Get To Know A Few Of The 2020 BIGSOUND 50 Artists

Published in Music  
BIGSOUND 2020 will be a free, virtual showcase on 21-22 October. BIGSOUND 2020 will be a free, virtual showcase on 21-22 October. Image: Facebook

With no live showcases in 2020, BIGSOUND have created the inaugural BIGSOUND 50 – a list of bands and artists selected from this year's application process that warrant your attention.

Aside from receiving coverage across BIGSOUND platforms, the BIGSOUND 50 acts will also access mentoring, online meetings and opportunities with delegates to further their careers.

"When it became obvious that we wouldn't be able to do anything physical this year, we came up with a whole new way of showcasing our BIGSOUND artists in 2020," co-programmer Dom Miller says.

"The BIGSOUND50 are the 50 artists BIGSOUND believes the world should be paying attention to in 2020 and beyond."

Co-programmer Ruby-Jean McCabe adds: "It was a massive undertaking to narrow down all of the incredible applications to 50, but we have managed to pick a group of talented and inspiring artists that we know will all become household names. We've discovered some of our new favourite artists through this process, and we can't wait to showcase what's next for The BIGSOUND50."

Read the complete list of BIGSOUND 50 acts.

Sophiya


Melbourne indie artist Sophiya first emerged on the scene in 2018, when she uploaded her very first song, 'White Ivory', to triple j Unearthed.


2020 has seen her up the ante with a string of releases, her most recent the hard-hitting 'Lingo', a modern hip hop banger with tight, slick electronic production and Sophiya spitting bars.



You're at a party and someone asks what you do; how do you reply?
It really depends who's asking. It's honestly just easier for me to say I'm a rapper.

If they're a creative, I'd say I'm a mix between a visual artist and a music artist/ producer. I don't expect everyone to understand what I do, so I tend to avoid long explanations. (Except this one)

For those new to your music, what's the elevator pitch for your sound/ style?
My sound is a fusion of hip hop, pop and R&B. My style is Y2K rap mixed with catchy melodies and your girl's favourite Instagram captions.

Time to impress us; what are you promoting at the moment and why do we need to tune in?
My debut EP 'Overdue' drops 9 October. This is my first body of work with songs recorded well over 12, 16 months ago. This project is well overdue, hence the title.

What does it mean to make The BIGSOUND 50 list?
I feel truly blessed and grateful. It was one of my larger goals set for 2020. I believe if you set your intentions and believe life is limitless, the outcomes will always surpass any possible expectations.

Sieve through the carnage of COVID; what unexpected positives have you drawn from 2020?
COVID has given me a chance to reflect and look inward. I have done a lot of soul work. I have learned to be honest with myself and what I want in my life. There’s nothing more freeing than that.

Given the collective stresses of 2020, how positive do you feel about the future and what you can achieve next 12 months?
I'm feeling extremely positive, I'm literally beaming! I believe life is a duality, where there is darkness, light follows. In saying that, life is limitless and I'm excited to reach new heights.

Other than your own, favourite independent release of 2020 so far?
One hundred per cent, 'Work For The Money' by Lauren. and Korky Buchek. Expect big things from these guys. We've got a crazy collaboration on the way. Stay tuned.


Hauskey


Hauskey is a multi-instrumentalist producer and vocalist. 2020 has been his debut year, releasing two singles: 'Slow' and 'Somewhere'.


You're at a party and someone asks what you do; how do you reply?

I usually deflect or say I build coffins. I don't know why; I just find it awkward talking about myself.

For those new to your music, what's the elevator pitch for your sound/ style?

Trying my best to merge my love of R&B, hip hop and jazz with pop/ folk songwriting.

Time to impress us; what are you promoting at the moment and why do we need to tune in?

My second single 'Somewhere' came out last Friday and got added to New Music Daily on Apple Music and New Music Friday on Spotify in the US, which is pretty crazy. Oh, and I'm playing my first show on 29 October (The Vanguard, Sydney).


What does it mean to make The BIGSOUND 50 list?

BIGSOUND is a rite of passage in Australian music, so it's a huge honour. It's great to see them pushing through and adapting to 2020.


Sieve through the carnage of COVID; what unexpected positives have you drawn from 2020?

I've been locked down in my home studio the whole time, writing, learning how to mix better, preparing my live show. It's been tough emotionally, but I'm trying to stick to a routine that I can look back on without regret.

Given the collective stresses of 2020, how positive do you feel about the future and what you can achieve next 12 months?

It's tough no doubt, but it's a good time for artists to learn new skills, write, and generally take stock. I'm genuinely excited to hear all the music that emerges as a result of 2020.

Other than your own, favourite independent release of 2020 so far?

'Impress You' by Stevan. Great vocal, great songwriting, awesome production; has everything.


Cloe Terare

Developing her own brand of brooding pop, Toowoomba-based artist Cloe Terare is showing she's a voice to be heard.

You're at a party and someone asks what you do; how do you reply?

I write and sing songs.

For those new to your music, what's the elevator pitch for your sound/ style?
Dark pop with a bit of soul mixed in, with lyrics that you can probably relate to if your ex cheated on you.

Time to impress us; what are you promoting at the moment and why do we need to tune in?

My latest project with Paces called Dayliites. It's a cute, lo-fi pop project that we've been working on and I'm showcasing our latest songs this year at BIGSOUND.

We have lots more coming this year so you should jump onboard while it's still young.

 

What does it mean to make The BIGSOUND 50 list?
Making The BIGSOUND 50 list was huge news for me. I'm among some artists that I really adore and look up to, so to be playing alongside them is a dream.

Sieve through the carnage of COVID; what unexpected positives have you drawn from 2020?

Launching the Dayliites project, signing with LA management company Vitalic Noise and of course, BIGSOUND 50.

Given the collective stresses of 2020, how positive do you feel about the future and what you can achieve next 12 months?
I feel very positive and pumped for the next 12 months. I've got some collabs in the works, my own music I'm working on and an amazing new team around me. I think things can only get better.



Other than your own, favourite independent release of 2020 so far?
DVNA's new EP. By far. Incredible.


Harper Bloom

Singer-songwriter Harper Bloom is Perth-born, Melbourne-based artist, who writes acoustic-electro-pop vignettes of vulnerability, same-sex love, and self-acceptance.

You're at a party and someone asks what you do; how do you reply?
I would say I write songs, as much as I can and I carry a little notebook with me wherever I can, and I do whatever job is available on the side to help me fund and pursue a career in music.

For those new to your music, what's the elevator pitch for your sound/ style?
I am an indie-folk artist who likes to tell stories in an upbeat and positive way. I focus on narrative-based lyrics with acoustic melodies and a sprinkle of electro-pop.

Time to impress us; what are you promoting at the moment and why do we need to tune in?
I have just released my brand-new single 'You're The Music'! It's probably my favourite song that I have written so far.

My original plan was to release a song that I had written a few years ago and recorded last year, but after writing 'You're The Music' at the start of lockdown, I decided to record it early June as it felt special, and it felt like a celebration of love and life.

I really enjoy the energy of it, and I want to spread positivity as much as possible at the moment. So, I think you need to tune in as I think it will make you feel happy. ?



What does it mean to make The BIGSOUND 50 list?
It is honestly a huge honour to be selected as a part of the BIGSOUND 50.

There is so much exceptional talent in Australia, so it is extremely encouraging and humbling to be recognised by BIGSOUND and be considered as one of the top up and coming artists in Australia.

Sieve through the carnage of COVID; what unexpected positives have you drawn from 2020?
I think the unexpected positives are realising how much we all value connection and how much we all care about each other's mental well-being. I have found there has been so many open conversations about mental health this year, which is really helping to reduce the stigma around depression and anxiety.

There should be no shame in opening up about mental health battles and I think people have recognised that this year and are supporting each other through online conferences, support groups and by directly reaching out to one another.

Also, it's been really cool that we can all still perform via our social media channels and stay connected with a virtual live audience. I think we are very lucky to have that as an option.

Given the collective stresses of 2020, how positive do you feel about the future and what you can achieve next 12 months?
I am still feeling really positive about the future.

This year has been a huge setback in terms of live shows and potential touring, given that I am a new artist releasing my first few songs into the world. I recognise the world will definitely look a little different for a while longer, but this industry is innovative and creative and I feel confident that festival programmers and promoters will develop COVID-safe events just like Good Day Sunshine, which is happening in WA shortly.

I believe there will be opportunities next year to tour and play small festivals in Victoria and hopefully all along the east coast. These events will just look a little different, but these are the cards we have been dealt and we are still able to make the most of them.

Other than your own, favourite independent release of 2020 so far?
My favourite independent release so far, is by an incredible Melbourne artist called Bec Sykes.

She released a beautiful song called 'Edithvale' a couple of months ago. Her voice and stripped-back style are spine-tingling. You can close your eyes and let the song transport you to this scene like you're in a movie. It feels really special.


Debbies

Debbies are a two-piece rock band that hail from Jervis Bay, NSW.

You're at a party and someone asks what you do; how do you reply?
Well, we both work at the same place doing the same job which is lifeguarding so we would probably say that haha, then say we do music on the side, trying to merge the two together is fun.

For those new to your music, what's the elevator pitch for your sound/ style?
Hahaha yes, I reckon the elevator pitch for our sound is when you're hitting ground level to that garage, the door opens and there's a party in the lobby.

It's definitely a laid-back style, but we kinda don't know what our sound is, it feels jangly and fun but also hits hard; it's fun.

Time to impress us; what are you promoting at the moment and why do we need to tune in?
Our new single we just dropped called 'Influencer'. It's definitely worth tuning in for because it's the first song off our debut EP and gives a taste of what's to come. It feels like these songs are gonna be the best yet for us.



What does it mean to make The BIGSOUND 50 list?
It's a pretty big deal for us.

Even though it's not like we are performing at the showcase in Queensland like normal times, we have always wanted to play BIGSOUND since we started this band, so finally being able to be a part of this first-time virtual version is really special to us.

Sieve through the carnage of COVID; what unexpected positives have you drawn from 2020?
Ahh yes, we actually found heaps of positives come from COVID! Before COVID we were really flat out with gigs and our schedule up until July was massive, and we had no idea how we were gonna finish writing the songs and find time to record them in that timeframe.

Then along came COVID and saved the day for us and we spent heaps of time perfecting the songs, writing heaps of new music after recording, and just focusing and honing our live sound altogether. We've been loving it but are heaps keen to get back to normal stuff, haha.

Given the collective stresses of 2020, how positive do you feel about the future and what you can achieve next 12 months?
We're actually super positive about what we can achieve in the next 12 months.

For the first time we feel like we are ahead of ourselves and constantly writing better and better songs, which psyches us up to record and learn more and it just feels like a snowball. Plus the excitement of putting out our debut EP and all that to come with it is super encouraging too.

Other than your own, favourite independent release of 2020 so far?
We would have to say OK Hotel's new song 'Life Is Crazy (Like That)' is one of our favourites. It's only their second release and they are smashing it; really feels fresh to the scene and genre too.



The 100 per cent virtual and 100 per cent free, online BIGSOUND 2020 programme takes place 21-22 October.

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