A singing star in the making

Independent artist Urlik Mageza. (Africa Day Australia)

By Afraa Kori

Singer-songwriter Urlik Mageza from Wyndham Vale is taking his music to another level and leaving a lasting impact on the local music scene.

With a talent and passion that sets him apart, the 19-year-old African Australian has been selected in a highly competitive and professional music program.

“The Boite is a program that is made to prepare artists ready for the entertainment industry. I was chosen with six other artists to be mentored by people who have navigated the same journey that we are on and now they are passing on their knowledge to us,” Mageza said.

Launched in 2022, the program empowers emerging musicians and provides access to resources, skills, assets, and opportunities for networking.

The Boite’s Portfolio Project has also curated a music performance series titled Suitcase 2, featuring Urlik Mageza, Chantelle Beale and Sanaz Saadatfar.

Locals and visitors are invited to witness a night of creativity held at Open Studio in Northcote on May 16 7:30pm-9:30pm.

Mageza said the program has transformed his life and he’s excited to give his audience a life-changing experience at the show.

“My supporters should expect to see growth in my vocal abilities, stage performance and good vibes. It’s an intimate show so I want to connect with everyone that’s coming to watch the show and make some I spread the joy of music,” he said.

“I have so much new music to share with the audience and Australia in general. Last year I spent six months in Africa (Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda etc) creating my next project, which is different from what I have done before as an artist. Even though the music is different for me, it’s also familiar to me because it’s what I grew up listening to. This is why I am excited about the performance, it’s the first time I perform most of the track (old and new).

“I want my audience to leave the show feeling refreshed, inspired, and happier than how they came. I have been blessed with a very supportive and authentic community. They always motivate me to work harder and strive for more and always want new music.”

The Boite’s project manager and marketing officer, Ellen Chan said identifying talent is just the beginning but breaking down barriers is the real game changer.

“A part of the program is we have workshops aimed at developing the skills of the artists, particularly because they’re independent artists so we don’t all have access and the luck of having managers doing all the admin work for us. The workshops include writing your own press release, booking a gig and what kind of organisations can artists reach out to if they need help.

“Also putting together your electronic press kit so in order to do that, we take studio quality photos. The electronic press kit includes doing a live session video and once we put all of that together, it’ll be a good package to send to music venues and festivals.”

Ms Chan said inclusivity and diversity are essential values that have enriched the program, organisation and community.

“This is the first program in Melbourne that I know of that caters only to the culturally and linguistically diverse community. I haven’t really seen organisations focus on just the CALD community and First Nations community.

“This year, we have seven artists, including Urlik himself. These artists come from a range of genres and backgrounds, including folk-pop, Latin, R&B, soul, neo-soul, and Persian. It’s a really diverse cohort and we’re excited to be supporting them on their music journey.

“The Boite is a non-profit organisation and we’ve been around since 1979. This is our 45th year and our whole mission is to give a platform to our artists from all kinds of ethnic, cultural and language backgrounds. It gives them a platform to play their music, but not only that, a big part of what we do is connecting artists from all sorts of backgrounds to each other and kind of challenging the traditional understanding of assumptions of boundaries of genre, culture and tradition.”

To book a ticket www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1202230