Developing local artists: Peel Music Hub gets the green light

Local music distributor and John Butler Studio co-manager John Lambrecht (left) will run the Peel Music Hub from his recording studio (right) at Fairbridge Village. Photos: Mandurah Mail file images/Supplied.
Local music distributor and John Butler Studio co-manager John Lambrecht (left) will run the Peel Music Hub from his recording studio (right) at Fairbridge Village. Photos: Mandurah Mail file images/Supplied.

A new initiative to help propel aspiring local artists into the music industry will launch on Sunday.

Operating out of the John Butler Studio in Fairbridge Village, the Peel Music Hub will provide a monthly opportunity for a group of talented musicians to collaborate and develop under the guidance of industry professionals.

The driving force behind the project, local music distributor and John Butler Studio co-manager John Lambrecht, will run the sessions, with each one focusing on a different essential skill needed to "make it" in the music industry.

Mr Lambrecht said the program would "delve into all the intricate details of the industry" including branding, advertising, marketing and financial management.

In the Peel region, we have a really good music scene supported by artists and venues but we need to take our young people and give them the opportunity to develop.

John Lambrecht

"There is so much associated with going down the music path and becoming a business that they might not know about," he said.

"The idea will be that we will try and get industry experts in to talk about different aspects of the artists' development. I see my role as using my connections, knowledge and experience to make this happen for them.

"It's great to go and play events and festivals but that's not an indication of what the industry is really like - gone are the days of just rocking up, plugging in a guitar and playing. You have to sell yourself, sell your music."

An accomplished musician himself, Mr Lambrecht said he was prompted to launch the Hub after noticing a lack of opportunities for young Peel products looking to make their mark.

"WA Music and the state government deals with people who are already in the industry but there is a gap for people wanting to get into the industry," he said.

"The demand for music is growing as we get further into the digital age. Music is ubiquitous, it's everywhere and we don't even realise it until it's not there.

"In the Peel region, we have a really good music scene supported by artists and venues but we need to take our young people and give them the opportunity to develop."

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The idea for the Peel Music Hub has been in the pipeline for a number of months.

In the lead-up to the federal election in May, Labor promised $114,000 for the Hub if their Canning candidate Mellisa Teede was elected.

In an interview with the Mandurah Mail at the time, Mandurah MP David Templeman said the Peel Music Hub would allow a close collaboration with the state government under the Contemporary Music Fund.

"With a resource such as this, it will allow us to direct Contemporary Music Fund monies into initiatives that can now be enhanced through the John Butler Studio," he said.

"This is exciting ... and will deliver outcomes that will enhance the skills of contemporary artists in WA.

"Fairbridge has a great history of delivering quality programs and opportunities to young people in the region and wider."

Following the result of the election, Mr Lambrecht applied for funding assistance from Mr Templeman but is still waiting to hear the outcome of his request.

This is exciting ... and will deliver outcomes that will enhance the skills of contemporary artists in WA.

Mandurah MP David Templeman

Mr Lambrecht said he was hopeful he would receive a cash injection to improve the program, but would ensure the Hub was the best it could be in the meantime.

"That [federal] funding would've given us a Rolls Royce, but now we've got an old Volkswagen Beetle but we will make it happen because it needs to," he said.

"That would've given us a lot more access to industry experts to come in and industry standard equipment, which isn't cheap and, while we have a fairly well-resourced studio out there, things naturally get old and it costs a fortune to fix or replace.

"Regardless of whether any financial assistance comes from the state government or not, this is still going to happen - we've got the people, the talent and we just need to develop them and give them the opportunity."

Mr Lambrecht said he had big plans for the future of the Music Hub and was excited to see what he could achieve with his inaugural team of talented, committed artists.

"We want to get [the artists] performing regularly at different kinds of events throughout the region," he said.

"Then, through the state government's music industry development program, individual artists can apply for assistance for opportunities elsewhere which we will help them apply for.

"I'm not sure what I'm getting myself in to but hopefully we can expand it and get it happening more often than just once a month if I can get more people from the industry to come and give us a hand."

The first session at the Peel Music Hub will be held on Sunday, July 7 at the John Butler Studio in Fairbridge Village, and then once a month thereafter.