Hello and goodbye - meet our new South Australia Rep

Wednesday, 13 Dec 2017

Alana Jagt and Matt Swayne, legends of SA.

Changes are afoot in our South Australia office! After an incredible 10 year tenure, Writer Services Representative Matt Swayne is leaving. A true champion of South Australian musicians, APRA AMCOS is grateful for his tireless work on behalf of members. 

We are excited to announce that your new SA Writer Services Rep as of 2018 will be Alana Jagt

And now, a few parting words from Matt, as well as a quick 5 questions with Alana. A fond farewell to Matt, and welcome aboard, Alana! 

Matt Swayne on 10 years at APRA AMCOS:

1. What has been the biggest change to the industry since you started the role in 2007?

My favourite change over this time has been the unification of the SA music industry. Led by people such as Becc Bates at the Music Development Office, we’ve seen in recent years an amazing level of collaboration between all sectors of the SA scene from State Government, Adelaide City Council, LGA, AHA etc. to Music SA & of course the musicians. As well, we now have St. Paul’s Creative Centre, which is where the industry meets to do business in SA.

Also, we had paper and MySpace back in 2007, so there’s that too!

2. What is the best part about being the SA Rep?

Sharonne Belfer, Lee Gardiner, Adam Atkins, Carolyn Lee, Mel Shipp, Shane Carroll.

I always loved the Adelaide office and still do. It’s been a true pleasure to work with such like-minded people for so long. 

3. What has been your proudest achievement in the role?

My involvement with the Emily Burrows Award.

Now in its 17th year, the award and $5,000 prize is given annually to a group or performer from SA whose career is at the stage of really starting to build a national profile. We ask a broad range of the local industry for nominations and end up with an amazing list of talent from which we select a winner based on criteria such as ability to use the funds to build a national profile, career work ethic, and we also like them to be good ambassadors for SA too so the recipients aren’t just top writers and musicians, but also great folks.

Thanks to APRA AMCOS and Gary Burrows for creating this award.

4. What makes SA songwriters unique?

SA and Adelaide in particular has a great creative scene, which I think is helped by the population being just big enough to have many incredible venues (think the Jade, Grace Emily Hotel & The Wheatsheaf etc!) and artists working across any form or genre imaginable, but small enough to stop everyone being rigidly shoved into genres/scenes. It all leads to lots of collaborations and exposure to differing music and art styles.

And, I think many of the writers put the art first, which gives the city and state a sweet focus on creativity.

5. Can you share one key piece of advice to members to help them make the most out of their membership?

This one’s easy. If you play live make sure you submit Performance Reports. Get familiar with the system, report your setlists, earn royalties. 

6. What three adjectives describe your APRA AMCOS musical journey?

Delightful, Diverse, Melodic.

5 Quick Questions with Alana Jagt

1. What type of work were you doing before accepting the SA Writers Services gig?

I've been with the Government of South Australia in several different roles, but most recently in the Minister's office at the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. It's a fast-paced job at the forefront of vital state-wide environmental issues. Music and the environment are my two lifelong passions!

2. What are three words that describe you?

World’s Biggest Dork;

OR, Dorky, Hungry Sleepy;

OR, Dorky, Hungry, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Happy and Dopey;

OR, Enthusiastic, Personable, Dorky

3. Is there anything in particular you would like to focus on in your APRA AMCOS role?

I'm a born and bred regional South Australian, so I am excited about ensuring that regional musicians have plenty of developmental opportunities. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and generally working as hard as I can to help all APRA AMCOS members.

4. What makes a songwriter from South Australia unique?

Being a songwriter from SA, it’s hard for me to make an unbiased comment. From my personal experience, the songwriting community – particularly in Adelaide  is very strong, to have your music-scene peers’ support and encourage you is something special and key to any developing songwriter and SA is really strong in this area. South Australia has fantastic music and arts organisations, brilliant festivals, a rich musical history, and accessible creative spaces - all things that foster our emerging songwriting talent. I mean this has been demonstrated with the designation of Adelaide being a UNESCO city of Music, it checks all the boxes. That speaks for itself, really. 

5. The future of song writing is exciting because…

Songwriting will always be exciting - it’s an age-old form of expression that people from all walks of life continue to connect with. Modern technology means that, as a creative person, your music is easily accessible to your potential audience, which is larger and more dispersed than ever before, and that in and of itself is pretty darn exciting.


As a member – and now an employee – why do you think Performance Reports are important? Any tips to getting them done?

You can earn live performance royalties each time you perform your songs. Neglecting to submit performance reports is a disservice to yourself and your craft! Whether a little or a lot, you can invest royalties earned in your career, purchase new music, or put it towards bills (struggling muso life, am I right?). It’s really worthwhile and I encourage everyone to submit them.

Personally, I've put my APRA AMCOS payments toward recording an album. I keep track with a ‘gigs for the financial year’ spreadsheet that includes the date, location, set list and performance fee of every show I do. It's a massive time-saver when it comes to submitting performance reports, since I'm not frantically searching through dozens of old emails, TXTs, and Facebook events to work out which gigs are eligible!

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