The Listen Up Music Ambassador Program is built with the sole focus of extending the reach of Listen Up Music’s message. We partner with influencers in the music and arts industry, as well as mental health advocates and professionals. Our ambassadors play an active role in building our community of artists and advocating for mental health in their own spheres of influence. They contribute to the conversation around mental health with a view to removing the stigma. Listen Up Music Ambassadors attend a variety of our events throughout the year, often involved in the judging of The Songwriting Prize, as well as performing at our mental health music festival, Torch Fest. If you are interested in being a part of the program, please contact us through our contact page.
Meet our Ambassadors
Alex Smirneos (KÖDA)
Accomplished Melbourne based singer-songwriter KÖDA is truly one-of-a-kind. Renowned for her powerhouse vocals, bubbly yet fierce personality and electric stage presence, KÖDA presents a whole new world of musical eclecticism and delivers it with a trademark rebel strut. Never one to shy away from stretching new musical horizons, she now lends her skills and songwriting prowess as the lead female vocalist of the six-piece indie-rock outfit, Tempus Sun.
KÖDA's unique career thus far has seen her take on whatever musical genre, style or persona she fancies. Her current sound collates the best of her musical lineages, delivering unmatched powerful soul vocals that soar over an unquestionably rock heavy musical accompaniment. KÖDA continues to cross musical boundaries and demonstrate her incredible ability with experimental genre-bending melodies and challenging rhythmic diversity.
Confessional and sincere, KÖDA unapologetically invites us into her world with a lyrical beauty and vocal effortlessness that is both vulnerable and honest.
KÖDA may be young, but she is no stranger to the professional music industry. Her debut single “Scissors”, released early 2018 reached #1 on The Triple J Unearthed Charts as well as achieving radio air play and a sold out Single Launch show. Taking the industry by storm, KÖDA continues to play some of Melbourne’s greatest venues, and since teaming up with Tempus Sun her skills have once again contributed to yet another top 5 single, “Stopp”, released in Spring 2018. Always on the move and searching for another way to challenge herself, KÖDA’s sophomore single “57” sees her take a more serious turn lyrically and shows a more refined rock heavy sound.
Although clearly having an in-depth understanding of a plethora of musical genres, KÖDA was raised with a love for pop, citing P!nk as her first major musical influence. “P!nk brought out an attitude in me from a young age and that is definitely coming through in my original tunes and live performances today”.
Throughout her teen years KÖDA was introduced to many musical genres that would heavily influence her sound to date; Neo-soul with the likes of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. Vocal and musical pioneers such as Michael Jackson, Prince and Chaka Khan, as well as indie pop rock groups Coldplay, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys. And yet KÖDA always demonstrated a prolific appreciation for fellow Australian music geniuses such as Hiatus Kaiyote and Jaala.
After struggling with defining her musical identity for some time, KÖDA coined a new musical genre “Whack Pop”. Encompassing her love of intelligent musical elements such as odd time signatures, extended chords and non-diatonic movements, KÖDA filters it into a more palatable and refined mainstream. With an appreciation for pop divas and musical prodigies alike, “Whack Pop” pays homage to the influences of her youth.
KÖDA has since collaborated with many other Australian artists, including the likes of Tempus Sun, Zac Robertson, Sean Donehue, Rya Park, Emily Williams, Kaiit, Ezra Allen, Mark Jay and Sunshine the DJ.
KÖDA’s sound is a breath of fresh air for the Melbourne music scene, it is raw, it is informed, and it is powerful. She is incomparable and new and she is not to be missed, KÖDA offers a chaotic genius that leaves everyone and anyone begging for more.
Doolie Shadforth (DOOLIE)
Soulful, electro-pop songstress DOOLIE; QMusic multi-nominee and award winner is carving her own niche on the music scene, delivering a polished set of strong R&B electro-pop songs.
Blending pop, R&B and electronica, 21-year-old Queensland singer-songwriter DOOLIE (Doolie Shadforth) is riding high after an extraordinary 2018 featuring on releases from Paces (‘Don’t Run’) and POOLCLVB (‘Freefall’) and performing live at festivals like Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival and Big Pineapple.
Since establishing her recordings career at the age of 17, DOOLIE has proven to be a great songwriter, a powerful performer, and an obvious talent with a bright future. 2019 sees her debut release on etcetc with ‘2:20’, a song co-written with Melbourne producer GXNXVS (Lastlings, Banoffee, OKBADLANDS) and featuring Melbourne rapper Charlie Threads. '2:20' is the first taste of new music from DOOLIE since her 2017 single 'KØLD', which saw support from triple j, triple j Unearthed and Rage.
‘Doolie's striding into 2019 with a sense of purpose and a signal of intent with 2:20…’ (Tommy Faith, Triple J)
Emma Beau is a multi-instrumentalist who brings the stage alive with her unique voice and self penned songs. Having toured instrumentally for 10 years with the likes of Kasey Chambers, Jon English, Mind Over Matter and more, Emma now brings her own distinctive talent to light on her own stages around the globe.
Capturing the attention of some of Australia’s greatest performers, Emma has been riding off the back of a string of successful national tours, performing as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist on Kasey Chambers Bittersweet Tour, Shane Nicholson’s Hell Breaks loose tour, USA artist Jim Lauderdale's performance at CMC Rocks in Ipswich, and as a full-time band member in Jon English’s Six Is Enough tour.
Emma was the winner of the prestigious Queensland Music Award for the country section in 2019 as well as a key performer on the night. Her debut album was successfully crowdfunded earning Emma $13,500 to record in Sydney. The first single released from the LP 'Wild Heart' was number 3 on the iTunes chart, gained high rotation on American Country Music channel - Ditty TV, and held a position on Foxtel's Australian Country Music Channel.
The debut album is set to be released in June 2019.
Feeling most at home on the road, Emma has immersed herself in song writing, dedicating herself to refining her craft and maturing as a solo artist whilst simultaneously touring with other acts as a musician in her own right. With her quirky personality, angelic voice, and multi-instrumental virtuosity, Emma sets the stage alive with her blend of folk/acoustic/roots music.
Juliana Barillaro (Sir Jude)
Sir Jude is an Australian singer/ songwriter and producer from Melbourne. She takes great inspiration from FKA Twigs’ bravery with intervals, to St. Vincent’s edginess and The Weeknd’s pop sensibility. Her depth as an artist owes a great deal to her youthful immersion in a diverse range of music from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Imogen Heap.
Sir Jude immerses us into her musical world, which she likes to describe as the sonic love child of Drive (2011 film), James Bond and grunge tones. It is a cinematic pop that is hard to ignore. Her most recent work is her debut EP, Dreamlands. The project is a modern timewarp - a discovery of raw emotion through sensuality, individuality and imagination.
Listen Up Music Ambassador, Kaitlyn Secker is a professional singer and songwriter based in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past 7 years, Kaitlyn has shared the stage with the likes of Yothu Yindi, Sunnyside, Sampa The Great, San Cisco, Kate Ceberano and more. She has also had the opportunity to tour regional Victoria, the East Coast of Australia, perform in Italy, and play several festivals including Strawberry Fields Festival, Mullumbimbi Music Festival, Bello Winter Music Festival, Moomba Festival and Queenscliff Music Festival.
Leah Howard is that quintessential commercial dancer whose boundless talent and performance energy has allowed her to work as a triple-threat performer, freelance dancer, resident director and choreographer between musicals, corporate events, television projects and music acts (and very often juggling this work across genres, concurrently) over professional career spanning more than 20 years.
Leah has most recently been appearing in the Disney smash hit musical, Aladdin. She is the Resident Director/Choreographer for the Australian tour of School of Rock as well as The Rocky Horror Show.
Leah toured to Korea as the Resident Director for the UK Production of Avenue Q and has worked creatively for, Rocky Horror Live (UK), Xanadu The Musical, Australia’s Got Talent, David Campbell’s Good Lovin, Swing Sessions 2 and Sydney Mardi Gras.
Leah is a sought after choreographer for TVC campaigns including Bonds, Samsung, Telstra and Westfield. She has choreographed for Hi-5, A Gurls Wurld, Blue Water High, and So You Think You Can Dance Australia and worked with artists including Macy Gray, David Campbell,
Thandie Phoenix, Olivia Newton John, Cyndi Lauper, Peking Duck, Sam Sparro, Kylie Minogue, Vanessa Amorosi, Deborah Cox, Sheena Easton, Meatloaf, and Mika. Music videos: Olympia, The Vines, Rogue Traders, Faker, Young Divas, Paulini and Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
Theatre performance credits include: Disney’s Aladdin, Aretha Thomas in Legends! starring Hayley Mills and Juliet Mills, Mrs Corry in Mary Poppins, Avenue Q, Hair, Fame the Musical, Dein Perry’s Steel City (Australia and Radio City Music Hall NYC), UK tour of Tap Dogs Rebooted and Tap Dogs USA.
Leah was the guest vocalist with KD Lang and Jimmy Somerville for the Sydney 2002 Gay Games, performed in the 2000 Olympics ceremonies, and is the face of Disney Juniors theme song. Leah was also the host of Disney Channel's My High School Musical and appears in the feature film Happy Feet.
Maddy Rowe (GENES)
Announcer at Hit Network, Artist at GENES and Host at Maddy & Aimee
Miranda Ward (Austen)
Coming to you from a bedroom in Brisbane, Australia, Austen is hook-fuelled, alternative pop driven by electronic and hip hop influences, and a voice that flicks effortlessly between ethereal and commanding.
Since the success of her debut single Faded, Austen has continued to polish her darkly relatable take on pop with a steady stream of singles and vocal features, and has honed her captivating live show with support slots for the likes of The Kite String Tangle, Running Touch, Nicole Millar, Col3trane, Paces, a showcase at EMC and Bigsound, and a set at Big Pineapple Festival.
The start of 2019 saw her release ‘Anthem’ - the brooding electro-pop single that received Triple J spot rotation - embarking on a 5-date national tour of her own before jumping up to support Nordic pop sensation AURORA on her Groovin The Moo sideshows.
Mitchell Lewis (Hazlett)
The honest truth… I’m just one heck of an emotional, stubborn, simple, romantic guy. I rarely like socialising with large groups of people. My circle’s small. I can’t blow smoke up other people’s behinds for a leg up or their attention. I’d rather help people sort out their own life, instead of my own. I love all creative people but I’m inspired and jealous of them at the same time. I’m a little broken just like you. I am the way I am and at the end of the day people are going to like what I do or they are going to hate it. Either way this thing goes, at least it’s going to be honest and from the heart x
Listen Up Music Ambassadors, Muso, were founded with the mission to create more live music by making the entire booking process as easy and accessible as possible, for both musicians and hirers. Our goals are to create new opportunities for musicians, help drive business for venues be a driving force of growth in the industry.
We’re on this mission because we live and breathe live music and want to see more of it. You’ll find us either working on the app to create more live music opportunities, or in the front row, grooving along in support of our musicians.
The app itself is simple.
For Hirers - it’ll change the way you book live music forever. You can discover artists, book them organise logistics within minutes instead of hours, with invoicing and payments all automated. Oh and best of all, it’s free to use.
For Musicians - welcome to earn a living and hone your craft while doing what you love. Whether you’re an acoustic guitarist, in a neo-soul duo or a punk band - we’ve got hundreds of hirers and venues looking to book you for their next event. All you’ve got to do is sign up and express interest in gigs.
We’re to do whatever it takes to create more live music in more places. You with us?
Support Act: 1300 731 303 • Lifeline: 13 11 14