Happy Mothers Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there! We had a chat to a few amazing mothers in the industry and here’s what they came back with…

Skye Walter
Music SA Marketing Manager, Wing Defence

Name and Age of your kid

Billy – 4 months

What’s your earliest musical memory?

Well incredibly, it was writing a song called Billy when I was six. It was about my dads best friend who died of cancer when he was 30. It was my first experience of death and brought with it my first song.

How has being a mother changed the way you approach your career?

It can be pretty full on at times, especially being a new mum and navigating all the new ways of life. I played a show at RCC Fringe supporting Lydia Lunch when Billy was just 5 weeks old, boobs strapped down and ready to roll! haha. It actually felt very empowering being a mum up on stage. Billy will always come first, but it’s important to keep your passion alive, not just for yourself but to show your beautiful little human that they can do it too.

What’s your advice for other parents in the industry?

Billy’s life has just begun so if anybody has any for me I’m all ears! 😂

What’s a local song you’re loving at the moment?

I Really Love You by Katie Pomery, My People by MANE, Fold Laundry Together by Heaps Good Friends & Demerit by Superdose Gangway… there’s so many great local artists releasing incredible music. I could go on forever!

You’ve been involved with Music SA’s live music festival, Umbrella, in the past. What was your favourite part of being involved and what would you like to see in Umbrella Festival’s future?

I’ve been the Marketing Manager for Umbrella Festival since it’s first year and we’re in our fifth year now… wow! Time has flown and the festival has grown so much. I’ve loved being a part of helping it get to where it is today and I’m looking forward to seeing where it is in 5 years time. I’d love to see the festival put on the national radar a little more. The fact that it’s open access means everyone can get involved and it excludes no-one, which I love.

Libby Parker
Publicist

Name and Age of your kids

My step-kids are Niamh (12) and Keeley (10)

What’s your earliest musical memory?

My dad is a drummer so music has always been a huge part of my life. I remember him sitting me up on the drum stool when I was about 3 or 4 years old and I’d bash away at the drums to the sounds of whatever yacht rock was on the stereo.

How has being a mother changed the way you approach your career?

When my husband and I got together the kids were 1 and 3, so I became an instant mum! My life changed dramatically and I shaped it to include them in everything wherever and whenever I could.

The girls are with us half the time and they have always been part of our musical ventures, when it’s been appropriate to do so. When they’re with us, we take them along to all ages gigs, festivals and shows. We make music with them and they’re both very creative. Like me, they’ve grown up with music and musicians in their lives, which I reckon gives them wider perspectives and teaches them a lot about the world.

What does your kid think of your music/what you do?

We are performers and music publicists, we also have a venue and I have a radio show on Three D, so our kids see many different sides to the industry. We are often involved in lots of really exciting things, which they are appreciating a lot more now that they’re older (But not old enough to be embarrassed to be seen with us!). Especially when they get to meet the musicians they love, like Felix Riebl and Courtney Barnett!

One of my favourite stories was when Niamh came home from the school disco really disappointed in the DJ because she’d requested Dallas Frasca and Z-Star and “he didn’t have any blues rock at all!”

What’s your advice for other parents in the industry?

Parents will find their own groove and ways to make it work. We enjoy sharing our music experiences with our two, so if you can do that, it’s always an absolute joy watching kids engage with, and be inspired by, music.

What’s a local song you’re loving at the moment?

I can’t get enough of Jess Day’s ‘Signals’.

You’ve been involved with Music SA’s live music festival, Umbrella, in the past. What was your favourite part of being involved and what would you like to see in Umbrella Festival’s future?

I’ve worked on publicity for Umbrella, have been an Umbrella audience member, and also I’ve held my own Umbrella gig. I love Umbrella because there are so many unique and exciting things on to complement the winter chill. Even if it ends up being held in spring this year, I can’t wait to get around to different venues and installations to see what amazing things our local creatives have come up with.

 I love taking my kids around to all the all ages gigs, particularly things like Girls Rock, so they can see that performance and production is accessible to them and there is room for them in the music landscape.

Ashlea Jaye-Crane
Musician, Radio Broadcaster, Artist Manager, and Industry All-Rounder

Name and age of your kid
Alfie, 4 and a half
What’s your earliest musical memory?

Playing Peter Combe songs on xylophone in about year 3, wearing inside out clothes. It was a great introduction to piano, which I took up when I was 10.

In Year 5 I joined the school choir and started in music theatre in the local theatre company, Bridge Players and Singers.
My childhood was enriched with arts and music from a very young age. My Mum is extremely artistic and both my parents have really good tastes in music.

How has being a mother changed the way you approach your career?

I tend to do a lot more in a shorter amount of time too because I know that I don’t have the time to procrastinate or stuff around.
I often get referred to as crazy because of the array of things that I do alongside being a mother.

Being a mother prepares you to work on limited sleep, come up with creative ways of problem solving in difficult and high stress situations, strengthens your ability to empathise with other people and be more in tune with people’s needs, and provides you with a new way of looking at the world, meaning you can approach tasks with “new” eyes. In a way, motherhood can be a boot camp for working within the music industry.

The amount of times that I have seen a strong correlation between how I parent and working within the industry is almost comical.

Being a mother has made me more selective with my time. Because I have less free time than most of my friends, I really make the most of the time that I DO have to do things that fill up my cup and get out as much as possible. I often use working gigs and festivals as a way to socialise too, which is helpful when you want to both work AND socialise with the industry. It has meant that a large majority of my friends are within the industry, which is a HUGE positive given what I am most passionate about.

What does your kid think of your music/what you do?

Alfie thinks it’s both the coolest and also the most annoying thing in the world.
He loves playing music but isn’t really a fan of how loud live music can be sometimes. If there’s not a giant crowd he isn’t so bad.

He’s been to a lot of gigs in the past couple of years. He thoroughly enjoys hanging out with my friends and playing with any other kids that might be around. He is highly enthusiastic about the arts and music, and keeps anybody that dares to have a conversation with him highly entertained and engaged. When he’s at gigs he is easily identifiable due to his fluorescent green ear muffs. Most of the Adelaide music community knows who he is.
His favourite venue/ pub is 100% the Crown and Anchor because of the games table out near the fire place.

What’s your advice for other parents in the industry?

Find yourself a good support system and introduce your kids to live music as early as possible.

They’ll either love it or hate it, but hopefully by introducing them early they will love it as much as you do. Not only that, they gain so many new aunts and uncles in the process. If you take them to gigs, events or festivals, they’ll have close relationships with your friends and co-workers, so when you have to take them with you, you’ll have extra eyes on them. People in the industry can be very accommodating when it comes to kids. A lot of them are big kids anyway, so your kids will fit right in.

Another piece of advice, have low expectations as to how your kids will go with the live music and events is a must. I took Alfie to Womad this year on the last night and he fell asleep 2 songs into Matt Corby after pushing his way to the very front. Find the funny and comical moments in your kids having a relationship with music and the music community. I can guarantee there will be a lot of frustrating moments. Your friends will love a lot of the things your kids do that you find annoying. Just laugh it off. You’re already doing an amazing job. Kids needs arts and culture. They actually crave it. Just give yourself a hi-5 and chill. It’s chaos in the early years but it 100% gets easier and more rewarding.

What’s a local song you’re loving at the moment?

This one is a tough one. I have a radio show on Three D Radio, so I have a lot of favourites.
At the moment I’m loving “Black and Blue” by Young Offenders, “What I Do” and “Make It On My Own” by Wanderers, and “How Do We Look SO Good?” by Stellie.

You’ve been involved with Music SA’s live music festival, Umbrella, in the past. What was your favourite part of being involved and what would you like to see in Umbrella Festival’s future?

The opening night street parties are definitely a highlight of mine.
I love that Umbrella is kind of like a music equivalent of Fringe that happens during winter. It really keeps the city buzzing.
Last year’s Umbrella was definitely my favourite one. I was kept busy with a few events and gigs last year. A highlight is always Scouted.

I’d love to see the block party that was held on closing night make a comeback. Was great to see the Crown and Anchor, Roxies and Chateau Apollo being utilised as a whole outside of Fringe.