Melody, please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up second-hand listening to ’90s hip hop thanks to my older sister. Later in life I studied Media & Arts at uni, got my start at FBi Radio, working behind the reception desk, doing all nighters and producing the arvo’s program and went on to work at Bossy Music where I got to witness artists like Flume and Lorde take off. A few years later, I accidentally started my own PR and management company whilst living with my folks and I’m still here seven years on.
Tell us about your role and business, what does your day-to-day entail at 23?
I am the founder of 23 – an independent music management and PR firm based on Gadigal Land and in Los Angeles, representing a wide range of artists from around the world with storytelling at the core of what we do. In Australia, we represent artists such as Joji, Little Simz, KUCKA, Caroline Polacheck, Travis Scott, Omar Apollo, MAY-A (pictured below), and more.
Alongside the day-to-day of running a business alongside my co-partner Amanda Perlstein, I oversee the PR campaigns in Australia as well as the management of Vallis Alps and Tasman Keith. Every day looks pretty different but a typical day might include strategising and planning meetings with various different artists teams, servicing music to radio, online, and print outlets, and relaying feedback back to the teams.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Watching Vallis Alps tour the world as an independent band, hiring my first ever full-time staff member (the incredible Maia Bilyk), and opening up the 23 US office in Los Angeles with Amanda Perlstein.
Who are your role models in the industry, be they international or local?
Suse Heymann, Mardi Caught, and Chris Twite are my biggest role models in the industry. Three incredibly strong, hard-working, no-bullshit-giving, genuine, incredibly wise and witty individuals who have encouraged and empowered me to trust my gut and carve out my own path.
Where do you go to see shows and who are some local artists you’d recommend we keep an eye on?
Oxford Art Factory is a staple but I have also really enjoyed seeing live music at the Redfern Surf Club as of late! So many incredible local artists to check out too but I have my eyes set on Behind You, Craterface and 700 Feel.
If you could work alongside an Australian artist that you have yet to work with, which artist would that be?
Missy Higgins – because she is one of my favourite songwriters in the country but also because I’d like to apologise for that time I accidentally spilled a drink on her orange felt shoe!!!
What is your big-picture career goal?
My biggest goal in the music industry has always been to support and nurture the creative arts in whatever capacity I can – be it helping them practically carry out their creative vision, or building their audience following or something else. If I can do that forever, on whatever scale, then I’d be a very happy person.
Any advice for people wanting to work in your field?
Trust your gut and don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t belong or that you don’t deserve to do what you want to do.
What does the rest of 2021 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
The return of Vallis Alps, the release of some incredible albums (Maple Glider, Little Simz, Charlotte Day Wilson to name a few) and a growing team!
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Honestly ‘Hush Hush’ by The Pussycat Dolls goes hard!