Reimagine the songwriting industry with Clare Bowditch, Kutcha Edwards and more at this two-day event

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Reimagine the songwriting industry with Clare Bowditch, Kutcha Edwards and more at this two-day event

JMC Academy are inviting Melbourne’s established and aspiring songwriters to a special two-day conference, RE:Write, featuring the likes of Clare Bowditch, Uncle Kutcha Edwards, Charles Jenkins, Chiara Kickdrum and ON3 Studio’s Aman Bayatly and Kishnel Chand.

Set to be one of Melbourne’s pinnacle musical conferences of the year, RE:Write will be two-days of live music, expert masterclasses and insightful industry discussions dedicated to the art of songwriting. Supported by Music Victoria and APRA AMCOS, the songwriting conference will focus on reimagining traditional songwriting for the 21st century, offering an intriguing series of classes with the industry’s most innovative and established names.

What you need to know

  • JMC Academy are hosting two-day songwriting conference RE:Write
  • Tickets are only $50 to the event, which runs across April 1 and 2
  • It runs from 5pm to 9pm on Friday, then 9:30am to 9pm on Saturday

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.


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JMC Academy’s Head of Music, Chris Pickering, says the event will provide a backstage pass to the industry’s greatest minds, allowing attendees to get crucial career advice at this new juncture in the career of every Melbourne musician.

“The idea from the event came from the observation I had that while Australia and Melbourne often have many industry-focused events (such as the late Face The Music and Big Sound), it was often very difficult to find sessions focused specifically on artistry and craft in amongst all the industry-based information and panels available,” Chris says. “So, the thought was: can we potentially do something that can highlight both? And songwriting seemed to be the right focus because – well, it all starts with a song, to use a common phrase – but also Melbourne is such a great songwriting town.”

Chris says that the structure of RE:Write presents a unique opportunity for everyone involved to engage with the artform from all angles. Given the plethora of experience on offer, it’s aimed at allowing Melbourne songwriters to absorb the best practice of an industry in transition. In this sense, RE:Write occurs at the best possible time.

“RE:Write will provide a focus and hopefully fertile ground for discussion about songwriting, not just amongst our session hosts, but also amongst the audience themselves,” he continues.

“It’s not often you can get a bunch of songwriters together in one place to talk specifically about songwriting. So across the Friday evening and all-day Saturday, there will be a mix of sessions taken by fantastic songwriters about what they do – or drawing attention to a particular interest of theirs within songwriting – and sessions focused on how income can be earned by songwriters, and where the songwriting industry is also heading.

“The [artists] all bring their own individual perspective on what makes them tick as songwriters, where they might get their inspiration from, and possibly most interestingly of all, where they all feel the rubber hits the road for them in their creative process. We have such a wide variety of masterclass presenters because every songwriter is different – and no matter what style or instrument you may write on, you can still find heaps of inspiration from any creative artist.”

Chris has an intimate knowledge of what makes songwriters tick; a highly-regarded professional songwriter whose career has taken him from Melbourne to Nashville, he says RE:Write is a culmination of an ambition he shares with many songwriters: “to find their own voice and strive for some unique individual expression”.

“It’s all about being unique – each songwriter has their own experience within the world, and it’s thrilling to hear that expressed in music,” he says.

“We really want people to think more clearly about what they do, to have more awareness of what other songwriters are doing and what else is out there, and also be smarter and more open to discovering possible new avenues within their creative careers. The future of songwriting may be very different to what we think it is now – and being aware of that and what might be coming down the road can only help. Plus, the ‘future’ of songwriting is the very next song you write – and inspiration for that could come from anywhere.”

While the future of any artform is necessarily elastic and inspiration can strike at any moment, RE:Write and its presenters are relishing the responsibility to teach multiple generations of Melbourne songwriters about the changing scope of the industry, and the bountiful opportunities a new era presents.

“All of our presenters are focusing on something specific to what really defines their identity and creative practice as a songwriter, and it will be fascinating to hear all of those,” Chris says. “As for trends in songwriting and the songwriting industry, there are potentially many to talk about – such as the influence of new technologies in the songwriting process, new technologies and models in the music and publishing industry (i.e. blockchain and potential further generational developments in internet streaming), and also looking at how our philosophical approach to songwriting may be evolving and changing too.

“I think it’s such a great place to come and hear new ideas, be inspired, and also feel connected with the wider songwriting community here in Melbourne. I’m really excited to be bringing all these great minds together to talk about what they are passionate about, and to help inspire our songwriting community to be even better. I’ve always found it super interesting and inspiring to hear people talk eloquently about why they write, or what they write about and how they chose to express it, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

“I would love to encourage all songwriters to come along and check out what we’ve put together – we’ve had you all in mind in designing the program, after all. It’s all for one very affordable price (we do have songwriters in mind, as I said) and there’s plenty of opportunity for networking and chatting more about songwriting with other writers, and with tea, snacks, lunch and drinks provided too. Oh, and we’ve also got great live music from Nat Vazer, Amelia Allan, and Maya Vice – three fantastic local songwriting talents.”

To find out more information and book your tickets, head to the website here.