Milly in america
2018 started off with a bang for sure. I found myself sponsored by Outward Sound to attend the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, which is the world’s largest gathering of the Folk music industry and community. There were so many genres represented, ranging from americana and blues to celtic and singer-songwriter. I was absolutely in my element. The most exciting part was how their were people from 27 different countries - and I was representing New Zealand!
Turns out, New Zealand has a bit of a bad-ass reputation overseas. I was approached by a lot of foreign industry people, especially the Americans and Canadians, who told me that out of the hundreds of artists in attendance they always pay special attention to us Kiwis! I was worried that no one would show up to my shows (since there were actually thousands of sets during the 3 days) but ended up playing to totally full rooms!
I left feeling extremely grateful for where I come from. Kiwi musicians get so much support from the industry, especially when compared to America where even the most inspiring artists are struggling to be discovered. It's nearly impossible for American artists to get funding for their music, we're so lucky to have organisations like NZ On Air, the New Zealand Music Commission, APRA, even the support from other artists and radio stations like RNZ is amazing. The sense of competition over there was a really overwhelming thing to comprehend!
Speaking of supportive kiwi artists, I was so lucky to be sharing this experience with Anika Moa! She made navigating such a crazy conference so much fun. She's such a confident female artist, I was able to learn a lot from her.
Since arriving back home, I've been super motivated to make new music with the band. But first, we have to get ready for our festival debut in a few weeks. We'll see you at WOMAD 2018!