How many of us have lamented Australia's electronic music scene? How many of us have contemplated this after a life-altering set in London, Tokyo, Berlin? Well, W Melbourne is teaming up with DJ, producer, and singer-songwriter Kristy Lee Peters (that's KLP to you) to leave our country's electronic music scene better than when they found it with FORMAT, a new workshop with the intention of nurturing emerging female and gender diverse DJs.
Founded two decades ago in the humming 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels is committed to propping up the nightlife of every city it has roots in, from Bali to Brisbane. For W Melbourne, this means cultivating a safe and creative space for new talent to learn and thrive, with the goal of seeing more diverse Australian talent on local and global lineups. It's for this reason that they've enlisted the help of KLP to lead FORMAT.
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"It's something both myself and the amazing people behind W Melbourne have been thinking about at the back of our minds for years now," KLP tells RUSSH. The former triple j radio host has transitioned into a mentor role over the years. "I find that a big part of being an artist is about plugging yourself, it can feel very self obsessed after a while," she says. "And so, being able to do something that's not about me, and is about helping others, feels really awesome to be a part of."
FORMAT was designed in the spirit of FEMME HOUSE, a non-profit collective founded by LP Giobbi with the sole aim of developing women, gender-expansive, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ creative talent in the music industry. In March 2023, it was announced that FEMME HOUSE was partnering with W Hotels to expand its workshop offering, with the help of KLP and its own music curator resident DJ Minx, W Melbourne hopes to emulate this vision in Australia.
"I would love it to be a series," says KLP. The workshop is free and is designed for accommodate 10 people. Spaced across a day, attendees will have a foundational understanding of electronic music production or DJing, and are looking to expand their skills set.
"We'll have a bit of a jam together and play some records together," explains KLP. "We'll talk about, not only the physical skill of DJing, but then also planning your sets; because I think that's a whole other part of DJing is being able to kind of read the crowds and know what to play at the right time."
Later, attendees will head poolside to WET for an industry mixer, where KLP and Minx will join a panel of industry leaders to discuss the state of the industry. From here, there'll be an after party that KLP will headline along with another local emerging performer.
"It's so easy to compare yourself to artists that are ahead of you, which is why having some kind of connection and community, I think, is really important. So, if I was starting out, having something like this would have been so good not only for my skills but for my mental health... to have other people around to say, 'hey, social media makes it look easy but actually, these are my struggles' – that kind of connection is really refreshing."
"The older I get, the more I've realised that we shouldn't feel like we're competitors," KLP reflects. "There's space for everyone and the more we can create some kind of community, the better for everyone."
Secure your ticket to FORMAT as well as the after party at W Melbourne at Resident Advisor.