What is your role at Rice is Nice, and how long have you been in the position for?
I am the owner of Rice Is Nice and I’ve been running the label for about 6 years now.
Tell us a bit about Rice is Nice, what artists do you work with/have you worked with?
Rice Is Nice is a label which focuses on Australian artists. We work with the likes of Straight Arrows, Summer Flake, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Angie, You Beauty, The Laurels, Donny Benet, SPOD, The Frowning Clouds, Seekae, Richard In Your Mind, Darts, Seja, Lia Mice and run a mixtape series which works with bands that are not just on the label.
How did you get your start in the music industry – what is your story of how you got to where you are today?
I started my adventures in music when I was around 15, working at record stores in Melbourne and was also a live music photographer for zines / magazines. I then got a job at Ivy League / Liberation which saw me move to Sydney where I then moved on to work for Popfrenzy Records / Presents. The experience and support at these companies and the people in them made me think I could really give my own label a crack. At that time I met Owen Penglis from Straight Arrows and Brent Griffin from SPOD who both had records which gave me a real reason to start Rice Is Nice and are in my mind without a doubt a huge part of the label / life.
“Do it already. Australia needs you. You can sign bands with a god damn handshake it’s not rocket science. I would say transparency is the key. Be straight up and lay it all out on the line.”
What made you decide to start your own record label?
I had always wanted to start my own label. It was always on the agenda. I’ve always been a fan of the people behind record labels. I am a fan of real music lovers and what they do and discover. They are the best kinds of people.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own record label? Where do you begin?
Do it already. Australia needs you. You can sign bands with a god damn handshake it’s not rocket science. I would say transparency is the key. Be straight up and lay it all out on the line.
If given the chance, what would you change about the current Australian music industry?
I would change the mentality that some major media players have about popular Australian music and also the instant approval of international music. It would be good to see support for cool, left, interesting, different bands that are not just from freakin Brooklyn NY for god sake. The content coming out of Australia is solid, our artists are strong. I just wish there was more passion and freedom within these outlets where they would take risks and make the general public of Australia culturally enriched and patriotic about contemporary Australian music. It would change things.
Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so how did you approach them?
Not so much. I am sure there are things but I can’t recall anything horrid. My experience has been pretty positive. People are supportive and if the people you are associating with are not, get away from them quickly because they are sad idiots. Be confident in what you are doing.
What advice would you give to your 18yo self?
Be really clear about what it is you want to do. It’s not always good to do 100 things at once. Or is it? Ah crap I don’t know.
Do you feel that higher education is necessary to work in the music industry
What tips would you give an artist trying to succeed in Australia? Is there a certain route they should take?
There is no definitive route to take. Work out what you want and figure out the steps to get there. Make your own route and stay true to your art form, that will be your end if you try and be something you are not. Pick as many brains as you can. That’s what I did and still do.
Who are you role models in the industry whether they be international or Australian?
Ben & Guy at Chapter, Joe at Bedroom Suck, BT at Love Police, Warwick at Greville Records, Larry at In The Red & Henry Rollins.
“People are supportive and if the people you are associating with are not, get away from them quickly because they are sad idiots.”
Tell us about Mixtape Vol.2 – released with all female talent. What made Rice Is Nice decide on this?
We set out to put together a solid new mixtape of great Australian artists. Vol. 1 is the label roster so we thought we would check out what else was going around. It was a coincidence it ended up this way, it was purely just what we were / still are listening to and really getting excited about. Twas no effort at all. The mix is solid and we couldn’t be prouder. (check it here)
Top 3 artists to watch right now?
Well I feel like you should all watch out for Summer Flake, Angie, Sarah Mary Chadwick, You Beauty, SPOD & The Laurels cause they all have more projects and new music coming now and into 2016.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Bird Dog by The Everly brothers.