat event, can enter the Telstra Road to Discovery digital heat, ensuring distance is no barrier to their music being heard.
Winners of each of the 12 performance heats and digital heat, together with the four best songwriters will be flown to Sydney in December to take part in Boot Camp which is a three day music mentoring workshop across all facets of the industry – from song construction through to performance, digital marketing, publishing, touring, publicity and more.
Artists will then compete in the Semi-final as part of the entertainment line-up at the Sydney Telstra 500 V8 Supercars event on Saturday 3 December.
The Top 10 artists will then progress through to the Final held during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2012 where one winning performer and songwriter will be announced.
The Telstra Road to Discovery winning songwriter and performer will each receive a return trip to “global music city” Nashville and attendance at the world-renowned Americana Festival, as part of a 12-month mentorship package.
Tailored to suit each winner’s musical aspirations, the prize package includes connection with a network of music industry professionals and may include a studio recording session, domestic and international gigs, co-writing appointments, digital marketing, video production and more.
Telstra Road to Discovery heat schedule:
Heat 1 Tuesday 16 August Melbourne University, Parkville VIC
Heat 2 Saturday 20 August Kinross Woolshed, Albury NSW
Heat 3 Wednesday 24 August Dowerin Field Days, WA
Heat 4 Thursday 25 August Karratha International Hotel, WA
Heat 5 Sunday 4 September Royal Adelaide Show, SA
Heat 6 Sunday 11 September Bundy in Bloom, Bundaberg QLD
Heat 7 Saturday 17 September Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, QLD
Heat 8 Sunday 18 September Mindil Markets, Darwin NT
Heat 9 Friday 30 September Pura Milk Burnie Show, TAS
Heat 10 Saturday 8 October Birregurra Weekend Festival, VIC
Heat 11 Sunday 9 October Floriade, Canberra ACT
Heat 12 Thursday 27 October Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, NSW
Digital Heat entries close 16 October
Songwriter entries close 16 October
For more details on how to enter visit www.telstra.com/trtd