Now a practising barrister, it’s obviously an issue that motivates Holden and he has spoken about the issue of representation in the music industry before. Obviously drawing on his experience from Australian Idol with Guy Sebastian, he said during the session that Dami Im would not have been signed prior to the 2000s.
‘The gatekeepers (to the music industry) were a handful of white men,’ said Holden. There were barely any people of colour other than Kahmahl, Marcia Hines and a handful of Indigenous artists. Diversity was not high on the agenda when music production was such an expensive venture.
Holden spoke about changes in technology and, despite there being problematic elements such as copyright, licensing and artists payments, he did believe that applications like Shazam open up independent music to be discovered easily.
Holden shared a story about Shazamming the theme song to the BBC show Broadchurch and finding the entire back catalogue of Icelandic artist Olafur Arnalds (who wrote the show’s theme song). An artist he now uses to work out to.
The panel discussing musical memoirs included the Hon Barry Jones, Andrew Ford, Mark Holden and was chaired by Mandy Nolan.
Rory Banwell – @rorybanwell – is a Bachelor of Media student at Southern Cross University.