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News September 29, 2021

Newcastle Permanent responds to music industry’s call with ‘music on hold’ track

Newcastle Permanent responds to music industry’s call with ‘music on hold’ track
Fletcher Pilon

Customer-owned financial institution Newcastle Permanent is the latest in the corporate world to go local in its choice of ‘on hold’ music.

The call in August by the music industry – spearheaded by entertainment industry publicist Karen Eck after she was put on hold by Qantas for over seven hours – was endorsed by APRA AMCOS and a number of artists.

While many businesses increased their quota of Australian tracks, Newcastle Permanent took it a step further.

It reached out to its long-time Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation partner, NSW Central Coast-based Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD), which was set up to change vulnerable young lives through music, dance and mentoring.

The idea, said chief customer and product officer James Cudmore, was to pick a track by an artist who was being mentored by MMAD.

It was part of the institution’s strategy “to support and make a difference for our customers and our local communities each day”, he said.

“These are challenging times, and when we heard the music industry’s call, we joined the dots and wanted to be involved.”

MMAD co-founder and CEO Dominic Brook loved the way the idea was out-of-the-box.

“It was a unique way to promote our local music.”

A number of tracks were considered but the final cut went to ‘For The First Time’, written and performed by local teen singer songwriter Fletcher Pilon.

As a 14-year old he won 2016’s Australia’s Got Talent with a song he wrote for his brother Banjo who died after being struck by a car while out skateboarding.

The track was produced by a group of young artists brought together through MMAD and Universal Music Australia.

Newcastle Permanent will pick up all music licensing fees for the track, and all revenue generated goes to MMAD’s programs.

An earlier $50,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation allowed MMAD to set up its online youth centre Access All Areas to help young creatives sharpen their skills.

The Foundation also funded MMAD’s podcast last year, Music Saved Me, which featured Conrad Sewell, Paul Dempsey, L-Fresh the Lion, GRAACE, Mitch Tambo and MMAD alumni on coping with dark periods in their lives.


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