'Hipsters hog spotlight'


April 26, 2012

Perth’s music industry is favouring alternative music while the mainstream genre is ignored, some local mainstreamers say.

Brad Gandy from pop-rock band ASTRO says he sees the bias particularly in the West Australian Music Industry Association, of which he is a member.

“You might find 80 per cent of [musicians] are actually mainstream and 20 per cent are alternative, but it’s that 20 per cent that get the attention and support from WAM,” Gandy told InkWire.

“When you look at [WAM’s] annual compilation of all music in WA, you won’t hear anything remotely that sounds mainstream.

“It’s all the alternative songs.”

Brad Gandy (centre) and his band ASTRO. Photo: courtesy ASTRO.

But WAM business manager Mike Jeffrey said the industry body catered to a wide variety of genres.

“We take the need for inclusiveness seriously,” Jeffrey said.

“We provide support to anyone in the industry who approaches us for assistance.

“Some of [the programs] that we facilitate are competitive, but the criteria relating to selection have nothing to do with genre.”

Cheryl Lim Photo: Alfinda Agyputri

Cheryl Lim, singer-songwriter who performs as Jade Diary, said the “hipster crowd” often influenced trends in the music industry.

“They’re people in their 20s to early 30s who dress retro-chic and tend to like quirky, original music,” Lim said.

“Because they’re the cool crowd, understandably the music industry favours their kind of music.

“It’s unfortunate that different genres are kind of excluded.

“It’s not necessarily based on how good the music is or how much people like the music.”

Lim said the music industry tended to “pigeon-hole” the audience.

“They assume that if [one genre] sells in one demographic, then something else is not gonna sell,” she said.

“But music doesn’t quite work that way.

“It sometimes crosses a lot of boundaries.

Lim said that good music was good music and people were not so silly as to say: ‘”I only like this type of music and if it’s not, I hate it”.

Gandy said WAM was in the best position to make a change.

“WAM as an association should be promoting everyone, giving everyone a fair go,” he said.

“It’s not about not supporting [alternative musicians] – it’s about supporting everyone equally across the board.”

Categories: Entertainment

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