WOMADelaide x NSS Academy
A training & development program established in 2020 for young and emerging First Nations and culturally diverse artists, developed in collaboration with the City of Playford’s Northern Sound System.
The WOMADelaide x NSS Academy receives assistance from the Government of South Australia, the City of Playford, Northern Sound System (NSS) and is supported by Foodland.
The Academy focuses on professional development for young musicians, through a program of workshops and events that includes song-writing intensives, studio sessions, and training in branding and publicity, small business skills and stagecraft/performance.
Artists are mostly based at the vibrant NSS hub in Elizabeth, a youth-focused music venue and training hub, where they are guided by local and national music industry professionals. Selected Academy artists will go on to perform at WOMADelaide, and others from the broader NSS community will have the opportunity to engage with the NSS Studio at the festival.
The NSS brings to the partnership a strong history of artist development and industry experience, having supported the likes of Tkay Maidza, Teenage Joans, George Alice, TOWNS and many more. The NSS hub also provides a creative environment for First Nations and culturally diverse artists to grow in a supportive setting with a real-world pathway.
“Over many years we have nursed an ambition to help build the future careers of young musicians, not only through experiencing the extraordinary artists who perform at the festival but through a tailor-made development program. We are thrilled that the Academy will combine professional mentors with NSS’s acclaimed training initiatives, further building WOMADelaide’s connection with local emerging talent and audiences across the community” - WOMADelaide Director, Ian Scobie
“NSS is passionate about supporting emerging original contemporary musicians in South Australia. The Academy enables us to deliver a hyper-fertile environment for SA First Nations and multicultural artists to be able to access the information and resources they need to activate their visions. This is a very exciting initiative for all of us!” - Nick O’Connor, Northern Sound System
The inaugural 2020-21 Academy supported 10 artists in a year-round, tailor-made professional development program. The 2021-22 and 2022-23 editions built on the success of the first, and the program is ongoing.
Read the 2021 press release here.
Read the 2022 press release here.
Read the 2023 press release here.
Pictured: Elsy Wameyo.
MARLON X RULLA were selected as the opening act for Vika & Linda and Midnight Oil at WOMADelaide 2021.
Previous Academy artists include Barnaba$, DEM MOB, Elsy Wameyo, Elizabeth Ruyi, Estée, Katie Aspel, Keith Kugo, Laitsi, Marlon Motlop [AKA MRLN], Phylo, Rulla Kelly-Mansell [AKA RKM], Sandy Abbott, Sokel, Sonz of Serpent, TAIAHA, Tilly Tjala Thomas and WaiKid.
The artists selected to take part in the 2023-2024 Academy program are electro-pop artist ALITA, East African singer-songwriter Nestor Again, proud Ngarrindjeri woman Nimpala Rose, multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Rob Edwards and Filipina singer-songwriter Sofia Menguita.
Previous Academy Artists
Academy artists engage in a tailor-made program of events and masterclasses that sees them being matched with high-profile Australian music industry mentors. Artists such as Felix Riebl (The Cat Empire); Carlo Santone (Blue King Brown manager, co-founder and bass player and founder of OnePageLink promo kits); N’Fa Jones (1200 Techniques and Cool Out Sun), Brian Dubb (CEO and founder of artist management application Centralized.me) have contributed their time or services so far, as have Habit Music and Memphis LK.
They also receive ongoing training via songwriting intensives with leading SA artists such as singer-songwriter Nancy Bates, Grayson Rotumah (Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music), Midnight Hustle, 27 Music, Jimblah, Lonelyspeck, Stellie, Jeff Serafin, Dec and Fazz, Luke Million, Bethan Madison, Nathan May, Mind Trix Media, Munya Maidza, Far From Studios, Alex Mader, Daniel Steinert and Renegade Records. They aim to build a 45-60 minute ‘gig ready’ set of original music.
Pictured: Sokel (WOMADelaide 2022 artist), Rulla (on stage @ WOMADelaide 2021), The NSS Studio (activation @ WOMADelaide 2020)