A Word To The Wise: Advice From This Year's Mullum Music Festival Youth Mentors

14 November 2018 | 5:04 pm | Artist Submission

Mullum Music Festival’s Youth Mentorship Program returns in 2018 for its ninth year. It pairs up young emerging artists with established artists on the festival line-up, for some one-on-one time rehearsing, performing and just talking. This year the mentors helping to encourage the emerging talent are Husky, Lior, Shelly Brown and William Crighton. Here, we got them to share with us one piece of advice they got themselves in their careers from a mentor that they've carried through to this day.

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Gawenda (Husky)

"I started writing songs in my early teens. My dad, who is a great journalist and author used to tell me that if you want to be a writer, you have to read a lot and write a lot. It’s like anything, it takes practice. It's a given that to play an instrument well one has to put in many hours of practice, but we often think that writing should just come naturally. Write, he said, songs and poems and stories, it doesn't matter what, just write. And when you’ve run out of things to say and you don’t know what to write, he said, that’s when the best things come, there’s no ego, no expectations, just a blank page and the abyss."

Gideon Preiss (Husky)

"As a teenager, I was obsessed with a piano player called Michael Jacobs. He was a few years older than me and I used to think to myself that I’d never be able to play that well. My teacher at the time, one of the great mentors in my life, put his arm around one day and said, ‘Don’t worry about what Michael’s doing man, you’re your own person, your own musician.’ I’d never told my teacher how much I loved Michael’s playing, he just knew. This was the first time I’d thought about how important it was was to find your own voice, your own sound, and that whatever you did, it needed to be authentic and come from the right place."

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Shelly Brown

"The most helpful advice I was given was to be prolific. Don’t let circumstance, technology or criticism hold you back from creating the thing you love. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and whatever can go wrong, will go wrong; but looking back and being proud is a way better feeling than looking ahead and wishing you could. Start with one step, get on your horse and figure out your idea of art. And find people who’ll get on your jam for a little or a long time. Your community will support you on the long nights and make the hard bits worth their while."

William Crighton

"Don’t turn to the record industry or radio to inform your creative choices - you will die inside, they are followers and money is their only motive, if money is yours, I can’t help you.  Listen to the whole world around you, follow your gut and be true to yourself. Have faith in the current that runs through you and keep learning. Anguish and sorrow will arrive but they will depart. There is no end destination, you are living now, live." - Raymond Louis Kennedy, friend and early mentor.


“Best piece of advice was simply to above all else focus on and enjoy the creative process. There are so many things that need to get done, particularly as an independent artist, that it is all too easy to push the creative stuff aside until later. Always remember why you got into this in the first place and protect that creative time and space.”

Mullum Music Festival takes place from 15-18 Nov.