A key part of being Australian is taking ownership of the world’s idea of us. Whether a tourist needs to know about Vegemite, or we are trying to convince a Taxi driver in NYC that we do, in fact, ride our pet kangaroo to work (true story), we are obsessed with taking ownership of every good thing our far and away continent has to offer. Naturally when it comes to music, we take this up a notch.
Let’s be real: Keith Urban is our chief musical export. Once, I even ‘had’ to argue with an American about the musician’s nationality. However I do promise you, he is Australian. And therefore, even though he now lives in Nashville and sounds more like one of your swish country music stars, Aussie’s hold him up and say, “Yes, we have contributed something good to the world!” I mean, we do this every day. The uncountable people who have had their lives changed with the invention of Vegemite are insurmountable, but still, we like to take credit where it’s due.
Of late, the Australia’s answer to One Direction came in the form of the 4-piece 5 Seconds of Summer, and just when the world thought it had enough of boy bands, the guys blasted the airwaves with the insatiable melody of “She Looks So Perfect.” Having toured with 1D and peeking at #19 on the Hot 100 means these boys are nearly as well-known as Harry Styles, and now teeny boppers world over actually realize that not all Australians sound like Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee.
Aside from our answer to the boy band, notable American acts have caught on to the talent down under and have jumped on the bandwagon. The X Factor Australia has boasted having Ronan Keating as a judge for half a decade now, and in recent years even Red Foo of LMFAO has come on board. Unsurprisingly, when we re-created our own version of the Voice, we also endorsed the help of Seal, the Madden Brothers and even will.i.am, showing the world that our home grown talent is some of the best and brightest there is.
International music still dominates the Aussie charts. We love us some Ed Sheeran, go nuts for Coldplay and are obsessed with Ariana Grande; but ever so slowly, we are making our mark on the music industry. Guy Sebastian blitzed LA with the release of his single, “Battle Scars (feat. Lupe Fiasco),” and Gotye took over the world with “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Add in Sia and New Zealand local Lorde (who every good Aussie takes credit for), and it’s evident that we’re on to something good. While our vast, desert continent may be half a world away, we are showing that we have what it takes to produce some of the best music in the world.
What’s next for Aussie music? Who knows. But that’s the beauty of the Australian music scene- it is ever changing, ever growing and consistently creating some of the freshest sounds in the music biz. In the meantime, keep your ears out for that iconic Aussie accent and check out some of the talent our homeland has to offer, because it’s pretty great.