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    10 MIN READ

    Youth for an Antidismal music industry


    The music scene is slowly going underwater, that’s what the artists are saying. Some blame the incessant pulsation of Tiktok changing the use of music on such a large scale, whereas others find that the use of AI is turning us away from art at large. Despite the fact that most people’s streaming times are through the roof as we struggle more and more with the concept of silence, machines have interrupted our relationship with creative outlets massively.

    For the up and coming generation, the art space has been fairly barren, with COVID undercutting a few years of key grassroots development. In the Australian music industry this past year, music festivals have been cancelled left right and centre. Worse still, over the past decade we have said goodbye to Big Day Out, Stereosonic, Fomo Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass and most recently, Groovin the Moo. As more and more music venues in major cities begin to close, we look out at a world where without change, live music may no longer be considered a regularly communifying event.

    Ripe with hope and a deeply globalised view of music history, the future of music is rising in the void left behind by passed-on music giants. One human determined to turn the industry around is 16 year-old Ixara Dorizac, who graduated a year early from highschool in Meanjin. Now completing a diploma at TAFE, the artist is setting herself up to run her own record label full-time. Juggling study, writing music and organising shows is a lot for the neurodivergent creative, but it’s all part of her dream to stitch the youth back into the music scene with force.

    Antidismal, Ixara’s label, was born from a close study of Aussie musicians like Courtney Barnett and King Gizzard who laid the blueprint for an artist/label-owner duality. “Courtney Barnett had Milk Records and then King Giz they kind of started off doing their own thing. They started off booking their own shows, running their own festivals, and they made their community from that.” Being deep in her studies and surrounded by other musicians gave Ixara a clear vision for the possibility of achieving something similar. Similar to the growth of new-wave, and the NYC underground scene shown in the 2022 documentary Meet me in the Bathroom, the importance of growing a community to strengthen the quality and the reach of your artistry is not lost on the young artist. 

    “My friend Caleb, he was telling me about this documentary about the Saints. They were this Australian band in the seventies, and they built up their community by every Friday night they would have, this living room- it was like an unlicensed venue- they called it club 76. And every Friday night, all these punk kids would just go into this living room and rock out. And they built up their entire fanbase just organically from that.”

    “The scene is really important to me”, Ixara said. Having witnessed the downfall of Australia’s music festivals at a pivotal time of potential growth in her budding career, Ixara’s goal is to bring all-ages shows to Brisbane. After her last festival lineup at Springtime music fest got cancelled, her focus on DIY shows strengthened. Using the cityscape and its crawling features to host shows, Ixara has been turning skateparks and public spaces like the Moorhen Flats in Norman Park as stages of revival.

    An all ages audience is just, like, insane. Because if you think about it, an all-ages audience are potential fans for life.

    “I see it driving, especially with kids, because all these shows in Brisbane that are happening, they’re all 18+ and a lot of kids aren’t able to experience live music opportunities. And with that, being able to put on an event and having kids there, it’d be their first time going to a show. And that being their experience, the show that I had put on, I get tingly because it’s like, damn, they could literally be falling in love with an act right now. An all ages audience is just, like, insane. Because if you think about it, an all-ages audience are potential fans for life. Because when you fall in love with an act for the first time as a teenager, you fall in love with it head over heels. So it’s great to just be able to give that opportunity to showcase not only, like, live music, but also showcase youth oriented bands that don’t have opportunities to play at venues because they’re underage. It’s also a good space to fuck up as well because it’s, like, everyone’s supportive. You know what I mean?”

    With over 6k followers now, Antidismal’s renegade authenticity has well and truly captured the attention of the local community. Starting out though, Ixara’s first produced show was advertised as a party with live music. As social media began to take hold of it, Ixara switched back into the medium of wheat-pasting, bombarding local train stations and bus stops with word of the latest happenings for the label. Her fondness for more analogue mediums doesn’t stop her from appreciating the boundlessness of social media though. 

    “A lot of people see TikTok in that kind of new era as a negative thing, but I think it’s great. I think with everything I’ve learned to adapt, especially growing up. Because I’m a teenager I know how it works, but it’s just an amazing platform and there’s so much reach to it because it’s worldwide as well. So it’s just a great time, especially for independent artists to use the platform and break through. I understand pushing out content is really difficult, especially quality content, and having that consistency is really hard. But I don’t see it as a bad thing. Traditionally, like, you know how only certain people become famous, but now anyone can do it. You know what I mean? Like, it’s just there for everyone and it’s great.” 

    And for Ixara the in-person aspect of the live shows are strengthened entirely by the FOMO and breadcrumbs left behind by social media. “You can’t really replicate an event, especially if you don’t see it in person. When I’m seeing people post stories on their Instagram of certain gigs and stuff, I’m like, oh, that’s cool. But if I was actually there…You know what I mean? It would feel better.”

    Ixaras merch by @poorscarlet

    For Ixara connecting people with new music to fall in love with is so important because of the viscerality of her love affairs with her first musical heroes. She didn’t want to expose herself by saying ***  was amongst the initial list but they’re in good company alongside Jeff Buckley and Hiatus Kaiyote. Coming from a Catholic background, a lot of Ixara’s initial music influences were religious and hymnal, allowing her to develop a sense of what is earworm and what isn’t. Talking about her most recent highly-replayable track fresh figure, Ixara cites her church experiences as an inspiration: “I just think the placement of melody is so great, especially in gospel music. My brain has almost mimicked how to place it.” 

    The way her music connects with people is something that delights and intrigues the young artist. “I went onto Spotify and looked at the names of the playlists I am included in and one of them was called the I Hate Ed Sheeran Hate Club.” Ed Sheeran was actually her first concert, notably. Playlist naming culture is an entire sub-set of entertainment with some of the other playlists her songs feature in including complex feminine urge Tuesday afternoon, songs I’d imagine would play as we ran away from our lives, divorced dad and mentally ill to name a few.

    Being so vulnerable with her private life in music is brutal for anyone let alone a 16-year old still swimming in the thick of teenaged brutality. The release of fresh figure detailing a queer relationship coming to its end came with an onslaught of criticism. “People are like, oh, the lyrics are so specific. But then it’s like also, at the same time, how are you supposed to create something that’s you if it’s not from your own experience? You know what I mean? I feel like it would be fake if I lied about it.” Even though Ixara stays close to her vulnerability, having her inner world on display can be intimidating at times: “It’s really weird being in a position where you are able to be perceived and people are able to have an opinion on you and you can’t do anything about it. I’ve kind of just learned to turn off my phone.”

    how are you supposed to create something that's you if it's not from your own experience? You know what I mean? I feel like it would be fake if I lied about it


    Potentially the most captivating element of Ixara’s vision is how it considers the future of music. In partnership with distribution services Distro Direct and GyroStream, Antidismal is now a fully fledged independent record label. Ixara plans to use this established platform to connect more deeply with the education system and provide industry pathways for under 18’s with industry support and mentorship. “I want them to fall in love with what they want to do. And I just want everyone to be able to have that platform to learn and educate themselves. I just want to put on an all-ages annual festival every year and have all these kids work together and make it kind of youth oriented– make it the next big thing.”

    Stream fresh figure by Ixara now, and buy tickets to the Antidismal label launch in June here.