Samuel Seedsman is the founder of Fine Tune Magazine, an online publication dedicated to uncovering the best of emerging Australian & New Zealand music talent. Through profiles, interviews, reviews and playlists he hopes to create a community that embraces homegrown artists. From his Melbourne abode, Sam shares with us five up and coming artists making waves in the industry.
Sam wears the Malibu Shirt in Indigo Stripe.
Sam is a Melbourne-born Jamaican-Australian creative, and founder of Fine Tune Magazine. From a young age, he knew music was where his heart was, participating in musical theatre, dance, and singing lessons before eventually heading off to the Netherlands to study. It was upon his arrival back home that the idea for Fine Tune sparked. "I was toying around for a while with a few different concepts that delved into fashion, art, music and architecture but nothing came to fruition," he says. "When COVID started to ramp up in Australia my partner and I headed down the Peninsula to bunker down at my parents'. It was a pretty tough time for everyone and we were going through the motions. One afternoon we went for a walk down the beach and I looked up at a sign someone had put up on the hill, it read “COVID-19 sucks, rock 'n' roll will never die”. It resonated with me instantly, I was like heck yeah, music is a way of escape, it always has been."
That same night Sam began thinking of ways he could support the music industry if live music was out of the question. Shortly after, Fine Tune was born - a platform dedicated to sharing up and coming local talent. "Readers can expect different content at Fine Tune. I like to ask quirky, yet relatable questions to make the artists, well, relatable! You’ll find out things like what people have been googling, their weird food combos or the odd things they do when no one’s looking."
Like many of us, Sam's music taste changes every day, "My mood and the vibe of the day will decide what I listen to." he muses. "But, I guess I’d have to say, soul, jazz, and the blues are what get me buzzing. The soul music coming out of Australia and NZ is just next level at the moment. It’s pretty amazing to see people of all walks of life straight up killing it."
Being queer and mixed-race, Sam shares his struggle with finding his identity and the lack of diversity in mainstream media, "I’ve always struggled with figuring out who I am. It’s so strange to grow up in a country, with my white family and to never really experience black culture. Growing up you didn’t see any diversity on TV or in magazines and that’s the one thing I hope to stamp out with Fine Tune. It’s music first, it doesn’t matter what you look like, where you hail from or what you believe in. We let the music speak for itself."
SAM SHARES FIVE UP & COMING ARTISTS MAKING WAVES IN AUSTRALIA AND NZ
Music has become a collective remedy for soothing anxiety, enhancing community connections and bonding us together, as we all navigate a new socially isolated world. Since March, we've seen neighbourhoods across the world come alive, as musicians play instruments from their apartment balconies, families stand on their driveways to sing with each other and artists use social media to host live, intimate concerts from their homes.
While international acts may be off the table, for now, it's time to shift our attention to what is right down the road from us. Below are five artists making a real impact on the local music scene.
Image courtesy of Boomchild, by Groovyshaq
Boomchild burst onto the scene in fine fashion last year with their hit track Every Little Thing. The collective consists of six members, Charbel, Rico, Finbar, Ben, Riley, & James. I stumbled across them and knew instantly I had to interview these guys. They’d been jamming for a while before their first release, and actually met through Instagram. Rico was saying they caught a glimpse of each other through a page they were both shared on, he mentioned “Finn reached out to me and essentially asked to link up. He then sent some music across and I thought it was awesome. You could just tell from the get-go that the chemistry was there.”
They’re funny and humble dudes who are just excited to put their music out into the world. You can expect smooth, breathy vocals layered over the top of melodic disco beats. The New South Wales collective have just released their third single and it’s a treat of a track. Boomchild draw their unique flavour from a profusion of genres, and although early into their career, you can hear it throughout their music. Tight Jeans, the group's latest release, is creative expression at its finest. It slaps and I’ve signed up for life, I think it’s time to get a tattoo.
These Sydney lads are a “watch this space” moment. It’s not a matter of if but when these guys make it big. They inspire creativity and originality and have more than the makings to be huge.
Image courtesy of Alayna, by Frances Carter.
Do yourself a favour right now and go favourite, subscribe and sign-up for Rotorua based singer-songwriter Alayna. Her R&b-soul vocals are smooth and buttery and leave you with this desirable after taste that triggers a relapse. In all honesty, I have her on repeat.
Alayna was a standout from the moment I first heard her. Her music is quite transcending, it tells a familiar story. She debuted in 2017 with her hit single Falling Autumn. She made a statement with this song, it has already amassed a casual 10 million plays on Spotify. Alayna brings a light neo-soul flavour to the music scene that has been dormant on our scene for a while, fusing old-style soul with modern-electro synths and drum beats that come together in nothing less than the perfect combination.
More recently she dropped her highly anticipated EP Tender. Oooft it gives me all the feels! When I caught up with her she told me, “Most of my upcoming EP I wrote on this trip, between LA and New York. I love this EP, it's really personal and is a journey. It feels like a confident step in my artistic journey and I'm so proud of it.”
Our New Zealand sister across the Tasman is giving me energy right now, she’s poetically captured so many different emotions and feels in her new EP. She’s absolutely another artist who I see creating a huge splash in the Aus & NZ music scene.
Image courtesy of Rissa, by Megan Donnelly.
Sydney’s soul has been unearthed and Rissa has been found with a whole bunch of it. She’s a funky slice that packs a punch full of flavour. We’re pretty big on energies at Fine Tune Magazine and Rissa has got so much heart and soul flowing through her music. She reminds me of the likes of Jorja Smith and Ama Lou.
The silkiness to her tone is incredibly alluring, it is particularly prominent in her 2019 hit How Do You Feel. This was one of our songs of the year. It’s lush, it’s intimate and it ignites all the feels. She just throws around lyrics with ease, showing off her huge vocal versatility. Her music is an extension of her creativity.
Rissa’s biggest asset is for sure her energy and how she channels it on stage. In a chat I had earlier in the year she mentioned, “Performing live is honestly where I feel the most comfortable, I LOVE being on stage whether it's at the front singing my own things or alongside my mates singing with them. The stage is truly my second home and I see the audience as guests in my house so they are my priority always.”
The songstress has teased us with the news that she’ll be dropping some new tracks later this year, including some exciting collaborations. I can’t wait to see where she takes us this time.
Image courtesy of Oscar Ladell.
Dunedin’s Oscar Ladell is playing at my wedding. Period. He doesn’t know it yet and I’m not engaged but it’s happening. He has one of those voices that makes you stop and go, wowza. He has that classic old-style blues tone that just exudes feeling. The first time I heard his voice I instantly thought of Ray Charles and Leon Bridges.
The second-gen bluesman started out playing blues standards in nightclubs around his hometown, performing songs by Muddy Waters, BB King and Guitar Slim. Over the years his music moulded and became increasingly versatile, funk, rock, soul have found their way into our boy Oscar’s music.
The 21-year-old has just released his first album titled Gone Away. It’s a turn back, you feel like you’re in a movie montage in the ’50s. Stone Man, one of his new tracks, showcases his expressive guitar playing and incredibly soulful singing. I recommend listening.
Image sourced from SHORES Instagram
Aussie local band SHORES was born late 2019 in a suburban Brisbane garage. The group consists of four lads, Lachy, Samm, Benny and Dan. The band's self-described sound is equal parts of sunny beaches and millennial angst, with the boys drawing inspiration from all over to create a groovy mix of surf rock and punk. They remind me of the Arctic Monkeys and Jet.
The Brisbane boys dropped their debut single Peach Street in March this year and it is giving off surf and skate boy energy. I always find it super interesting when a musician manages to capture your attention with their sound when it’s something you wouldn’t typically listen to. SHORES have done that for me. Their sound is nostalgic and energetic and it’s won me over.
Their music is 100% something you’d hear in the likes of Lords of Dogtown, huge mood. The group is chipping away at their debut album and are aiming to release mid-2021.
Listen to the full playlist in collaboration with Fine Tune Magazine here.