Haiku Hands are among 5 recipients of the inaugural Levi's® Music Relief Fund in partnership with BIGSOUND.
As the devastating effects of the COVID-19 restrictions continue to impact on the music industry, Levi's® Music Prize have pivoted by re-imagining the award, offering financial support to even more independent musicians and including New Zealand artists for the first time.
With past winners including G Flip, Amyl & The Sniffers, Alex Lahey and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, the new Levi's® Music Relief Fund in partnership with BIGSOUND focus has shifted from international touring to domestic projects, skill development and the well-being of the artist.
The first five recipients are The Beths (NZ), Tkay Maidza (SA), Miiesha (QLD), Haiku Hands (NSW) and Jaguar Jonze (QLD); each will receive $4,500 cash to go towards their music career plus a BLOCKS by Bolstr. customised online workshop, an online course with The Indigo Project to support self-development, insight and personal growth, and an outfit from Levi's®.
The support packages are administered by QMusic, producer of BIGSOUND, in collaboration with Levi's®. "Congratulations to The Beths, Tkay Maidza, Miiesha, Haiku Hands and Jaguar Jonze," Music CEO and BIGSOUND Executive Producer, Angela Samut says.
"And thank you to Levi's® for continuing to invest in our Australian and New Zealand artists. Levi's support of our industry through BIGSOUND has seen almost $300,000 go towards 10 artists who have gone on to become great Australian music exports.
"We are also thankful to our other supporters coming on board to provide upskilling and well-being support for this creative and tenacious group of musicians."
"Levi's® is deeply connected to the music industry, and over the past four years we've seen Australian music legends make it big overseas through the support of the Levi's® Music Prize," Head of Marketing at Levi's® Australia and New Zealand, Trent Bos says.
"Our people at Levi's® and BIGSOUND understand how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the music industry and its artists, so together we created the idea to support more Australian and New Zealand musicians to get through this challenging period by going beyond just funding, and investing in their professional and emotional needs," Mr Bos says.
The Beths are lead vocalist/ guitarist and two-time APRA Silver Scroll Award finalist Elizabeth Stokes (nominated 2018 & 2019), guitarist/ vocalist Jonathan Pearce and bassist/ vocalist Benjamin Sinclair.
The three, long-time friends studied jazz at university together, resulting in a toolkit of deft instrumental chops and tricked-out arrangements that operate on a level rarely found in guitar-pop. Live, the line-up also includes drummer/ vocalist Tristan Deck, who they also studied with.
Tkay is undeniably one of the most recognised names, faces and sounds in Australian music. Despite her age the Zimbabwean-born rapper, singer, songwriter and designer has already been in the music business for the best part of a decade.
She exploded onto the scene in 2014 as a teenager fresh out of Adelaide, and discovered there was a world ready and waiting to hear the versatility of her voice.
From the small Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in Central Queensland comes a 20 year old with a voice ready to be heard. A strong, proud Pitjantjatjara/ Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha (pronounced My-ee-sha) seeks to use her R&B/soul-laced voice and music to bring people together, helping educate and inspire.
Having supported the likes of Baker Boy, Briggs, Adrian Eagle and Thelma Plum and playing Falls, Party in the Paddock and Laneway Festivals, Miiesha is using her voice and her message to bring her community to the world.
Haiku Hands are the energetic, multi-disciplinary, anti-establishment answer to all your dance-floor dreams. Known for their fusion of hi-energy, electro-pop-rap music, and an unquenchable thirst for good times, they quickly command their room, whipping crowds into a frenzy of movement and madness.
Jaguar Jonze crafts songs of melancholic beauty woven with gunslinging guitar lines and a strikingly rich, yet intimate voice.
Born in Japan to a Taiwanese mother and Australian father, Jaguar Jonze is as eclectic as her cultural upbringing, enrapturing those who have crossed her path deep into her spacey cowgirl universe.
With only four singles in her pocket, she's left lingering impressions on the blogger circuit, signed with Canadian label Nettwerk and has played with the likes of Ocean Alley, Hermitude, Lime Cordiale and Ali Barter.