Blak Sound 2019

Deadline extended - Now closing Thursday 18 April at 11:59pm

The power of First Peoples carrying song in the now is a story of resilience. It is a story of Blak survival. It is a story of sound that has always been expressed through this land. It is a story of sound that has in one form or another been expressed through peoples of this land. First Peoples voices have always been present. Now in 2019, 230 years since the beginning of colonisation, First Peoples of this land are bringing these sounds to audiences with a power and purpose that uniquely resonates with 60,000 plus years of history. Blak Sound is 60,000 plus years of song in the now, embodied in a diverse array of emerging First Peoples sound and song carriers.  

Blak Sound is a program designed to realise the vision of more First Peoples, building sustainable contemporary music careers in Victoria. The program is presented and supported by VMDO First Peoples, City of Melbourne and Spotify and will focus on the release of recorded music, as part of an overall strategic approach to a career in contemporary music.

Across a nine-month program, five participants will release music into the world and be guided to achieve maximum impact with the release, as well as the learnings that will accompany this process to assist them into the future. Blak Sound will utilise a range of mechanisms, including master classes, mentoring and hands-on learning, to identify and deliver strategy and assets as well as further understanding of recording and release options, requirements, marketing and promotion, rights management and finances. As a First Peoples specific program, a strong underpinning of First Peoples’ cultural considerations will be built into the project to ensure support of artists from a cultural perspective is considered and underpins the project to ensure that the following goals are achieved.


1.    Strategy for participants’ short and long term career goals

2.    Visibility of participating artists/audience development

3.    Music business skills/experience (self-managed artists)

4.    Connections and insight into Spotify through partnership with Spotify

5.    Participant preparation to be ambassadors in community to help others get more out of their music careers

6.    Cultural and community connectivity; linking developing artists to cultural support and music pathways to community  


The 2019 edition of Blak Sound will cover a period of 9-months, timed to coincide with a start at YIRRAMBOI in May 2019 and conclude in November 2019.


·      Victorian Music Development Office

·      City of Melbourne

·      Spotify 


Throughout the nine month program, monthly music business master classes will be presented by industry experts and cover topics such as:

o   Strategy and timelines

o   Recorded music distribution (signing vs independent), A&R and production (mix/master)

o   Audience Development; the importance of live as part of the plan

o   Finances: budgets, costs and income (including grants and APRA and PPCA)

o   PR and Marketing; bios, photos, servicing press, radio and playlists

o   Getting the most out of social media

o   Ongoing Audience Development; data and what to do with it  

Mentors will be paired in collaboration with participants, once selected.



Applications open: Friday 29 March, 2019

Applications close: Thursday 18 April, 2019 at 11.59pm (extended from original Wednesday 17 April deadline)

Participants announced: Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Performance opportunity for participants: YIRRAMBOI Weelam – Wednesday 8 May, 2019

For further information, please contact us at