For those uninitiated, SQUAD is one of Victorian youth music organisation The Push Inc’s killer new Music Industry Mentoring initiatives, providing women performers aged 18 – 25 with the chance to be teamed up with industry professionals.

As you’re probably aware, the music industry though rather progressive in a number of ways, it can still be a tricky industry for female and female-identified hopefuls to break into and once in, to be valued within. That’s why mentoring opportunities like SQUAD are so integral to the health and vibrance of our music communities.

The Push’s Creative Producer, Kate Duncan said “This is a really important and exciting time for The Push to be venturing into programs targeted towards fostering young women artists and their future careers in the contemporary music industry. I can’t wait to see what personal growth and career opportunities develop for participants through their involvement in this innovative program.”

To get to know a little more about SQUAD and the first influx of participants, we caught up with local music industry legend and SQUAD co-organiser  Mel Krause. For more visit

What is SQUAD?

SQUAD is an all-female mentoring program for performers. The Push has been working in the mentoring field for many years and this is just an expansion on our already successful mentoring programs for 18-25 year olds with a music industry aspiration.

We match them with an industry mentor, they can attend industry masterclasses and attended a special SQUAD camp which hosted a huge list of industry experts and incredible performers who will drop in and spend some time with our SQUAD.

The Inspiration Behind SQUAD

The Push has seen a huge contingent of talented and inspiring young women getting involved in the industry and somewhere along the line dropping out.

Female participation in our programs has always been so strong but we wanted to do something more for these exceptional young performers so that they don’t fall by the wayside. A huge part of the program is about visibility for these artists and we will be working extensively to support and promote their creative endeavours.

SQUAD Crew Members

We were absolutely astounded by the level of applicants that we’ve had this year. We can’t wait to continue working with these artists and show you what they’ve been up to! We recently saw SQUAD member Gabriella Cohen launch her killer album ‘Full Closure and No Details’ at the Tote. The album which is released on independent label, Dirty Power, run by Cohen and her friend and producer Kate Dillon, has received the attention of NME and Rolling Stone!

Fronting punk trio, Wet Lips, Grace Kindellan will be a quintessential member of our SQUAD. Wet Lips’ PBS Drive Live performance recently was so fun and inspiring. Wet Fest, “a day of supreme wetness featuring Melbourne’s most moist bands” amazingly curated and presented by Wet Lips presents them as DIY dynamos and champions of the scene.

For something a bit different to what the other SQUAD crew are up to, check out Bridgette Le’s Leisure Suite. Having recently released and toured their second EP, Lay Low, and a killer set at Paradise Festival, Leisure Suite are firming themselves as favourites in the electronic scene. With a full band in tow, their live set is not to be missed.

Joining them are Hollie Joyce who also plays guitar with Oscar Galt & The Eventual Somethings, Demi Louise fresh from showcasing her new single Taxi Driver at SXSW, Biddlewood’s Tali Mahoney who recently branched out solo and is supporting Tiny Little Houses on their upcoming ‘Milo Tin Tour’.

We will also see a new divine and beautifully recorded single from Seavera, electronic artist Cheyenne Harper is one to watch out for, hopefully releasing music at some point this year.

Eilish Gilligan brings her pop stylings to SQUAD as well as her indie outfit Frida, last but definitely not least Francesca Gonzales has been working on new music with electronic / soul and R & B vibes, she also recently featured on UV Boi’s If She, If He.

Why It’s Important For Women To Be Supported In The Music Industry

I think it’s important for everyone to feel supported in this industry but especially so given we are seeing a real gap in terms of women entering and staying an active member/s of the Music Industry.

There’s been a lot of conversation about the issues at hand lately but we felt especially like it was our place to do something to help, support and nurture the talent we see every day.

Hopes & Ambitions For SQUAD 2016

The sky is the limit really! We want our SQUAD participants to leave the program feeling more visible and more supported and also to be active members of the music community. We hope to see some growth in their careers, which of course will be their doing with us along for the ride.

SQUAD Mentors

We’re working hard on locking them in at the moment. Long-time mentoring supporter and all round legend Ainslie Wills has signed on so has Adalita and Nun’s Jenny Branagan, so we are are incredibly thankful for that!

We had Jelena Goluza of Outright and Jo Syme of Big Scary drop into SQUAD camp, who inspired us with all their worldly career advice including talks on touring, labels and more. Journalist and Author, Jenny Valentish gave practical insight into working with the media, and Jennifer Tutty talk all things legal. Chloe Turner popped in to talk Music Victoria and LISTEN.

We also heard from past Push mentee Lorrae McKenna who talked us through her experiences at Remote Control records. The camp was no doubt, a money can’t buy experience! That’s not all from our mentees, we will also hear from many more in the coming months through masterclasses and individual one on one mentoring.

If You’d Like More Info

You should definitely check our our website / or our Facebook page.

Other Killer resources For Women Wanting Info On The Music Industry

The most important thing is to get out there and give it a go!!! But there are so many great resources available these days! Subscribe to our mailing list for all things The Push, we always have incredible opportunities!

[include_post id=”438975″]Music Victoria run really informative and essential artist development workshops and masterclasses which are mostly free for their members. Music Victoria also have set up an Womens Advisory Panel in response to a report they did on Women in the Victorian Contemporary Music Industry, who will be doing some great things in this field Being a member of Music Victoria also gives you a bevy of other industry related discounts

LISTEN, a not-for-profit org have put together a conference which runs over two days and has some really beneficial information, check out LISTEN and LISTEN Records to hear more about the gender conversation in Melbourne.

Jen Cloher’s workshops I Manage My Music are great for the artist who wants to take on a DIY approach to the management of their music.

For some inspo, check out oneofone, who feature some incredible women!


Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine