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About Songsalive! Australia

Launched in May, 2011, Songsalive! Australia is the embodiment of a vision for the future of Australian songwriters. We are an autonomous, not-for-profit organisation, run by volunteers, with one aim, which is to help Australian songwriters achieve the success they are seeking, whether it be creative, commercial or a combination of the two.

Songsalive! Australia is the organisation which other organisations, such as Songsalive! (in the USA) have grown from. It still remains true to the original ideals of the organisation, which are to support and promote Australian songwriters in any way it can. Given the explosion of communications which has occurred over the past decade, the opportunities for local songwriters to connect with people worldwide has grown, and continues to grow exponentially, which is allowing Songsalive! Australia members to reach out well beyond our shores.

In 1997, Roxanne Kiely co-founded Songsalive! with Gilli Aliotti, working closely with a dedicated group of volunteers, to develop a strategy which would encompass as many aspects of the songwriter’s career circumstance as was possible. The original group of volunteers, many of whom remain committed and loyal to the original goals of the organisation, was small, but from them, the word spread.

In the 14 years since its foundation, the organisation has expanded into other territories of the world, especially the United States of America. By 2010, it was becoming increasing clear that Australian members of the organisation were beginning to become somewhat subsumed by the inevitable strength of numbers which this brought to bear, and the decision was made to create an autonomous and independent organisation, keeping the Songsalive! name, adding “Australia” to clarify its independence.

To allay any confusion Australian members of Songsalive! (now USA only) might have about membership, their membership period has been automatically extended into 2012.

We run projects and workshops to help educate those who have the desire to create songs, but are searching for guidance with the craft, and live showcases for the singer/songwriter, who is looking to present songs in a friendly atmosphere, without the pressure of a long and pressured gig.

From its foundation in 1997, Songsalive! began to fulfill a need by Australian songwriters, for an organisation which would address all aspects of the songwriting art, craft and business, providing workshops and showcases, run by willing and energetic volunteers, who wanted to explore the possibilities inherent in joining forces with like-minded people. Now, in conjunction with our partners and affiliates, Songsalive! Australia is looking to provide members with opportunities beyond the parameters of most songwriting organisations. Connection with areas of the industry, such as audio and video production houses which are looking for original Australian compositions.

Stephen Kiely joined Songsalive! in 1997, two months after its creation, and soon took on the jobs of Workshop director, website designer and compilation CD graphic artist. Roxanne and Stephen found common ground via the organisation, and began writing together soon after. What began as a professional relationship eventually developed and they married in 2001.

We are ambitious with this vision. With the development of PayTV and digital radio and television, the time is ripe for Australian music, and there are so many talented songwriters and composers in this country who need encouragement, education, some like-minded people with whom to discuss, critique and collaborate, so as to realise their own goals, and in the process, lay the groundwork for the future culture of this country via its music and the airwaves and stages it will be heard through.

At a time when this country’s audio and visual arts are under pressure to turn away from the local flavour and reflect the global image, local Australian songwriters need encouragement of their craft, interaction with their peers and greater interactivity with the ever-changing platforms of delivery which are the basis of the entertainment industry.

We are dealing with government, at local, state and national levels, to improve the circumstances under which songwriters may develop. Roxanne, as Chair of ASONG (the Australian Songwriters Official National Group), which comprises Songsalive! Australia, the Australian Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Society of Australia, has the opportunity to bring the concerns of the grassroots of the industry, to the ears of all its branches. Mixed metaphors aside, Roxanne is enjoying connecting these tissues in the knowledge that the trees will bloom.

The Present
This year sees the exciting beginning of Songsalive! Australia. The organisation remains committed to its original ideals, but is now extending its reach into new and creative avenues to help further the success of its members.

In 2004, Roxanne began discussions with the principals of the other leading Australian songwriting groups. From these discussions came the idea of forming an umbrella organisation whose goals would include dealing with the broader national, political and cultural issues with which songwriters have to deal.

ASONG (the Australian Songwriters Official National Group), comprising member organisations, Songsalive! Australia, the Australian Songwriters Association and the Songwriting Society Of Australia, was successfully launched 21st April, 2009 at APRA|AMCOS in Sydney. Since its launch, ASONG has held concerts and joined in major events to raise the profile of the plight of australian songwriters in the current political climate. The issue of australian content on commercial radio, affected by the 2004 Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States, and more recently by the ACMA’s (Australian Communications and Media Authority) decision to reduce local content of popular music on the ever-growing digital radio network over the three year period from July 2010, from its analog equivalent of 25% to zero has become the focus issue for ASONG.
Songsalive! Australia members can be reassured that its CEO, as Chair of ASONG, and in conjunction with her ASONG partners, is marshalling all available forces to bring a sense of fairness and logic to this issue.

Live showcases for Songsalive! Australia members are going to be developed and improved. There are many venues which feature singer/songwriters, but a Songsalive! Australia Showcase is a special event, and we plan to continue presenting showcases of quality.

The Future
A number of projects are currently being discussed and developed with our affiliate partners. These projects will feature online interactive elements. As many songwriters are aware, the process of creating the song, as creatively exhausting as it can be, is simply one element in the chain of events which begins with an idea and culminates in the successful enjoyment of the delivered product to its intended audience. What Songsalive! Australia is looking at is creating an environment within which this process can be streamlined, and members are able to access what they require to bring their project to fruition.

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