Simon Mellor

Artist Statement

Simon Mellor's songs are for naughty kids and ungrown grown ups. His children's songs have found a home at Scholastic Press, where his collaboration with Anh Do has received industry recognition with the Australian Book Industry Awards, The Independent Book Publishers Awards and an honour with KOALA Book Awards. Simon's passion is for social justice and his brand of irreverent and bold humour often packs a powerful message wrapped in silliness and laugh-out-loud entertaining fun.

Born in Collarenebri, NSW Australia, Simon is a self-taught guitarist and songwriter. His first guitar was a Yamaha FG bequeathed when he was a boy, and his first song followed soon after. He also wrote rhyming poetry to his mother in letters from Farrer College, Tamworth. A short stint in Sydney in his late teens and early twenties plus a failed attempt at an Economics degree at UNE, Armidale followed. He never stopped writing, having now created over 300 songs, and counting.

Having finally found success at University with a Bachelor of Social Science (UNE), Simon is now supporting emerging artists and young songwriters to tell their stories using songs. The discipline and rules of songwriting provide a fertile ground that spurs artists to find new and interesting ways of expressing themselves. Simon's Mobile Recording Studio and Songwriting Clinic mentoring program has received recognition at the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards, with a Highly Commended honour against a competitive field. He is Creative Director of Magic Electricity Box, and when he is not writing songs or performing, he is with his dog Wonky.

Resume

Songwriter

Simon Mellor

WWC0606071E

238 Donnelly Street Armidale, NSW 2350

(+61) 0431220159

simon@magicelectricitybox.com

Skills

  • Songwriting, audio recording and producing albums and project documentation (CDs, animations and short films)
  • Visual artist, exhibition and event coordination and project management
  • Community engagement, liaising with stakeholders and contributing to effective teams
  • Learning support focused on arts-led methodologies, specifically music and songs
  • Social media, video promotions and graphic design
  • Case Management, supporting clients by implementing strategies to achieve successful outcomes.
  • Solar infrastructure, repairs, large scale civil works and domestic and commercial construction

Selected Publications, Exhibitions and selected programs and performances – 2008 to 2017

  • Looking Through Windows with Dr. Lorina Barker, a cultural de-colonisation project about the Walk back to Country and the Brewarina Mission
  • Eudaimonia theatre skills, - funded by the Regional Arts Fund (RAF)
  • Funny Green Smelly Things - Woodford Folk Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival, National Folk Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival and Australia Got Talent television appearance
  • An Australian Love Story - an original Australian musical theatre production featuring songs by Simon Mellor. Libretto by Simon Mellor and Irene Lemon.
  • EcoArts Australis - Black Gully Festival: EcoStage construction: https://vimeo.com/201476693
  • What Do They Do With All The Poo From All The Animals At The Zoo, with Anh Do and Scholastic.
  • Big Green Frog, with Anh Do and Scholastic
  • Brolga festival - Moree, with Beyond Empathy
  • Dhaygal Walaar - Sing and Learn compilation album - ABC Music (Gamilaraay language)
  • Kiah Kids limited edition EP published by Magic Electricity Box - Gamilaraay)
  • Learning resources: Kiah preschool - https://youtu.be/RbB2k-etaE4
  • 5 independently released albums
  • Singing Language Back - with Dr Lorina Barker.

Selected Projects – 2008 to 2017

Art, Music , PlayCommunity preschool and early childhood program.

Innovative arts program that combines art, music and play theory in an interactive and relaxed session for young children. Art, Music, Play is tailored for individual groups, and is particularly well suited to Language Preservation and Aboriginal audiences. I create education resources that feature appropriate Language and facilitate arts based outcomes through a gentle, relaxed and creative approach to literacy and early childhood learning outcomes. I work in partnership with educators, preschool directors and community stakeholders to ensure learning is fun, engaging and has impact beyond the duration of my visit.

Kiah KidsMoree Preschool education resources and language preservation project.

Working in partnership with Beyond Empathy at Kiah Preschool in Moree, I worked with staff and the children to create songs in Language, stage props, set dressing, animations and short film and music clips to assist the students to build confidence, connect to their communities and engage in their Aboriginal heritage through language. This project was a huge success that culminated in a public performance at the Brolga Festival, the release of a CD of children’s songs in language culminating with the inclusion of one track on the compilation album Sing and Learn, published by ABC Music. A link to The Kiah Preschool Song music video can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbB2k-etaE4

I Saw A Fish Art CDCrowdfunding campaign and social enterprise initiative.

The song, I Saw A Fish, is about resilience and first appeared in the Connections Project with the Moree community. Proceeds from the sale of the Art CD generate live music experiences for families in regional, rural and remote communities and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Wonksy Art exhibition. Backtrack Gallery Armidale.

The exhibition was a fundraising and profile raising event for the Backtrack Program and coincided with the opening of their new dedicated art space. It was multimedia and interactive experience encompassing sculptor, paintings, installations video and audio. The exhibitiona raised over $5000 to support Backtracks Paws Up program.

Eudaimonia - Funded by Regional Arts Fund

A theatre skills workshop program funded by the Regional Arts Fund (RAF), Eudaimonia visit 8 communities, trained 153 young people in theatre and performance skills and 12 digital audio stories were recorded, capturing the voices and talents of the participants for sharing in their communities.

Funny Green Smelly Things

The Funny Green Smelly Things comprised of two musicians, myself and Merri May Gill, touring regional and metro centres along the east coast of Australia. We played grotty kids songs, which parents loved. Tour highlights include Woodford Folk Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival, National Folk Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival and Australia Got Talent television appearance. The Funny Green Smelly Things catalogue has subsequently been purchased by Anh Do Pty and has sold 30 000 units through the Scholastic Publishing company.

Experience

current - Magic Electricity Box, Armidale – Creative Director

  • Songwriter and artist – education resources and arts based activities for 3 to 7 year old children
  • Established relationships with Beyond Empathy and EcoArts Australis for community arts and cultural development work
  • Strong relationship with Aboriginal communities in Moree and Armidale to facilitate language preservation programs using songs, audio recording and arts based activities.
  • Published Book/CD’s for Scholastic Publishing and Anh Do PTY LTD, ABC Music, and self-published over 11 Albums and Eps
  • Demonstrated skills in achieving arts based outcomes for communities, including strengthening connections for young people to their culture, raising funds for community initiatives (Backtrack et al) and contributing to language preservation objectives for Aboriginal groups and nations.
  • Overseeing artists and creative direction of programs
  • Facilitator and principal artists for the Art, Music, Play show.

Education

Certificate IV in New Small Business Management

  • coordinate and implement customer service strategies
  • monitor a safe workplace
  • promote innovation and change
  • produce complex business documents
  • promote the business
  • implement effective workplace relationships

University of New England, Armidale - Bachelor of Social Science (B. Soc Sci.)

  • The Bachelor of Social Science at UNE provides a core background in Psychology, Sociology and in skills directly related to research and the workplace. Graduates will be able to research human behaviour from the perspective of both the individual and the group and will be able to choose the most appropriate approach to apply to researching and writing reports for work.

Artist Biography

Born in Collarenebri, NSW Australia, Simon is a self-taught guitarist and songwriter. His first guitar was a Yamaha FG bequeathed when he was a young boy, and his first song followed soon after. He wrote rhyming poetry to his mother in letters from Farrer College, when he was boarding in Tamworth.

A short stint in Sydney in his late teens and early twenties saw Simon perform at the Harold Park Hotel and the Bat and Ball Hotel, with a gig at the Central Coast Leagues Club the culmination of the season. He has never stopped writing. Simon left Sydney and started at Robb College, the University of New England in Armidale, to study Economic/Geography in 1985. Having realised what a horrible life decision that was, Simon was not too concerned with his uni work, and instead focused his considerable talent and quirky perspective to writing songs, stories and catchy poetry. Simon has travelled all over Australia, performing his unique and engaging kids songs to crowds big and small, including the Woodford Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival and a brief appearance on Australia’s Got Talent. His success includes a publishing project with Anh Do (Australian Comedian) and Scholastic Press, resulting in 2 books, over 40 000 units sold and a KOALA Children’s Choice honour for “What Do They Do With All The Poo From All the Animals At the Zoo”? His work has also received longlist and shortlist nominations for the Independent Booksellers Award, The Australian Book Industry Awards and the REAL awards in the Northern Territory and Victoria, Australia.

Press Release archive

Distributors

Articles

Songwriters Duty and Privilege - May 31st, 2017

Music and Songs For Kids - April 28th, 2017

Where Do Ideas Come From - June 24th, 2017

Artist Press Photo