One of Australia’s biggest music stars has revealed why he feels “lucky” as the pandemic has forced the country’s entertainment industry to shut down almost entirely.
Matt Corby will release his first new album in five years on Friday, with a sneak peek preview of the song due out on Wednesday.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire, the Byron-based singer said the Covid-19 lockdowns came just as he finished touring quickly, and he spent the time heeding personal projects while unable to go about business as usual.
“For me, I was at the end of the course—I was very lucky because I’d been touring a lot,” he said.
“Maybe I was one of the lucky ones – I needed a break – so it was good for me.
“It gave me a chance to build (the studio). It used to be a garage for the house, and that was a great project to do during that time.”
Corby, who founded RVR – Rainbow Valley Records – said he spent much of his long hiatus producing a lot of new music for other artists.
“In the last year I’ve made maybe five records, covers, and a few singles for people while I’ve been working hard as a producer,” he said.
However, not everyone enjoyed the downtime as much, with Corby explaining that his friends in the industry had been hit hard by the turmoil.
“The only thing that was hard was seeing a lot of my friends in the industry completely down, and not being able to make money,” he said.
“Most of my friends are in roles in the music industry—they’re audio engineers, stage techs, they run festivals. Most of them started on a second deal, and they definitely didn’t have a good time. I was on the phone a lot for everyone.”
The former Australian Idol runner-up’s comments come as new research reveals how hard the pandemic has shaken the entertainment industry across Australia, with the majority of performers still trying to adapt to post-Covid performance.
Research by Wild Turkey found that 85 percent of aspiring musicians across the country are struggling to recover from the turmoil of the past few years, with 9 in 10 agreeing that it is now hard to get a break in the industry.
The survey also found that 17 percent of artists are struggling to find support to build their careers, with Corby now collaborating with Wild Turkey to help one artist realize their dream.
Newcomers were encouraged to apply for Music 101, a dedicated mentorship program that would provide one artist with a recording studio on wheels, and special mentorship from a Brother Hitmaker.
“It actually means a lot to me,” Corby said.
“It’s kind of a role that I’m already doing to some degree with the small label that I’m running and with the production work that I’m doing.”
The program will allow the selected artist to travel on a national tour with Corby, as well as other well-known artists.
“I love the idea of a mentorship program,” Corby said. “I love the idea of touring Australia and providing another platform for aspiring musicians to get started.”
Anyone wishing to apply for the place can do so here.
Corby, who finished as runner-up on Australian Idol in 2007, won the hearts of millions with his hit songs “Brother” and “Resolution” in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
His new album, “Everything Is Beautiful,” will be released on Friday, but Corby said there’s no real theme to his new release.
“It’s just an interesting collection of songs,” he said.
“I think there’s no real strong theme running through it all. Every time I found a vibe in the studio that felt good, we put it down and it’s kinda good to be making a record like this.”
“I think each song stands on its own as its own little piece, and arranging them in sequence was very challenging.
“There seem to be more than a million combinations.”
One song in particular, due to be released one day before the full album drops, is “so emotional” for Corby, it even makes him shed a tear.
“It’s kind of a slow jam, very emotional,” he said.
“We shot a very good live clip, which made me shed a tear, which is rare for me. I’m not a big screamer. I watched it again and said, ‘This is awesome.'”
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