Polly Snowden, producer and music lover

I just want to share my knowledge and see other people thrive ...

No one knows the Gold Coast music scene like Polly Snowden. She’s a born-and-bred Gold Coaster, went to Elanora High School, was heavily involved in surf life saving and has an incredibly strong passion for music. Polly is a self-professed Jack of all trades – she’s a producer, photographer, mentor and avid lover of all-things musical. This under-the-radar wonder woman is also behind insanely popular local music events like Seaside Sounds, which is just one of a number of events she stages as part of her crusade to give local musicians a platform to have their sounds heard. Polly is armed with a helluva lot of knowledge and she is sprinkling it around like fairy dust – from mentoring local musicians to touring with rock stars and holding hip-hop workshops with aboriginal communities. She’s a good egg and the Gold Coast is pretty damn lucky to have her working her musical magic every single day across the city. We caught up for a chat about the local music scene, spreading the love and singing old-school beats in the back of a Valiant.

You wear a lot of different hats – you’re a producer, photographer, business owner, music lover, to name a few. When someone asks you what it is that you do for a crust, what do you say?
It’s a fucking lot, isn’t it? I say that I am a lover of life and I love the arts and music, and I like being in the service of others. As a director – I direct music videos, as a photographer – I shoot album covers (I just shot Michael Franti’s cover in Bali) and as a member of the arts community – I aim to get everyone together and create different music series’ (like Seaside Sounds) where I get to see kids and families dancing to music in our public parks. I guess I am a Jack of all trades and attempting to be a master of some.

Tell us a little about how you came to be so involved in the music industry?
I’m from the Gold Coast –  I went to Elanora High School, was into surf boats and surf life saving, and I just really loved the whole music scene. Then I lived in Japan for three years and ran a Brazilian night club. I worked nights over there and had my days free, so I brought a camera and started taking photos. All my friends were musicians and I started doing all their press and promo shots and then I started touring with them. I lived in a tour bus for a few years with Michael Franti and about 15 other dudes, and I guess it kind of all went from there.

You’ve been heavily entrenched in the Gold Coast music scene for some time. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen over the past few years?
I think the community of musicians are becoming more intertwined and connected. There’s just more opportunities to play now  and there are more venues opening up locally. Yeah, I think it’s in a really healthy place.

What do you think the future holds for the next generation of local Gold Coast musicians?
Well, I’ve actually got something big in the mix being planned, which could have a very big impact on that. I’ll let you stew on that for a while … but it’s very exciting! In general though, I think there will be a lot of connectedness and people helping each other out in the industry. For me, I also run music workshops and one-on-one manifestation sessions with local musicians to help them dream big and create a road map, and I’ll continue to do that into the future to help them build on their dreams.

How did you fall into the mentoring side of things?
I guess I like seeing others thrive – and because I have worked in the music industry and have been exposed to the ins and outs for a really long time and I just want to share my knowledge and see other people thrive.

What’s your earliest memory of music?
My mum used to drive this old Valiant and she was a music lover. She would have all of these old-school hits playing in the car and a distinctly remember all of us, the entire family, singing along in the car.

What Gold Coast musicians should we have our eyes on at the moment?
The Twine – they were at Seaside Sounds last week and they are so fucking great. Satisvibes – they’ve got a new album coming out, Electrik Lemonade are my favourite party band in the city, and the Hussy Hicks are totally amazing.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If it’s in relation to having children, it’s from Michael Franti – don’t turn the music down, turn the music up! And as a working mum, the best advice I’ve received is that kids can sleep anywhere … my daughter Jupiter has been going to gigs with me since she was born! In relation to life, best advice is live the dream, but keep it real.

Keen to check out some of the local live-music events that Polly Snowden is behind? Get to Seaside Sounds and the Nobby’s Sunday Sessions this weekend to soak up the goodness.


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