Upon releasing his new single, 'Bloodshot Eyes', Adelaide indie-pop artist TUSHAR has written an essential op-ed to inspire change in the Australian music industry.
It started in March of 2023 with my official showcase at SXSW in Austin, Texas. My band and I hit the stage and were preparing to start our show. I looked upon the crowd and saw the room was only half filled.
However, by the end of my first track, the room had filled, and people were excitedly jumping around. This energy continued through the remainder of the set, and I was overjoyed - I couldn't believe that my first overseas show resonated so strongly with international fans.
This is when I noticed, for the first time in my musical career, that half the room was filled with South Asian people. I approached several after my show, thanked them for coming, and then proceeded to ask, “How did you find out about me?”. I was then told that there is a huge community of South Asians in America who are trying to support other musicians entering the Western music scene.
I was blown away. I had never experienced this much support from people of my own culture back home in Australia, and it sparked a drive in me to start a movement of support when I returned home.
Since then, I have been passionately advocating to remove barriers for Asian Australian musicians entering the Australian music scene. There is such diverse talent here, but as a South Asian artist, I barely knew any others from my culture that I could comfortably connect with. It is my hope to create a platform that can bring us all together.
I have conversed with some top-tier artists and managers who have listened to my aspirations and who similarly believe in the value of this effort. Moving forward, I wish to engage Spotify AU/NZ to see if we can collaboratively push for an editorial playlist that is dedicated to supporting South Asian Australian/New Zealand artists.
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I believe this could be a huge step forward for the South Asian Australian community, providing a platform to share our pride in being not only of Asian descent but also Australian. A key benefit I envisage for Spotify (or other similar platforms) would be increased reach to a new market of subscribers and creators wishing to connect with artists from similar cultural backgrounds. Ideally, this will result in greater numbers of South Asian attendance at live performances in Australia, ultimately growing the amazing musical community within our own Country.
I won’t stop pushing and networking for change, and I can feel in my heart that this will have widespread benefits moving forward. I am a proud Asian Australian musician, and I will continue to push for more inclusion in the arts sector.
Bloodshot Eyes is out now. You can listen to it and find TUSHAR’s upcoming tour dates below.
FRI 10 NOV | THE PENNY BLACK, NAARM/MELBOURNE VIC*
THU 23 NOV | THE ROYAL BONDI, EORA/SYDNEY NSW*
SAT 25 NOV | THE SERVO, DHARAWAL/PORT KEMBLA NSW
SUN 26 NOV | NORTH GONG HOTEL, DHARAWAL/WOLLONGONG NSW*