A very young Jordie Lane came through Kool Skools in 1998 in a band called InTouch with Simon Bruce, both from Thornbury Darebin HS. They performed a song called Gossip Queen at the Awards Night held at Festival Hall. He’s come along way since then of course and has had a very successful music career for many years. His brilliant new song Frederick Steele McNeil Ferguson is now highlighted on the Rolling Stone website: check out the video.
Checkout the latest rising star from the Kool Skools and Uncovered Project, Anna Mannering with her amazing song Son Of Korah, out now thru Empire/MGM.
So much great music has been born out of the Kool Skools Project. Important artists of all genres from pure pop to heavy rock, blues & indie acoustic.
All of these Artists pictured by their releases below made their first professional recordings at Studio 52 in association with the Kool Skools Project. Obviously there is a lot more between making your first recording at Studio 52 and going on to becoming a major successful artist but it’s often the first positive steps that shape and determine the long term direction an act will take. Its also a key factor in how the entertainment industry discovers and evaluates an artist. As the song goes, from little things big things grow.
First steps can make the fateful difference. Not taking anything away from her amazing talent but perhaps if Missy Higgins wasn’t involved in the Kool Skools Project at Geelong Grammar she may not have been writing songs that led to being Unearthed by Triple J, perhaps Eleven Records would have missed signing her at that crucial moment, maybe she would have followed a completely different career path or missed her timing for a musical career. First breaks can be crucial towards future success. The same could be said for Delta Goodrem, she had many talents beside music, if it wasn’t that Studio 52 signed her and recorded her at the age of just 14 then opened the door for her with Sony and manager Glenn Wheatley, she too may have gone down a different career path such as acting, modelling or as an professional athlete (she was a State diver and champion cross country skier at the time). It’s worth noting that Delta’s first major hit single Born To Try was first publicly performed at the Kool Skools Awards at the Victory Room, Etihad Stadium in October, 2002. Delta performed the song solo accompanying herself on piano.
For Dean Geyer it was a case of one thing leads to another. In 2004 he formed a band called ‘Third Edge’ at Melbourne High School and recorded his original songs at Studio 52 for the Kool Skools project. His band also performed at the awards night that year at The Victory Room at Etihad. He then went on to Australian Idol coming third, losing out to runner-up Jessica Mauboy and final winner, Damien Leith. Within weeks of the Australian Idol fourth season finale Geyer signed recording-contract with SonyBMG Australia and released his debut single If You Don’t Mean It which peaked on the ARIA Charts at #10. His album Rush reached #7 on the ARIA Charts. Dean then joined the cast of Neighbours. After eight-months on Neighbours he left the series and won a major-recurring role on the Fox Network TV series Terra Nova produced by Steven Spielberg. By 2012 Geyer was cast in the fourth season of Glee and starred in 14 episodes as a lead character. It seems that he is now concentrating on his acting career with more films on the way.
Axle Whitehead, like Missy Higgins also attended Geelong Grammar, albeit with a bit of a mischievous reputation there. In Kool Skools 1998 he recorded some smooth vocals for a Jazz combo and performed the song live at the Awards ceremony at Festival Hall. The video is still on our Youtube channel for anyone curious to see it. Axle went on to popularity as a TV music show host and then signed a record deal with Roadshow Music having success and good radio support for the single I Don’t Do Surprises. Since then he has been successful as an actor on Home and Away. Axle is also a Patron of Kool Skools and has been gracious enough to appear as our MC for the Awards in recent years.
Kelebek was another artist that just went from strength to strength with a steady stream of small steps leading to big steps and leaps with her career. She started as a dancer and did her first recording with the Albury Youth Project under the name Ne$s@, she came back the following year with a voice to match her dance moves and was then offered a place in the Uncovered Project where at just 16yo she recorded the single Bass Pump’n and made a video with Studio 52’s Brendan O’Shea. The following year she won the JB HiFi Kool Skools Prize and came back to record her Chains EP with help from another Kool Skools young programmer named Pacifica and Producer Trevor Carter. From there she went on to a starring role in X-Factor in 2013, coming close to a winning position. She has since been signed by Sony and is busy touring the country.
Natasha Duarté started with Kool Skools at just 13yo winning the JB HiFi Prize with her band Bad Days’ Goodnight in 2008. They recorded an EP of her songs which showed her great promise as a young songwriter. The following year her band recorded again in Kool Skools as part of the Hill Shire Project in NSW. In 2010 she was invited to take part as a solo act in the Uncovered Project and recorded the song You Don’t Know Me plus an amazing accompanying video clip. This instantly caught the eye of Molly Meldrum who began playing it major people in the industry, even Madonna’s manager Seymour Stein in the US and Denis Handlin at Sony. Natasha took an offer to sign with Empire Records and began working with producer Trevor Carter at Studio 52 on her solo career. The first single was Wanted To Feel which gained attention from the likes of Richard Wilkins and radio spruker Russell Thomas at Kaos. At the same time it was announced that she had won the National Youth Songwriting award and the International Songwriting Contest for her ballad The Worst Part. Since then she has released Punch Me in the Heart, Telling Me Not To and the world class debut album, The First Time. She has been kept busy promoting and touring her music to young pop audiences as a feature act on the Load At Lunchtime Tour and has even performed in Singapore for the Music Matters Live Festival.
Marc Collis was awarded the Most Outstanding Individual Talent Award at the Kool Skools Awards back in 1998. He was part of the St Joseph’s Catholic College recording that year. His performance at Festival Hall for the Awards just about blew the house down impressing everyone there. He went on and did a number of independent Ep projects and demos and then signed to Empire with his band Plunja. Empire developed the band at Studio 52 with producer Trevor Carter and then managed to gain them a partner deal with Roadrunner Records who released and toured the band. Eventually the band changed their name to The Whiteroom and released Whiteroom Music. Over a period of 18 months they did about 180 shows including major supports for Nickleback in Australia and NZ.
After The Whiteroom came to an end, Marc Collis decided to go solo and came back to Studio 52 to try a new direction, once again with producer Trevor Carter. He recorded the song Louder on the Inside for the first Uncovered CD and this immediately led to his signing with Empire Records. He went on to reinvent himself in a more mainstream adult style. When his first single I Miss Everything was released he won the John Farnham Support Tour and managed to match John for CD sales at every show, a first for any support artist so the merchandise company said at the time. A year later the album was completed and released, also titled Louder on the Inside plus further singles I’m A Believer and Angel Eyes.
The Cat Empire
Amaya Laucirica, Melody Moon and Brianna Lee
White Summer, Sparrows and Tom Ugly