Australian Music Industry: Starting A Career Takes A Village

Three very different communities, one shared love of music, all paving the way for success in the modern Australian music scene.

18 Jan 2017

“Where the internet brought on the death of album sales, it took the power of making a band accessible and put it into the fan’s and band’s hands, cutting out a great deal of the need for corporate middle men.” Michael Franzino, musician.

The internet and more specifically social media has democratised creativity and success (to an extent). As highlighted by musician Michael Franzino, it is possible now for even musicians to build a following, promote performances and sell music with little to no input from major labels.

Facebook Live, YouTube, Snapchat and now Instagram make it possible for budding musicians to proactively share their sound with anyone willing to follow and listen. Yes, there is still classic pub gigs and band posters, but this is now augmented and amplified by increased knowledge of and attachment to the performer, built through social platforms.

australian music industry busking
Long gone are the days when busking was an ideal way to build funds or a following.

This new arrangement also includes how an artist gains the funds needed to record, perform and tour. Crowdfunding now makes it possible for fans to more actively give the artists they love the capital needed to push their careers forward, whether it is locally or internationally. Even consider the modern digital rehash of Triple J’s longstanding Unearthed initiative – this digital platform allows up and coming musicians to generate a following via an established brand in music.

Want proof that this all works? Our very own Clara Durbidge is the living embodiment of today’s socially connected creative. Through people power, she has been able to turn her study of music at TAFE Queensland Brisbane into a viable career path.

It Takes A Village

What do music festivals, Kickstarter, and Nashville all have in common? On the surface, only so much. Dig a little deeper though, and you will see common threads of togetherness brought about by passion and creativity.

For Clara Durbidge, a single project for the Bachelor of Contemporary Music Practice has brought all these things together to create the perfect storm for success in music.

The key to this success so far, in her own mind, is ‘community’ – whether it is her local community getting behind her own mini music festival, Kickstarter funding her, or the Nashville music scene embracing her with open arms.

Clara said, “Music brings people together – it is the ultimate healing and unifying experience, transcending gender, time, race, language.”

Clara is set for greatness both in the Australian music scene and abroad.

For the final phases of her course, Clara was required to undertake an independent study tour which involved crowdfunding the endeavour, writing original music and launching it to the masses. And for her, there was no better place to go on tour and start on her dream than Nashville – the international epicenter of country and folk music.

“Crowdfunding covered my accommodation, the recording, and session musicians,

“We held a fundraising music event and sold food and beverages at this event to raise money as well selling raffle tickets. At the same time, I ran the online campaign through Kickstarter to raise as much as I could to get to Nashville,” she told us.

And after only a month in Nashville, she was able to see all of this was more than worth it.

“It was such a positive and collaborative place that really fosters creativity. I met so many friendly and inspiring people including a song lyricist who I will be doing a co-write within the coming months,” she added.

Reaching the Nashville music community and building a career in such a fashion represents one of the biggest changes to both creativity and community involvement in recent years. According to Variety, as of July this year, Kickstarter has generated at least USD$5.3 billion (AUD $6.9 billion) for creative projects since its inception.

We look forward to collectively experiencing the joy of Clara’s music, whether is on the airwaves or in one of her private concerts that she plans to market for parties and other personal gatherings.

For more information on music production or music business courses, visit

© TAFE Queensland Brisbane 2018.
RTO 0275 | CRICOS 03020E.