This October, the spotlight of the music industry will turn to shine on some of the unsung heroes and shooting stars tirelessly shaping and evolving the Aussie music world with the 2nd annual Australian Women in Music Awards taking place in Brisbane.
Featuring an array of industry forums alongside a night celebrating all things women in Aussie music, the AWMAs is the brainchild of founder Vicki Gordon, this year focusing particularly on recognising First Nations and multicultural performers, as well as excellence in artistry, technical and production skills, leadership cross-cultural development, songwriting, music journalism, music photography, film making, classical music, humanitarian work - and a whole lot more.
In the lead-up to the awards, The Soundcheck are featuring an array of Aussie women in the music world across a gamut of specialties - from production kweens to publicity gurus, and everyone in between, come join us as we delve into the worlds of some of our best and brightest who are taking the music industry by storm.
Today for our second feature we chat with a total creative powerhouse who has photographed some of the biggest names in the Aussie and international music worlds. From snagging jaw-dropping live shots to print-making, working for Mushroom Music and having pics published in Rolling Stone Magazine (both US and Australia), Fender (US) and beyond, come meet photographer/all-round visual genius (and 2018 AWMAs finalist): Lisa Businovski. Interview below.
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN IN MUSIC FEATURES
owner of Lisa Businovski Printmaking & Photography & visual magician
TIANA SPETER: How long have you worked in the music industry and what inspired you to pursue a career in the industry?
LISA BUSINOVSKI: About 16 or so years. I grew up within a music loving and musically gifted family. My parents were heavily involved in their community via music, it just made sense to find my place somewhere in the arts and music world. My passion for live music and dancing brought me to photography via art and the course I was studying. The visual creative route has opened an inclusive experience with music and finding good people within the industry who supported and protected me in my growth. These relationships continue to inspire and nurture me.
ED SHEERAN, 2018// SHOT BY LISA BUSINOVSKI FOR FRONTIER TOURING
TIANA: What do you love most about working in the Aussie music industry?
LISA: I love watching the growth of my peers, how they have developed and created a sustainable career for themselves as the industry becomes more woke and inclusive. From small beginnings in Perth, then to Melbourne via Brisbane and Sydney, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to work with people continuously throughout the years as I’ve moved around. I love that hard work and professionalism is respected because everyone who follows that guideline flourishes.
TIANA: What do you believe are some of the biggest challenges facing women in the Aussie music industry right now overall?
LISA: The conversation is getting louder and there is more conscious effort now against any kind of bigotry, but there can still be undertones when dealing in new working situations where the legitimacy of your presence is questioned. If you are working in a professional capacity, you shouldn’t have to be fighting for the right to just hold your own space. I think equal pay is important, being remunerated correctly, and when budgets are difficult, to open the conversation respectfully.
TIANA: What positive improvements (if any) have you noticed for women working in the music industry?
LISA: The strength of women’s voices in the community has grown. Their presence and knowledge being shared in work places and amongst the community. I don’t feel so isolated the way I used to, and I feel I can reach out to mentors, regardless of age. It’s the incredible experience and determination of individuals who are making an impact. I’m lucky to be working at Mushroom Music, as there is a strong team of women and men who support each other.
JULIA JACKLIN ONSTAGE AT THE FORUM // PIC BY LISA BUSINOVSKI
TIANA: What's your best piece of advice for any women looking to succeed in the music industry?
LISA: Learn to respect and value your skills and knowledge, to align yourself with people who operate with the same morals and values and who treat you with respect, kindness and honesty. To always try to learn and improve your skill set and to reach out to the community. Go to gigs, go to conferences, go to workshops. Go online and watch keynote speeches if you don’t have access to those opportunities. You don’t have to say yes to every job offered, especially the ones that don’t align with you. Work hard and be competitive with yourself, be engaged with others in your field to learn from each other.
TIANA: And finally, what's one song by a female artist that inspires you and why?
LISA: Seinabo Sey - I Owe You Nothing. So much swagger and empowerment. The lyrics demand respect of boundaries. It’s a comment for me about society in general. Women have been viewed through a certain lens with the male gaze. Seinabo Say is a young artist, but its voices like hers which will carry the war cry against injustice, to rise up demanding for equality and agency. It actually makes me feel optimistic and not sink into the negative rhetoric when one is frustrated or feeling diminished.
I OWE YOU NOTHING (SEINABO SEY)
THE 2019 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN IN MUSIC AWARDS WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE 8TH AND 9TH OF OCTOBER AT THE BRISBANE POWERHOUSE IN BRISBANE.
FOR ALL AWMAS INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER