Entertainment Music How Melbourne’s COVID lockdown brought Alice Ivy closer to the world stage
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How Melbourne’s COVID lockdown brought Alice Ivy closer to the world stage

Australian musicians are keen to kick-start the live music scene. Photo: Michelle G Hunder
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Popular Australian musician Alice Ivy has shed light on how Melbourne’s arduous lockdown has brought her closer to the world stage.

After a year of touring and playing shows all over the world, Ivy has swapped the bright lights of the stage for the ones emanating from the laptop screen.

“I’ve been doing a lot of Zoom sessions and they’re challenging – it’s definitely not the same, I feel like it takes twice as long to write a song,” the dance-pop purveyor told The New Daily. 

“But getting comfortable over Zoom sessions means now I can write with artists in LA, now I can write with artists from New York.

“It’s especially weird trying to get a vibe going, but I feel like I’m kind of getting the hang of it.”

Alice Ivy
From touring with Vera Blue, Flight Facilities and the Jungle Giants, Ivy said staying home has been a struggle. Photo: Dominique Berns

The Australian live music and events scene has been among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the industry losing hundreds of millions of dollars since March.

In fact, 70 per cent of venues nationwide are reportedly facing imminent closure without funding help.

While the future of Melbourne’s illustrious music scene remains unknown, artists like Ivy are staying hopeful and making the most of a bad situation.

We’re a very tight music community in Melbourne and I feel like we’re going to bounce back really hard because everyone’s really hungry for it and desperate for it,” she said.

“It’s definitely something that I probably wouldn’t have considered before going through this pandemic – if someone reached out and wanted to write in New York, I’d be like, ‘Oh, I don’t know, it’s a little bit weird over Zoom, maybe I’ll be in New York next year and we can hook something up’.

“But now it’s like, ‘No, let’s do this, what are you doing next week’?”

Kicking goals

By now, many of us have grappled with the disappointment of missing birthdays, graduations, weddings and other milestones due to the pandemic.

Though the release of her second studio album was impacted by the lockdown, Ivy – who has worked with some of the nation’s biggest musicians including Thelma Plum and Safia’s Benjamin Joseph – hasn’t let it get her down.

As of recently, Ivy’s growing list of achievements also include two ARIA nominations, with her earworm of a song ‘Don’t Sleep’ up for Best Dance Release and Engineer of the Year.

“I got a couple of ARIA nominations last week, I used to watch the ARIAs growing up, I got my driver’s licence, I also got a dog too, so you know, kicking goals!” Ivy exclaimed.

“For me, personally, career-wise I’ve had the most incredible year, but also putting out a record in this time has been extremely anti-climactic.

“I’m not able to go out and tour … We had all these incredible plans for an album launch, and I haven’t even been able to have a champagne with my manager – it’s been a really anti-climactic year in that sense.”

But as Victorians slowly begin taking the boards off their windows and re-enter the community, our musicians are looking forward to restoring Melbourne to its former live music glory.

Australia’s homegrown talents are looking forward to a big 2021. Photo: Michelle G Hunder

Ivy has joined forces with W Melbourne to help find their ‘W Insider’ (someone who knows what’s on, what’s cool, and where it’s happening).

Sitting on a panel, the 27-year-old will help decide who has their finger on the Melbourne pulse.

And with restrictions continuing to ease, Victorians are waiting on bated breath to see that pulse grow stronger.

“There are some plans for some COVID-safe shows,” Ivy said.

“Hopefully they see the light of day, so watch this space.”