One of Australia’s biggest music stars has revealed the reason he felt “lucky” as the pandemic forced the country’s entertainment industry to almost shut down entirely.
Matt Corby will release his first new album in five years on Friday, with a sneak preview track to be released on Wednesday.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire, the Byron-based singer said the Covid-19 lockdowns came just as he had finished a whirlwind tour, and he spent the time plucking away on personal projects while he was unable to work as usual.
“For me, I was at the end of the cycle – I was quite lucky because I’d come off a lot of touring,” he said.
“I was probably one of the lucky ones – I needed a break – so for me, it was good.
“It gave me a chance to build (the studio). It used to be the garage of the house, and that was a great project to undertake during that period.”
Corby, who founded RVR – Rainbow Valley Records – said he spent a lot of his lengthy hiatus producing lots of new music for other artists.
“Last year I made maybe five records, covers, EPs and a few singles for people while I was hard at work as a producer,” he said.
However, not everyone enjoyed the down time as much, with Corby explaining his friends in the industry were hit hard by the turbulence.
“The only thing that was hard was seeing a lot of my friends in the industry quite down, not being able to make money,” he said.
“Most of my friends exist in roles in the music industry – they’re audio engineers, they’re stage techs, they run festivals. Most of them have taken up a second trade, definitely not having a good time. I was on the phone a lot to everyone.”
The former Australian Idol runner-up’s comments come as new research reveals just how hard the pandemic rocked the entertainment industry across Australia, with the majority of performers still trying to adjust to post-Covid performing.
Research conducted by Wild Turkey found 85 per cent of aspiring musicians around the country are struggling to recover from the disruption of the past few years, with 9 in 10 agreeing it is now harder to catch a break in the industry.
The survey also found 17 per cent of artists are struggling to find support to build their careers, with Corby now teaming up with Wild Turkey to help one artist achieve their dream.
Up-and-comers have been encouraged to apply for Music 101, a bespoke mentoring program that will provide one artist with a recording studio on wheels, and private mentorship from the Brother hitmaker.
“It means a lot to me actually,” Corby said.
“It’s the sort of a role I’m already taking on somewhat through the little label that I run and through the production work that I do.”
The program will allow the chosen artist to travel around on a national tour with Corby, as well as other well-known artists.
“I love the idea of the mentorship program,” Corby said. “I love the idea of kicking around Australia and providing another platform for aspiring musicians to get a go.”
Anyone who would like to apply for the spot can do so here.
Corby, who was runner up on Australian Idol in 2007, won the hearts of millions with his top hits “Brother” and “Resolution” in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
His new album “Everything’s Fine” is out on Friday, but Corby said there’s no real theme to his newest release.
“It’s just an interesting collection of songs,” he said.
“I think there’s no real strong theme through the whole thing. Every time I stumbled across a vibe in the studio that felt good, we just put it down and it’s kind of nice just to make a record like that.
“I think each song does just stand alone as its own little piece, and it was very tricky putting it in sequential order.
“Apparently there’s over a million combinations.”
One song in particular, set to be released a day before the full album drops, is “very emotional” for Corby, even making him shed a tear.
“It‘s a bit of a slow jam, very emotional,” he said.
“We shot a very good live clip, which even made me shed a tear, which is rare for me. I’m not a big crier. I watched it back and I was like, ‘This is amazing.’”
Originally published at www.news.com.au