Levi’s and QMusic, producer of BigSound, today announced the first five winners as part of the reimagined Levi’s® Music Prize, offering more support to Australian and New Zealand musicians following the devastating effects the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions have had on the music industry.

In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the music industry, the prize has been redesigned to offer support to more artists across Australia and New Zealand and change focus from international touring to national projects, skills development and supporting the well-being of artists.

The new Levi’s® Music Relief Fund in partnership with BigSound has awarded five winners $4,500 cash to go towards their music career plus a BLOCKS by Bolstr. customised online workshop, an online course with The Indigo Project to support self-development, insight and personal growth, and an outfit from Levi’s®.

The updated fund criteria will see New Zealand musician(s) – the first-ever in the history of Levi’s® and BigSound’s partnership – among the first five winners.

The first five winners are:
● The Beths (NZ)
● Tkay Maidza (SA)
● Miiesha (QLD)
● Haiku Hands (NSW)
● Jaguar Jonze (QLD)

Head of Marketing at Levi’s® Australia and New Zealand, Trent Bos is excited to announce the first five winners of the Levi’s® Music Relief Fund.

“Levi’s® is deeply connected to the music industry, and over the past four years we’ve seen Australian music legends make it big overseas through the support of the Levi’s® Music Prize. Today we celebrate the passion, creativity and music of our first five winners of the newly created Levi’s® Music Relief Fund” said Mr Bos.

“Our people at Levi’s® and BigSound understand how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the music industry and its artists, so together we created the idea to support more Australian and New Zealand musicians to get through this challenging period by going beyond just funding, and investing in their professional and emotional needs” said Mr Bos.

Music CEO and BigSound Executive Producer, Angela Samut said the refreshed prize is a great initiative and thanks Levi’s® for opening the prize up to support more artists and help them through a time when income is zero for most.

“Congratulations to The Beths, Tkay Maidza, Miiesha, Haiku Hands and Jaguar Jonze,” said Ms Samut.

“And thank you to Levi’s® for continuing to invest in our Australian and New Zealand artists. Levi’s support of our industry through BigSound has seen almost $300,000 go towards 10 artists who have gone on to become great Australian music exports,” said Ms Samut.

“We are also thankful to our other supporters coming on board to provide upskilling and wellbeing support for this creative and tenacious group of musicians,” said Ms Samut.

Now in its fourth year, the quarterly Levi’s® Music Prize, which is the largest single music prize in Australasia, was awarded to artists that have built significant initial career momentum via their BigSound experience, but who need a financial “leg-up” to keep moving forward on the international stage.

Administered by QMusic, producer of BigSound, in collaboration with Levi’s®, the prize provides multiple opportunities for BigSound artists as they build their global careers.

Applications for the final Levi’s® Music Relief Fund round are open now and close at midnight Sunday 5 July. To find out more go to https://www.bigsound.org.au/music-festival/levis-musicprize.

Previous winners of the Levi’s® Music Prize include G Flip, Gordon Koang, Ecca Vandal, The Teskey Brothers, Amyl & The Sniffers, Stella Donnelly, Alex Lahey, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Hatchie and Emerson Snowe.