Candace, please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
I was at uni for seven years in what my friend’s called an ‘attempt to be a forever student’. I was accepted into Law School originally but declined the offer to study Entertainment, even at 17 I knew that’s what I was passionate about. Lecturers took every opportunity to remind us how few of us would get a job in the music industry – so I ended up changing degrees more times than I’d like to admit from fear of unemployment. I studied everything from Entertainment to Film to Economics to Secondary Education to Public Relations. Not sure if the joke is on them because I work in the music industry now, or if the joke is on me for my huge unnecessary HECS debt.
I started booking uni club nights around Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley when I was barely 18. I had pretty debilitating social anxiety at the time, just leaving the house was unachievable some days. In an effort to feel like I had a purpose for being at shows I’d booked, I bought a camera to occupy my hands. I kind of thought it would just be an expensive paperweight – little did I know, that camera would take me on tour across Australia, Europe and the UK. I started taking on TM duties naturally due to my inability to relax and my incessant need to look after people.
I moved to Sydney in 2018 to continue my digital marketing career, and quit four months in to help run Crowbar Sydney – working across everything from marketing to bookings to general venue management.
From there, I had the opportunity to work with Sam Wald and Brett Murrihy at WME who truly are two of the most hard-working agents in the biz. WME’s music division represents an array of A-level clients, where I worked on acts such as Lizzo, Fatboy Slim, Billy Idol, Faith No More, Dua Lipa, Grimes, Gang Of Youths, Joji, Tyler the Creator – and many others.
Now we’re here in 2022, enter: beastmode.
You’ve recently launched a new artist development enterprise beastmode, please tell us all about it!
Beastmode is an artist development and creative enterprise. We are an independent management, booking and promoter powerhouse. We’re an all inclusive endeavour working across all genres and industry avenues with the purpose of supporting and strengthening niche artists – filtering the noise and pressure the industry places on creatives so artists can get on with being artists.
Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?
Every day brings new challenges and adversity – from an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, to the industry being so heavily male dominated, and everything in between. The only way through is resilience.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in music who would like to pursue a career like yours?
Learn as much as you can about everything that you can. It doesn’t matter if you only want to work within an office setting, learning how to use a lighting desk if the opportunity arises will likely end up helping you down the track.
What advice would you give to your younger self, say 5-10 years?
Believe in yourself a bit more and don’t listen to the people who say you won’t get a job in the industry. You really don’t need to start that Economics degree. Trust me, you don’t want to be a teacher either.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the course of the pandemic?
A little kindness goes a long way.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
I’ve had many career wins that I’m proud of, but I’m more proud of my ability to know when to walk away from something or someone. It’s important to know your worth and stick to your guns. Any energy spent enduring any form of abuse or harassment is just wasted potential.
What tips would you give an artist who is trying to succeed on a global scale?
There’s a lot of cheat cards but the artists I respect who have lifelong careers keep it simple – be authentic, be resilient, be self-aware, and have fun with it. Build your team so you can focus on your art – succeeding on a global scale is boring if you’ve lost your passion.
Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?
Cooking, face masks, puppy cuddles, bingeing live sets on YouTube, and screaming into the abyss.
What is your big picture career goal?
At the end of the day, I just want to be known for being genuine, working hard and contributing to the progressive evolution of the wider industry.
As for tangible goals, ours is to always have another goal lined up after we’ve kicked the first one. Our next immediate goal is locking in our first international act to tour Australia – from there, we’ll just keep levelling up.
If you could time travel and see any artist from any time perform live, who would it be and why?
We’d be heading to 1977 and seeing Sid Vicious era Sex Pistols – or even earlier in the ’70s and seeing one of the first women of rock, Suzi Quatro. Or Moscow’s Monsters of Rock in 1991. There’s a lot to see.
What does 2022 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
All of the artists on beastmode’s roster are on a new release cycle in 2022 which is incredibly exciting to us. We’re also celebrating Australian hardcore with a two stage, 14 band festival in June headlined by Speed and No Apologies. Australian hardcore will be as big as Australian hip hop, mark my words.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Stars Are Blind by Paris Hilton, but only if karaoke is taking place inside a chemist.