Being an Australian, I often ask this very same question. Why are we, a geographically isolated group of beer drinking, sport loving, beach going individuals, producing hits that constantly see the world craning their necks towards the top of every alternative singles chart around (see Flume and Tame Impala for further information).
Is it pure luck? Or are these DIY bedroom artists and long haired, guitar wielding yahoos really onto something.
30 years ago, unless you were AC/DC or the Bee Gees, it was nigh impossible for Australian bands to gain any sort of following overseas due to Australia’s complete physical disconnection from the rest of the western world.
Fast track to today and the rapid growth of online music streaming and global ease of access to all genres of music has become Australian artists’ new best friend. Platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube have allowed small time Australian acts to share their music with the world, and more importantly to the huge markets of the US and Europe. This all access boom of the music industry has played to the strengths of Australian’s ‘give it a go’ attitude and can no doubt be attributed to the growth of popularity among independent Australian artists.
Local Aussie artists also have one other trick up their sleeve. Triple J, our national radio station. With over 1.8 million listeners between the ages of 18 and 24, and their utter devotion to all Australian independents great and small, Triple J serves as an unrivalled launch pad for small time Aussie bands looking to make it big. The trend amongst the Gen Y’s to opt for a more alternative sound to their music has also done nothing but help these local acts who thrive off of support from their home country. Yearly events such as the Triple J Hottest 100 (a staple amongst any Australia day celebration) also generate huge amounts of buzz around these artists, even reaching overseas, which for small time bands, is a huge deal.
Australian music is no doubt on the rise, but it is the day and age in which we live that has allowed artists such as Flume, performing to audiences of 70-80 people only three years ago, to become worldwide phenomenons in a matter of months.
It has never been easier to be ‘the next big thing’ and Australia’s rising musical talents have harnessed this to their advantage, their global success testament to Australia’s hard working and have-a-go attitude.
Words by Zac Schneider