Exclusive interview with Grahame Lynch, a very successful media professional, publisher, music producer and previous judge for for Girls Rock Asia season 1
What do you do for a living?
I work in publishing and journalism, particularly in the technology area.
In terms of what I do, it’s particularly exciting times for us with the beginning of 5G and the development of a space industry in Australia.
As a music producer, is it harder for your kind of music these days?
I don’t need to do music for a living, so I can do the music that I want to do.
Which doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be successful, or known, or liked.
So the music I make is accessible. I’m not making music for teenagers. I’m making music for myself. I was a teenager once and I thought that my parents’ music was really awful and horrible.I’m totally cool with the generational aspect of music. That’s how you define yourself as a generation.
What do you like about the music scene in Asia?
What I like about the music scene in Asia is how cross cultural it is.
A teenager in Thailand might like western music, Thai music, J-pop, K-pop, Chinese music.
That’s what I like about it – the different influences, the different styles people listen to.
How is the Australian music scene?
I think Australia has a fantastic music scene. In terms of per-capita, it probably punches higher than any other country in the world, particularly in terms of alternative music.
There is no other country in the world that has a government funded national radio network that only plays alternative Australian music, or alternative local music.
We have one here in the form of Triple-J. We have an amazing community radio sector. We have a really strong infrastructure to support music, and that really makes a big difference.
What’s happening now in the women’s music scene since you moved back to Sydney?
My perception is that there are a lot of exciting things happening with women in Australian music, particularly singer-songwriters. And, also in electronic music, which is my particular milieu.
How difficult is it for Asian artists to be successful?
I think becoming famous in Asia is very hard because you are talking about a continent that has 40-50 countries in total. And, it's not traditionally a center for global music in the world in the way that maybe America or the UK, or to a lesser extent even France and Spain are.
So it’s possible that only a career in Japan offers an international channel. But it can be done. And there are people from Thailand in the past such as Hugo and Tata Young who have done very well internationally. So it’s not impossible. It can be done.
Does the English barrier matter?
I think it’s a barrier for anyone in the world who doesn’t speak English. It’s as much a barrier for a Russian or a German or for someone in Sub-Saharan Africa. English is the global language of music.
What do you think about our platform, which is supporting girl musicians?
In society generally, we are trying to get women to participate in all of the walks of life of society in the world. Maybe it’s in the parliament, in the courtroom, maybe in business, and it should be the same for music.
We have to give them, for want of a better term, a “safe space” to express themselves.
Now, that’s what Girls Rock Asia does. It provides that platform. It provides a positive reinforcement. And no one else is doing it, so it’s really important.
As one of the judges for Girls Rock Asia season 1, what do you want to say to the girl musicians thinking of joining season 2?
Aim higher. And what I mean by that don’t set your limit as just being in a rock band doing cover versions in a bar. That’s perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you can do things differently as well. Write your own songs. Try and challenge the audience as much as you can because you are making a statement.
If you have an all-girl rock band, that’s a statement. But don’t stop there. Make a bigger statement with your originality and your ideas and your creativity.
What’d you say to those girl musicians who couldn’t make it?
Not everyone in music has to be on a stage. There are lots of fulfilling roles to be played in other arenas: the booking agents, the managers, production.
I would love to see more women in studios.
I know a couple, but there should be a lot more. So there’s lots of roles you can play in the music industry without having to have the spotlight on you all the time.