In the local electronic and roots music scene, Blair Wright is making a name for himself. At 21 years old, and with a degree in performance behind him, this talented young man is branching out as a performer and recording artist.
Shortly after Blair was born in Brisbane, his family moved to Fiji, returning three years later to Australia and the hills of Maleny. At 18, Blair set off for Brisbane and university studies.
Last year he completed a Bachelor of Entertainment (Popular Music and Performance) at the Brisbane campus of JMC Academy, Australia’s leading private education and training institution for the creative industries.
“I wanted to get uni out of the way straight away – I knew what I wanted to do,” says Blair, confidently.
On top of 30 hours per week at the Academy, Blair was working 30-hour weeks in hospitality, giving him a valuable second career in hospitality. With experience at a number of fine dining restaurants, he is currently working at the Treasury Casino, where he runs the Lobby Bar.
However, music is where his passion lies and after finishing his course he decided to re-assess his direction.
“I needed to stop and think about things and do it properly this time. I’ve been performing as part of a duo, using one loop pedal with my guitar, and I’ve recorded an EP,” he reflects.
“But I wasn’t taking it seriously and I hadn’t got my head around all the equipment I was using. I was playing gigs and people would come up to me and say how much they liked my music but I didn’t have anything for them to take away.” Blair spent the first eight weeks of this year writing music and practising songs, ultimately recording an album at his home studio. A friend in the industry videoed him playing live and the edited tracks have been put up on YouTube under ‘MrBSydeMusic’.
“What I do is I create a song layer by layer – instead of being in a band where everyone plays at the same time, I make the song all by myself,” explains Blair.
“So I make the drum track with, say, a four-bar loop, which means the four bars keep going around and around. Then I’ll put something else over the top and use my effects to make my guitar sound like a bass, or my voice sound lower or higher.”
Blair has also put up a couple of songs on triple j Unearthed – last year the first song he recorded under ‘B-Syde’ got to number one for more than a week and stayed in the charts for three or four weeks.
Triple j Unearthed began as a competition to discover and nurture the latest Australian music. It has been running for over a decade and has helped kick start careers of artists such as Killing Heidi, Missy Higgins and Grinspoon.
The latest incarnation of Unearthed means that artists can upload their tracks to the site for everyone to listen to. The charts are based on how many ratings and reviews an artist receives and what their average rating is.
“The first two tracks from my album, ‘Through the Static’, have been lingering on the charts for a few weeks, which is great exposure. One track has had over 1,000 listens,” Blair proudly points out.
Live-looping has a strong mathematical quality and requires a blend of techno-wizardry with musical creativity. It makes sense, then, to discover that Blair’s mother is Corrie Wright, a celebrated Sunshine Coast artist who explores a wide range of media and performance forms. Corrie encouraged Blair to experiment whenever he picked up an instrument.
“Mum was a good push and dad, Paul Wright, used to be an IT technician at the local school. So, I have got the best of both worlds – I love technology and I use that
technology to be creative, which I got from mum,” observes Blair.
“It took a while for me to realise that I don’t want to focus on being a guitarist. It was only at the end of last year, when I got all my gear together, that I realised that I love technology and performance.”
With a potent combination of raw talent, passion, goal-setting and formal education, we’re sure to hear more from this young musician.
Blair has regular gigs at The Music Kafe in West End and has just performed at the Maleny Show. He will also be performing at the UpFront Club in Maleny on Saturday, 9th of June.
To listen to, rate, or download B-Syde’s music or find his performance dates, head to the following addresses:
www.youtube.com/MrBSydeMusic www.triplejunearthed.com/B-Syde www.facebook.com/MrBSyde