A live concert series at the Gold Coast’s newest creative playground is underway, featuring the finest emerging musicians in the region.
The SEED Series joins the Friday night line up at NightQuarter, featuring acts from Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Popular Music program – the very same course responsible for launching the likes of The Kite String Tangle, The Delta Riggs, Bobby Alu and The John Steele Singers.
Spanning a range of genres including moody electronica, alternative folk, progressive soul and reggae, SEED will see performances from electronic producer Keelan Mak, blues looping legend Benny D Williams, country darling Mikayla J, infectious surf-pop band Twelve Past Midnight, the alluring Aquila Young, quirky singer songwriter Angus Oastler, independent electronic pop from AUSTEN and many more.
Donna Weston, who leads the popular music program, says it’s safe to say that SEED is developing a reputation for being the Gold Coast’s music tastemaker.
“Nestled in with food, fashion and markets, the latest series at NightQuarter offers the perfect opportunity to see the next big thing in the local music scene,” she says.
“The launch of Volume 5 marks a point where the ‘seeds’ planted with the initiation of the program five years ago, are beginning to really bloom.
“These performances along with the high visibility of our students and graduates in the Queensland Music Awards and Triple J Hottest 100 show that what we are trying to achieve here is really working.”
Since kicking off in 2012, SEED has grown from a single compilation album release to an extensive emerging musician development program. Each year the Bachelor of Popular Music students’ best songs are compiled into an album and distributed online. This year marks the first time the live series is being showcased exclusively for a Gold Coast audience.
“It’s why we do what we do.”
Mikayla J, who performed at the Volume 5 launch while also releasing her debut EP, says the first gig was “phenomenal, with such an amazing crowd”.
“The guys and I had so much fun up on stage! It was great to see so many people up on their feet enjoying themselves. That’s why we do what we do.”
Following stints in Uluru and Nashville during her degree, she says being part of SEED has given her countless opportunities to further develop as an artist.
“The SEED project is a great initiative, which has definitely helped me to reach out to a wider audience and network with industry professionals, who we may not have otherwise reached. It provides countless gig and promotional opportunities in high profile situations.”
“In the last three years I’ve been able to improve my performance, songwriting and networking techniques, as well learning my way around the studio and producing. I can confidently say I wouldn’t be where I am without the degree,” she says.
The collaborative nature of SEED is also allowing young musicians to work and thrive together in the local scene.
“You get to work with so many people that have different backgrounds musically, so I think it all feeds into your sound. You do collabs with different people for assignments and you take something new on board every time,” Miranda Ward aka AUSTEN says.
Miranda’s debut single “Faded” premiered on Pilerats earlier this year and has already clocked up over 220,000 plays on Spotify.
Jorden Pineda from Twelve Past Midnight agrees with her insights on the value of collaboration and experience.
“It’s a really genuine and welcoming place to create and be creative with all types of music,” he says.
“Being part of SEED has given us awesome opportunities and has really helped us get our band officially started, with great venues to play at like NightQuarter and photos to advertise with – as well as chances to play alongside so many of our friends too.”
SEED Volume 5 can be downloaded for free via Bandcamp.
The SEED Series at NightQuarter in Helensvale runs each Friday until 24 June from 6pm to 10pm.
Friday 27 May: Phoebe Sinclair, Eliza, Aquila Young and Luate.
Friday 3 June: Angus Oastler, Pirates of the Tempest, AUSTEN and Livvia.
Friday 10 Jun: Mikayla J, Cadence and The Jake Fox Band.
Friday 17 June: Athena Joy, Kristy Abrahams, Keelan Mak and Phoebe Sinclair.
Friday 24 June: Kimbal Imaz, Twelve Past Midnight and Electrik Lemonade.