Department of State Development
Sweet sounds of success coming from the north

12 April

Sweet sounds of success coming from the north

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John Hardie first began playing blues and soft rock more than 20 years ago. He had a first wave of success, with his music played nationally on Community Radio, but when it came to getting started again in the recording world after a long break, technology had moved on.

John and his wife Amanda were given the opportunity to produce original music in their local area through a grant from Northern Sound System.

When the funding was confirmed, John said the boost to his confidence was huge.

“The way we felt was beyond words, the feeling of being recognised as a recording artist is a dream I've been pursuing for many years.”

“Artistically, it's given me the opportunity to meet new people and experience other artists’ opinions, which has been very valuable to my music career.”

“Personally, the chance to hear others around me play my music is the highest compliment I could possibly wish for.

John and Amanda are among 10 musicians who have been awarded the grant funding, which was made available when Northern Sound System was awarded $100,000 funding last year through the Northern Economic Plan, Look North.

Northern Sound System committed $30,000 of this money to providing grants of up to $1000 each for musicians to use for new recordings, video production, live performances, and other projects.

The centre combines world-class music facilities with a community centre approach that provides a supportive environment.

Nick O’Connor, Project Officer at the Northern Sound System says the centre, and the grants, are making a real difference in people’s lives.

“I know this place means a lot for the community and for young people because they tell me all the time. It’s somewhere that they are validated. They feel at home here.      

“These grants are so important to our community because we’re going to use it to provide a funding grant round for local artists.”

Northern Sound System’s success isn’t just local, though, with two graduates of its N1 Artist Development program becoming commercially successful artists.

Tkay Maidza’s songs were featured in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and her star is only continuing to rise, with rave reviews from her set at major US music festical SXSW and an endorsement deal with Nike. Singer MANE completed a tour of the US late last year, was featured in this year’s star line up for WOMADelaide and has an album. House of Horror, out now.


To find out more watch Nick O’Connor speak about the state-of-the-art music and recording facilities at the Northern Sound System.