Get to know our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador, Jeremy Neale

Monday, 15 Apr 2019

Jeremy Neale (photo: Jeff Andersen Jnr.)

Brisbane's own Jeremy Neale states in his bio that he's been in 'The Biz' since 2013, when he released his EP In Stranger Times. He's done a lot during his music industry tenure - another solo EP, his 2017 acclaimed solo debut album Getting The Team Back Together, and of course his duties as frontman and songwriter for indie-garage pop band Velociraptor. He was a dual Queensland Music Awards winner in 2018 with his song Dancin’ & Romancin being named Rock Song of the Year and Song of the Year. And he headed to New York for a songwriting sojourn as the 2017 Grant McLennan Fellowship recipient.

He's back with lots of new music forthcoming and to lend his voice to supporting the local music industry, as he did recently in a powerful speech to government leaders.

Congratulations to our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador Jeremy Neale. Get to know him a bit better with these 10 quick questions.

1. Three words that best describe me:

Upbeat, supportive, responsible.

2. A song that set me on my musical path is:

There were two songs that I got pretty obsessed with really early on from my parent’s record collection. Gold by Spandau Ballet’ and I Get Around by The Beach Boys. I think they got hardwired into my songwriting / production DNA and so I always find myself coming back to that 80s does the 60s sound. Catchy melodies and guest appearances by the saxophone. 

3. A favourite lyric that I wrote is:

My favourite lyric at the moment is something I have written for my new album. I don’t think it’s particularly clever and it carries no hooky rhyming scheme…it just resonated with me when I was trying to write something that was empathetic to my own situation.  

 It’s only wise to take your own advice. 

I empathise with those who are trying to make it out.

So mind what you do, if it’s hurting you.

And be kind, when all that you dreamed has deserted you. 

4. When I get stuck on a song idea, I shake it off by…

Working on something else - often something very inconsequential - like the theme song to a TV show that doesn’t exist and then I come back to it later when I’m feeling refreshed. 

5. As someone who has been involved with different aspects of the Brisbane music scene, what are your thoughts on how local music scenes can be nurtured?

There’s gotta be a very organic part to it - which gives us new and interesting voices that have been through a journey of trial and error and self discovery in developing their sound and what they want to say.  But there also needs to be enough support to keeps artists around long enough to reach their full potential. 

Arming people with information is key - open and honest dialogue from artists that have been through the journey and know the hurdles, both financial and emotional, is very helpful. The rest is all in control of those who choose lineups or can gift other opportunities (including grants etc) to upcoming artists. 

6. As part of your Grant McLennan Fellowship, you spent time in NYC, including taking a two week intensive songwriting course at NYU – what did you take away from that? 

There was a lot of practical songwriting skills I picked up but most of it was putting myself outside of my comfort zone. I’d had terrible co-writing experiences early on and because of that - actively avoided being in those situations. I’d decided it was now or never and a large component of the course was centred around co-writing and finding your place / getting comfortable in that environment. Which thankfully, I now am. 

7. From the business side of the industry, what is a tip you would like to share with emerging songwriters? Is there something that would have saved you time, money, or stress if ‘only I had known that…?’

I toured far too much for a number of years on the advice that touring was absolutely essential, when I definitely couldn’t afford it, and it totally destroyed my finances. 

I think the most important thing to figure out in music is what you want to do with your songs and what you value from music in general and let your biggest decisions be guided by that. 

If you then find that touring is your number one priority - then by all means, make it happen (when its financially feasible) but if what you actually want to do is write songs and form a strong local community - a lot of that you can do from home without breaking the bank and causing unnecessary stress. 

8. What is the biggest challenge facing songwriters in today’s industry?

The financial demands of being in the music business. An amazing song doesn’t guarantee revenue so you’ve gotta diversify a bunch to make a living, which in turn takes up a lot of your time, and often doesn’t leave all that much for writing. 

9. Copyright is meaningful to me because:

It’s all we have to protect our intellectual property and hard work. 

It also gives the necessary financial value to something that you have spent so long crafting. Sure, some songs happen in 10 minutes. Other songs are meticulously re-written and follow us around for months or years before they’re finished. Regardless of how long the song took to write - the copyright is testament to all the time you’ve put into developing your skills as a writer in the first place and is the only way you will see a financial reward from it that will enable you to keep working on said craft. 

10. I am an APRA AMCOS Ambassador because:

I believe in songwriting, songwriters and the power of the song. Information, support and representation are invaluable in this industry and I’d love to help other songwriters in anyway that I can. 


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