The music of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists is being taken to the world through a unique online initiative supported by Q Music and Virgin Australia.
Next week will see the launch of the new Home artists website – www.homeartists.com.au – the first online destination of its kind aimed at promoting and supporting the country’s new Indigenous musical talent.
The launch of the site comes as project partners Q Music and Virgin Australia unveil the 2012 edition of the now annual Home compilation CD of Indigenous artists. Now in its fourth year, the award-winning Home project showcases the finest Queensland and Australian indigenous music artists to a growing global audience.
This year, artists featured on the Home 4 compilation include: Casey Donovan, Christine Anu, Thelma Plum, Sue Ray, Jake and the Cowboys, East Journey, Dewayne Everett Smith, Thelma Plum, Lady Lash, The Last Kinection, Dubmarine, Tjupurru, Marcus Corowa, Slip–On Stereo, Bradley Hall, Leah Flannagan and Blak Lullabye.
They join a host of more than 30 artists previously featured on Home compilations – a group which features some of the country’s most exciting and respected artists including Gurrumul, The Medics, Busby Marou, Kev Carmody, The Stiff Gins, Seaman Dan, and many more.
The Home website will profile all the acts included across the four Home compilations, providing music fans and industry the world over with a single destination to find contemporary Indigenous Australian music.
Home 4 and homeartists.com.au will be launched during Brisbane’s BIGSOUND music industry conference and festival with a special event on Thursday, September 13 at the Alhambra Lounge, Fortitude Valley – from 5.00pm. The launch event will feature performances from Casey Donovan, Thelma Plum, Jake and The Cowboys, Tjupurru and Slip-On Stereo.
Q Music Executive Officer Denise Foley says she is proud to see the project move into the online realm.
“With the launch of Home 4 we are excited to announce the support and partnership from Virgin Australia has reached another stage of development and we are thrilled to launch our new Home Artists website,” Ms Foley said.
“Now the world can easily find over 40 exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in the one spot, and discover what we already know, Australian music is fantastic and our Indigenous musicians are right there at the top. We hope everyone enjoys this music as much as we do.”
Over the past few years, the Home project has played a major role in developing new audiences for Indigenous artists. The releases have received airplay across hundreds of radio stations nationally, while partner Virgin Australia – which also contributed to the costs of the project – has distributed copies to staff, and featured the Home releases as part of the airline’s in-flight entertainment.
This initiative was acknowledged last year when Q Music and Virgin Australia was honoured in the Queensland round of the Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Awards – collecting the coveted ‘Partnership Award’.
Virgin Australia Group Executive of People, Richard Tanner said supporting Home had become an important annual event for the airline.
“Not only do we see it as playing a major role in promoting contemporary Indigenous talent, supporting this project adds to our commitment to developing our Aboriginal Employment Strategy and implementing cultural awareness strategies within Virgin Australia,” Mr Tanner said.
Jeremy Marou, from successful Queensland band Busby Marou, said the Home initiative was making a significant contribution to Indigenous artists from around the country.
“Indigenous artists and bands trying to break through a very competitive music scene, the “Home” album is perfect,” Marou says. “I remember the very first Home album we were apart of being so proud that our name was on an album with successful artists such as Kev Carmody. It’s a great way to show the mainstream music industry the quality of Indigenous artists. The Home album makes sense because it is a practical way in bridging the gap in a black and white Australia.”
Kahl Wallace from The Medics – whose music has been featured on previous Home releases – said the project provided important recognition and support for Indigenous artists.
“To be included alongside artists like Gurrumul on the Home compilations was a huge honour for us as a band,” Wallace said. “And the releases played a big role in bringing our music to new audiences and helping to kick-start our career.”