andrea orient foyer phoro kathy dora

Who is Miss Music Biz?

Business is not a dirty word.

In the creative world of music and art, many talented professionals are struggling because they haven’t applied the same passion and tenacity to the business side of their careers as to the creative side. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I help musicians, creatives, and those aspiring to work in music gain the understanding and tools they need to work effectively in the music industry.

Think of me as the key, the wise mentor, the fairy godmother who can draw back the veil and provide a clear path for you with the confidence to move forward, perseverance and motivation to never give up, insights into the closed shop that music business has become, and a way through the gatekeepers.

People often start off making music for fun; I want to show you that you can make the business behind the music equally fun and easy.

I have known Andrea Smith from Miss Music Biz for many years and I am proud to be associated with her.  Andrea is one of the most professional people I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.  She knows the music industry from the ground up and is familiar with just about every aspect of this industry and business.  Whenever I have got myself in mess promoting a show, festival or release – Andrea can come in and teach me how to sort it out.  I have absolutely no problems promoting Andrea and her knowledge of booking gigs, promotion, releasing product; Andrea is a professional at all!

Mark Batten ODonohoe

Weezal, Markystock Festival, Director

My Backstage Story

I grew up in a very musical and artistic household, surrounded by my parents’ love of music and art and diverse tastes. My mum was a potter, my dad a lead lighter, my sister a photographer, visual artist and drummer.

One of my mum’s favourite artists is David Bowie and we went together to a Bowie concert once — to the surprise of all my friends.

Later, I studied at art college and had a teacher who ran her own small businesses. She showed us that business and art could happily coexist.

I started working in the music industry quite by chance, running an original music venue. I made lots of mistakes that taught me heaps about ‘what not to do in the music industry.’ (And will make a very funny memoir someday…)

When my flatmate pointed out that I was very adept at guiding creative people with their business issues and giving advice on how to do certain things — like manage and market an event — she suggested I start a side gig, teaching people about the business side of the arts. So I put a course offering together and very quickly had it taken up by the local Adult & TAFE Community Courses department.

Now I have a heap of graduates all over the world doing art as business either in their own creative business or working in a creative field. I do this work because I derive great passion from seeing creative people achieve. It makes me so proud when someone I have helped is able to make their way and sustain themselves as a creative and feel good about what they do.

A recent graduate of the Certificate IV in Community Culture, I am a board member of Redland Cities peak arts body RedArts, and project manager for local festivals, events and education. I’m also a founding member of Queensland’s music peak-body QMusic and a Committee Member of the Innovation and Business Skills Australia National Product Reference Group to update both music and screen and media national training packages.

I have worked for many years as a Music and Arts Business Educator for TAFE Queensland, teaching business to musicians, filmmakers, performing artists, graphic designers and photographers.  Graduates from my courses are working successfully in the Queensland, national and global arts industries.

Some other surprising facts about me:

  • I used to be a graphic artist, which gives me insights into the visual aspects of branding (and means I can knock up a quick gig poster). When I was running venues, I used to design posters and CD covers for bands in my spare time.
  • I ran the venue where bands like Powderfinger, Custard, the members of Regurgitator and many of the key business people in the QLD industry cut their teeth.
  • The hand-lettered flyers that I created to advertise the weekly gigs at my venues are now part of the music collection at the State Library of QLD. A photo of me in the foyer of the Orient Hotel, working the door for a benefit gig is also part of the collection.
  • I was a spelling champion at Primary School.
  • I once illustrated a children’s book and negotiated a royalty deal, which taught me about copyright, royalties and the power of passive income.
  • I am a huge fan of vintage clothing, and almost everything you’ll ever see me wear is vintage. In fact, if I could time travel, I would use the skill primarily to shop — and see my favourite bands!