It's a no-brainer that Vanessa Fernandez was one of the Singapore talents Face the Music tapped into for their two-day conference. An assistant program director at Lush99.5fm, Fernandez is also a musician who's dipped her toes in hip-hop and soul, releasing music as part of acts Urban Xchange and Syndicate as well as her alter ego of sorts, Vandetta.
Part of an exchange between Noise Singapore and The Push (an Aussie non-profit youth music organisation), Fernandez along with industry experts and musicians such as Linying, Jawn and Stopgap gallivanted around Melbourne for what was the conference's inaugural year of live music showcases. Credits went to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) On Cooperation in the Field of Arts and Culture signed between Australia and Singapore in June last year, which allows for a series of exchanges like "Singapore: A Guide To Doing Business", a session held to understand the opportunities available for Australian musicians in Singapore.
Scroll down for an exclusive visual diary of Fernandez and Co. as they navigated Face The Music last week.
"Arrived at our serviced apartment to fantastic weather and an amazing balcony view from Oaks on Lonsdale."
"Our first meal of the day was at a lovely Italian spot recommended by our Uber driver. We sat in the kitchen at a long table and shared a bunch of specials at Pelligrini's, including lasagna and carbonara. I highly recommend this restaurant on Bourke Street."
"Jawn posing outside the Victoria State Library where Face The Music took place. A stage was set up outside, where he and Stopgap performed for Melbourne Music Week."
"Watching Stopgap nailing it — what an awesome backdrop!"
"A fun little public activation, where life-sized chess boards were on either side of the stage. Everytime we walked past, people were playing and they always seemed super intense."
"The stage transformed for Triple R, an amazing community radio station. They were broadcasting live from the state library steps with a ton of performances from Melbourne musicians. Melbourne has an incredibly discerning yet open-minded audience who favour community radio over commercial or pop ones."
"Nai Palm from Hiatus Kaiyote was performing at the Triple R broadcast and I managed to get a picture with her. If you haven't checked them out, you need to!"
"There was an exhibition inside the state library for Triple R, who were celebrating their 40th anniversary."
"The station still plays on CDs or vinyls and has been developing the music community for 40 years, which is probably why Melbourne music lovers are so sophisticated. There are over 40 community radio stations largely made up of volunteers."
"What happens when you ask Stopgap to pose for a picture."
"Dinner was at Naughty Nuri's — trust Singaporeans to eat Indonesian food while in Melbourne."
"After a day of attending some conferences, we headed over to a spot for networking drinks. There was an Indian food station set up with freshly-made dosai!"
"Headed back to the state library after dinner to prepare for Women In Electronic Music showcase, featuring Linying. Here's Jianping from National Arts Council who went to get liquid paper so we could make sure to correct a typo (they'd accidentally spelled her name as "Linyang", haha). I also highly recommend Melbourne artist, Corin, who put on a fantastic performance."
"The showcase was held inside one of the reading rooms. An amazing unconventional venue for a showcase!"
"Linying singing her soul out to the audience."