The Queenscliff Music Festival’s “Emerging Artist Grant” (EAG) is returning for its ninth year, offering local talents the opportunity to expand their reach and develop their style.
The grant, which coincides with the Alison McKenzie Mentor Program, has seen many artists achieve established careers in the highly competitive music space.
The festival has contributed over $70,000 to the development of new artists, with previous EAG recipients playing shows at QMF in recent years.
One of last year’s EAG recipients, Geelong-based five-piece MDRN LOVE, says the program is allowing them to allocate funds to their media and public relations reach.
“The program was fantastic,” lead vocalist Jack Harman said.
“We applied for a few years and every time we applied there was constructive feedback on what to change – it taught us some very valuable lessons before we were even awarded it.
“The follow-ups have been really awesome, and we were handed a black book of contacts. With our grant, we were targeting some funding to help with our media and PR reach. We found that last time we released our EP, we had expended all of resources into the product and we didn’t have enough to get the release plan happening.”
Formerly known as Revolution, MDRN LOVE has seen great success in the last two years, with the band releasing their debut EP in 2017 under the guidance of Aussie producer Greg O’Shea.
During that same year, the Geelong rockers collaborated with BMW Australia and created the soundtrack to BMW’s 2017 stellar off road motorrad series.
Harman says QMF has “looked after” his band for a long time, having played shows at the festival for a few years prior to receiving the EAG in 2018.
“It’s (the EAG) going to help to broaden our reach with our media release and get our music to the ears of people who might not have heard of us before,” Harman says.
“It’s such a massive thing to be capitalising on it and really making the most of a great opportunity.”
While MDRN LOVE received the grant last year, Harman says it’s enabled the group ample time to refine their sound and work on some new music.
“It’s been good to have time to get it (new music) right in terms of song-writing and pre-production. We didn’t want to
release half-baked content, so we’ve sort of been able to put the brakes on,” he says.
Despite being knocked back for the grant in previous years, Harman says the setbacks saw his band work harder. He also said he would encourage any local artist to submit an entry.
“Longevity is sort of a rare thing these days. We learned a lot from getting turned down the first couple of times – you can’t expect to receive one straight away. The best thing is it shows you to work harder and take on criticism.
“It taught us resilience, that’s for sure. I’d say to any local band to give it a go – if you’re knocked back, work on it and reapply. It’s only going to assist you in your development as an artist.”
MDRN LOVE are currently recording a string of new singles at Ginger Recording Studios, Cremorne. Harman says listeners can expect new music by July, with live shows and music videos to be announced.
For news and updates, visit facebook.com/mdrnlovemusic or mdrnlovemusic.com.
Applications for the 2019 Emerging Artist Grant and the Alison McKenzie Mentor Program close on Wednesday July 10.
To apply, visit qmf.net.au/apply/ emerging-artist-grant.