New original music made by locals – Wollongong

It’s been several years in the making, but now music lovers can stream the talents of local artists thanks to an innovative musical project titled New Gen Global.

The project was initially conceived during Covid lockdown by Wollongong City Council in partnership with My Community Project’s Jam n Bread and was seen as a way to create opportunities for young musicians. The project also built on Jam n Bread’s mission to create new artistic works and establish mentor opportunities for more established and professional local musicians unable to gig during the pandemic.

It has culminated in the recording and release of seven original new songs showcasing the talents of young local musicians; Dom and Josh Hinton, Shalani Thomas, Matilda Dickson, Ryan Pring, Ava Dupont and Grace Mae.

The music has been inspired by global music sounds, themes and instrumentals.

Best of all, for those planning on visiting the lllawarra Folk Festival this weekend, you can watch one of the musicians — Shalani Thomas — perform her original song live!

“Like many creative initiatives, this project has taken time to move from concept to execution and I have no doubt there are some very proud musicians who are thrilled the seven original songs they contributed to can now be streamed on popular major services,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“It was a few years ago that the New Gen Global Project invited expressions of interest from young musicians 16- 30 years to join the project with the opportunity to develop original music scores and have them professionally recorded.

“The project arose during Covid as a way to give opportunities to emerging and professional musicians living locally. It aimed to strengthen and build on Wollongong’s existing world music community, bring younger people to Jam n Bread’s monthly jams and build new networks while celebrating Wollongong’s cultural diversity.”

The project created opportunities for intergenerational, intercultural musical partnerships and collaborations and gave the young people an opportunity to have their original works recorded professionally with collaborator, Stranded Recording Studio.

The three professional mentors, George Stanton from Electric Korma, Ann Lehmann-Kuit from Jam n Bread and Sako Dermenjian relished the opportunity to mentor the emerging artists and inspire their creations. Sally Wiggins, Vesma Putnins, Kaija Upenieks, Ann and Sako were just some of the gigging artists who supported the young musicians during the professional recording sessions.

Seven original songs by the young musicians are now available on Amazon, Apple Music, YouTube Music , iTunes, Spotify, and TikTok/TikTok Music/Resso/Luna.

Grace Mae said: “This was a completely unique experience for me, it challenged me to use different song writing techniques to fit with the New Gen project.

“I usually write from the heart, but for my song ‘Dear Sweetheart’ I had to draw on my own experiences and relate that to how others would feel in circumstances where they were driven to leave their home country.

“This project definitely broadened my skills in song writing, but also in the use of less traditional instruments.”

Cody Munro Moore from Stranded Recording Studio said: “As recording and mixing engineer it is my job to make sure everyone is as comfortable, steady and relaxed as possible so the artists feel they can do the best they can. However, with this group of young songwriters I was astounded at the ease and comfort they expressed in the studio: the sincerity and conviction of their songs shone through. My job was made a lot easier with such great young talent in the room.”

New Gen Global Mentor and Jam n Bread Coordinator Ann Lehmann Kuit said: “I am blown away by the cultural diversity of the Illawarra. These original songs by talented New Gen artists reflect their own cultural identity and share powerful global perspectives.”

Want more Council news?

Visit our News page to find out what’s happening in your community, or sign up for e-news.

/Public Release. View in full here.