By Melissa Keogh
Almost two years ago Adelaide electro artist Luke Million uploaded a Facebook video of him covering the ’80s synth inspired theme song to popular Netflix series Stranger Things.
The one-minute clip has since been viewed a whopping 4.5 million times and received 1.7 million plays on Spotify.
Head over to Adelaide’s rap circles and it’s been Tkay Maidza doing South Australia proud since she released track Brontosaurus in 2013 and worked her way up to two ARIA Award nominations last year.
More recently it’s been folk artist Tom West rocketing up the Spotify charts, attracting more than 115,000 monthly listeners.
Although their music may differ in sound and style, the kickstart in their careers is similar.
Million, Maidza and West join more than 30 past recipients of the Robert Stigwood Fellowship Program, an initiative which is helping to boost the success of some of SA’s top bands, musicians and industry professionals.
The program is now in its fifth year and is on the hunt for the next lot of talent.
Fellowship recipients receive funding and opportunities to connect with global music networks.
They also receive hands-on mentoring from Adelaide-based industry professionals Stu MacQueen and Dan Crannitch of Wonderlick Entertainment.
Wonderlick manages the promotion of top Aussie artists including Grinspoon, Josh Pyke, Montaigne and Amy Shark.
Dan, who plays in Adelaide brother band The San Sebastian, says the fellowship helps establish more “connective tissue” between SA and the wider national and international music industry.
“We both feel very proud of the service this program has provided to the local music community, with a raft of Stigwood alumni kicking huge goals both here and internationally, all well on their way to long and fruitful careers in the music industry,” he says.
Tom West, who has gigs scheduled for Port MacDonnell, Adelaide CBD, and Willunga this May and June, says the Stigwood program was a much-needed boost for his business as a singer-songwriter.
“The program facilitated the completion of a new record in a much bigger and better way that I could have initially hoped for,” he says.
“It also enabled me to invest in exploring opportunities in overseas markets, which is a necessary step in working towards building a sustainable career in the industry.”
The Stigwood Fellowship is an initiative of the SA Government’s Music Development Office and is named after the late Robert Stigwood, a renowned music impresario and entrepreneur.
Born in Port Pirie in 1934, Robert went on to become one of the most powerful and successful entertainment tycoons in the 1960s and ‘70s.
He managed musicians including Eric Clapton, Cream and The Bee Gees, produced hit West End and Broadway musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, and blockbuster films Saturday Night Fever and Grease.
The fellowship offers two streams, one for musicians and bands, and the other for emerging entrepreneurs working in music management.
Past entrepreneurial recipients include Five Four Entertainment, who managed Tkay Maidza, and Sharni Honor, who is behind travelling music series Porch Sessions.
Applications close June 1. Head here for details and to apply.
Check out Luke Million’s Stranger Things theme song cover below.