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Stella Donnelly

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Stella Donnelly wins the inaugural $25,000 Levi’s® Music Prize at BIGSOUND

12.Sep.2017

BIGSOUND has been likened to Texas’ ‘South by Southwest®’ (SXSW®) and like its North American compadre, BIGSOUND is dedicated to fostering creative and professional growth for all members of the musiccommunity and its many related and wonderfully diverse creative fields.

For four days every September, a vibrant collection of musicians, buyers and experts from across the globe assemble in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley to build their professional networks, explore the challenges of the ever-evolving landscape, and experience the next wave of emerging music from Australia and beyond.

In 2017, the already outstanding BIGSOUND program was accompanied by a brand new initiative – and one that we at Levi Strauss & Co® are incredibly proud of.

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GORDON KOANG WINS LEVI’S® MUSIC PRIZE AT BIGSOUND 2019

10.Sep.2019

BIGSOUND is done and dusted for another year, but we leave feeling more energised than ever about the future of Aussie music. The 2019 program saw record crowds enjoying some of the hottest new acts on the live music scene, including Buzz Band of the Week and newly announced Levi’s® Music Prize winner – Gordon Koang.

Gordon Koang is a household name in South Sudan, and an incredible performer with nine albums under his belt. Gordon’s story is inspirational – as a blind man currently seeking asylum in Australia, he makes music with the goal of spreading a message of peace, love and unity. Represented by Music In Exile, this award not only highlights Gordon’s talent, but the excellent work of this not-for-profit initiative which aims to provide a platform for refugee and asylum seeking artists working in culturally or linguistically diverse communities in Australia.

Having been selected by a panel of industry heavyweights from a pool of around 150 bands who showcased throughout the week, this in a huge coup for Gordon. He takes home $25,000 plus an additional $5000 travel voucher courtesy of Stage & Screen Australia. We hope this money can assist Gordon in achieving his dreams – whether that be through providing funding towards recording, touring equipment, video production and more.

“I am standing before you as a blind person. I cannot see anything in this world but I put my mind to do music. I have been playing my instrument for 31 years and came to Australia in 2014 to seek asylum because Sudan has a war. God has blessed us by bringing our permanent residency and now we are here accepting this award at the BIGSOUND festival. Thank you BIGSOUND, thank you Levi’s®, God bless Australia and God bless Brisbane.” – Gordon Koang

A further three prizes will be awarded to artists across the coming twelve months. Previous winners include Ecca Vandal, The Teskey Brothers, Amyl & the Sniffers, Stella Donnelly and more.

Levi’s® Music Prize applications are now open for Round 2. Australian and New Zealand acts who have performed at BIGSOUND within the last five years (2015-2019) are eligible to apply here. Applications close Dec 7.

 

Photography by Claudia Ciapocha

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ECCA VANDAL WINS LEVI’S® MUSIC PRIZE

23.Aug.2019

Melbourne singer-songwriter and rapper Ecca Vandal has been awarded the latest round of the Levi’s® Music Prize by a panel of international judges today. The Levi’s® Music Prize is supported by QMusic, Sounds Australia and Stage and Screen.

Since showcasing at BIGSOUND 2016, Ecca has spent several years building a solid professional network to support her international career. Releasing a successful debut album through Dew Process in Australia / NZ and Island Records (UK) in 2017, Ecca has also been working with WME UK to perform at some of the biggest festivals in Europe such as Afropunk, Download and Reading and Leeds.

Ecca hopes to record a second full length record with the help of the Levi’s® Music Prize. “A huge thanks to Levi’s® for this award, it means the world to me! The extra cash is going to be a huge help for the next stage, as I head off on tour and make an album, so I really appreciate the support. Big love!” – Ecca Vandal

The decision was made by a panel of respected music industry executives from across the globe, coordinated by Sounds Australia that included Mary Ramos, (Saturday Music, Inc.), Rachel Cragg, (Director of A&R and Management at Nettwerk Music Group), Mollie Lehman, (Atlantic Records A&R) and Paul Adam (New Community Management).

“An incredibly talented artist, we’re thrilled to announce Ecca Vandal as the most recent winner of the Levi’s® Music Prize. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in-store for her and all of the Levi’s® Music Prize alumni, and we look forward to continuing to grow our support of emerging Australian artists” – Paul Sweet, Country Manager Levi’s® Australia/New Zealand.

Now in its third year, Levi’s® partnership with BIGSOUND has so far awarded over $200,000 to financially assist Australian and New Zealand acts with their careers. The prize provides $25,000 cash from Levi’s® and $5,000 in travel from Stage and Screen and is administered by QMusic in conjunction with Sounds Australia. The prize provides multiple opportunities for BIGSOUND artists as they build their international careers post-BIGSOUND. Previous winners include The Teskey Brothers, Amyl & The Sniffers, Stella Donnelly, Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hatchie and Emerson Snowe.

The winner of the next round will be announced on Friday 6 September at BIGSOUND with 147 showcasing artists eligible for Round 1 2019/20 of the prize. If you haven’t already got your hands on tickets, it’s such a great event and we hope you can get along!

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AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS WIN $30K LEVI’S® MUSIC PRIZE

04.Mar.2019

Last month a panel of international judges awarded the latest round of the $30,000 Levi’s Music Prize to Melbourne’s explosive punk rock four-piece, Amyl and the Sniffers.

Now in its third year, the coveted prize provides $25,000 cash plus an additional $5,000 in travel from Stage & Screen to financially assist Australian and New Zealand acts – who have previously showcased at BIGSOUND – achieve their export goals.

Showcasing at BIGSOUND 2017, Amyl and The Sniffers’ hit the ground running during their breakout year with international appearances at The Great Escape (UK) and a North American tour supporting Australian label mates, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Following multiple sold out shows in the UK and Europe in 2018, the band signed to Rough Trade Records for the rest of the world – the first Australian band to ink an album deal with Rough Trade since The Go-Betweens.

“It’s great to win the Levi’s® Music Prize. The cash is gonna come in really handy this year, it’s gonna get us on the road for SXSW and our upcoming tours and we’re super grateful. It’s sick that we were a part of BIGSOUND a couple years ago and we’ve come a long way since then, some dude who is on BBC radio saw us play there and we ended up on his show in London last year. It’s great that Levi’s® give this opportunity to bands and even sicker that one of the bands is us hehe. We’re excited to get back over to the States and play heaps of gigs before we put out our album in May. Filthy!!!!” – Amyl and the Sniffers

The decision was made by a panel of international music industry buyers including representatives from Domino Publishing, ATC Live and Eat Your Own Ears.

Previous winners include Stella Donnelly, Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hatchie & Emerson Snowe. The prize provides funding towards recording, touring equipment, video production and promotion supporting artists that have built significant initial career momentum via their BIGSOUND experience, but who need a financial leg-up to keep moving forward on the international stage.

Australian and New Zealand acts who have performed at BIGSOUND within the last five years (2014-2018) are eligible to apply by heading to www.bigsound.org.au/levis

Applications are now open for Round 3, 2018/19 and will close March 10, 2019.

Showcase applications for BIGSOUND 2019 will open in April 2019 via the BIGSOUND website www.bigsound.org.au

Check out this latest clip of our most recent two winners – Amyl and The Sniffers and Emerson Snowe below:

 

 

 

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