Keynote ‘In Conversation’ with Chris Walla and more speakers announced



Delivering the keynote ‘In Conversation’ and sharing his insights and advice to up-and-coming songwriters at The Melbourne Sessions will be Chris Walla, the American record producer, songwriter and founding member of Death Cab for Cutie whose creative impact and influence on indie music is immense.

Following 2018’s debut sold out event, this year’s early-bird discounted tickets were exhausted quickly. The Melbourne Sessions takes place on Friday 5 July at Kindred Studios, Yarraville, and is presented by APRA AMCOS and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

A ticket secures a place to a full day of presentations, masterclasses, workshops and networking opportunities for songwriters and composers eager to build their skills and professional networks.

The Melbourne Sessions will open with Walla’s ‘In Conversation,’ led by award-winning producer, songwriter and screen composer Jan Skubiszewski. From 1997-2014, Walla was the guitarist, co-writer and producer on Death Cab for Cutie’s albums including the landmark Transatlanticism.  His production work with the band laid the template for the ‘indie-rock’ sound and continues to reverberate through popular music.  

Walla’s extensive credits include the Postal Service’s Give Up, and releases from The Decemberists, Nada Surf, Sydney’s Youth Group, Tegan and Sara, and last year’s acclaimed album from indie band Foxing. Following on from his keynote, Walla will move to the recording studio as curator for SongHubs Victoria, guiding five days of intensive songwriting and production with hand-picked participants.

Chris Walla: “I’m so looking forward to being involved in all of the songwriting, creativity and collaboration that happens at both The Melbourne Sessions and SongHubs Victoria.

There is such an abundance of songwriting talent in Australia at all levels; Australia’s recorded music history is vast and absolutely unique in our world, and I can’t imagine my own musical life without the fresh and necessary perspectives of generations of Australian artists.  I was inspired a great deal by the last Songhubs event I attended in 2017; it’s clear to me how much these programs offer the artists, writers, and producers who attend them; the connections that come out of them are invaluable – and we all are better for the fantastic music they facilitate.”

A music business panel has been added to The Melbourne Sessions program and will feature some of the best minds in the biz: triple j Unearthed’s Dave Ruby Howe, songwriter and concert promoter Dallas Frasca, Matthew Rogers of UNIFIED Music Group, and artist manager and label founder Lorrae McKenna of Our Golden Friend.

The speaker list for the day’s 90-minute masterclass sessions has been unveiled and includes Cash Savage, composer Amy Bastow, Jan Skubiszewski, rising Singaporean singer-songwriter Linying, and former Toro y Moi guitarist Jordan Blackmon, who has shifted to producing and collaborating with the likes of A$AP Rocky and Tkay Maidza.

Additional speakers have also been added to the small group workshops, including Holy Holy’s Oscar Dawson, producer and singer-songwriter Woodes, and hip-hop artist DRMNGNOW.

The Melbourne Sessions was created as a high-impact day to foster the creativity, connections and industry knowledge of emerging and mid-career songwriters and composers as they make professional inroads into the competitive global music market. The day culminates in fitting style with a curated performance and ample networking time.

Hurry, book your ticket before it sells out!