NATSIMO & Music Australia To Support First Nations Artists With $240,000 LIFECYCLE Grant Program

5 June 2024 | 3:51 pm | Ellie Robinson

A round of 12 grants will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists realise their musical visions.

LIFECYCLE Recording Grants

LIFECYCLE Recording Grants (Supplied)

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) have partnered with Music Australia and APRA AMCOS to launch the first round of LIFECYCLE recording grants, investing $240,000 into a program to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to realise their musical visions.

The initiative comprises 12 grants of $20,000 – a press release notes they’ll go towards funding “high-quality recording sessions of new music” for each recipient. It’s said the program aims to foster an increase in new and original music by First Nations artists, facilitating access to professional recording environments and hands-on opportunities for artists to build their business and career development skills.

It’s important, the release flags, that while technology has evolved to better equip artists in home recording and DIY production, those methods sometimes result in “compromises and cutting corners on quality control”. These grants will help up-and-coming artists access the tools needed to fully reach their potential as creatives, removing many of the technological barriers that may be holding them back from making the next big Aussie hit.

In a formal statement, NATSIMO director Lean Flanagan explained that “with the rising cost of living for many people, it often isn’t affordable to bring together a group of musicians in a beautiful sounding live room to record all day and night, and pay creatives a fair wage for their time”. The LIFECYCLE recording grants, she continued, “invests in the creative process, gives access to underrepresented music creators, provides professional development, and values the hard work that goes into crafting a treasured album.”

Sharing her gratitude to Music Australia “for funding this incredible opportunity”, Flanagan added of the initiative: “Our hope is that the grant will be able to afford our music creators the realistic budget to undertake a larger recording project.”

Applications opened this morning (June 5) and will close at 11:59pm AEST on Friday July 26. Although APRA AMCOS are closely involved with the program, eligibility is not restricted to members of the organisation – all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creators are invited to apply. Head here to access the form and a full breakdown of criteria for applicants.

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Meanwhile, last week saw NATSIMO launch the 2024 edition of its flagship songwriting camp RESONATE, uniting a cohort of First Nations songwriters from all across the country for three days of creative euphoria in Brisbane (Meanjin).

Artists involved in this year’s camp included soul singer CANISHA, dark-pop artist Cloe Terare, electronic producer HYLANDER, engineer/producer/composer Dirk Kelly, rappers ChillCheney, Eskatology and MARLON, singer-songwriters Madi Colville-Walker and Zipporah, pop-rock artist Luke Daniel Peacock, guitarist Chris Tamwoy, R&B artist Jada Weazel, and indie-pop artist Boox Kid.