It may be something that slips out of our minds as soon as we get our first ID card – fake or otherwise – but it’s important to remember just how vital a role underage and all-ages gigs have to play in the lives of our youth, and the frankly brilliant Melbourne artist Ecca Vandal has taken a moment to speak up on why she feels that fostering more of these shows are so vital.

In a new video interview, filmed for the Voice For Change project, she explains the moves that need to be made to bring communities together going forward, drawing on her upbringing to give her thoughts on what we can do to help young people feel more a part of their local community, rather than alienated by it.

Among other initiatives, she’d like to see more underage gigs made available, reminiscing on a host of all-ages punk rock shows in the late ’90s that she feels brought people together and “blurred the lines” that divided them.

While she’s happy to reach out to people through videos like these, it’s through that artist to audience connection that the real inspiration happens, and it’s something that has gradually been denied anyone under the age of 18 in many cases – although many bands do make an effort to look after their underage fans where possible.

She talks about a range of other issues and solutions too, including youth and gang violence, the difficulty she faced in adapting to Australian culture, and the huge leap it took to view music as a career – one we’re very glad she took.

The Voice For Change project is a community-minded effort by the Mushroom Group and Music Victoria intended to inspire the next generation of young people through music, instilling in them a greater positivity and helping them overcome adversity.

As well as Ecca Vandal, the project has brought together a range of other rising stars in our thriving urban scene, including poetic wonder Sampa The Great, young rap talent B-Wise and hip hop duo Diafrix. Aus-rap shamp Urthboy has also weighed in, and footballers Majak Daw and Archie Thompson have brought their non-musical perspectives to the project too.

The series of videos has featured each of them sharing their journeys in an effort to help young people overcome challenges including racism, as well as broader feelings of disenfranchisement and social exclusion.

You can watch the latest interview below, and find the rest of them on the Voice For Change website – all up, they make for a very enlightening watch.

Putting her money where her mouth is, Ecca Vandal is playing the all-ages festival Field Trip in Adelaide on March 31. You can also catch her supporting COG in Melbourne on the 19th, although that one’s strictly 18 plus.

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