Square 1: “I can see a very bright future for young musicians in Victoria”

Since 2010 Kardinia International College band Square 1 has taken many incarnations.

Featuring talented students from the school singing soul-inspired tracks, this year’s band is heading to the Geelong Show as part of the In Bloom showcase of local acts.

We spoke with band member, Camryn Sheehan ahead of the performance.

Can you please tell us a bit about your band?

Square 1 is a band based at Kardinia International College and has been around since 2010. The age of the band ranges from around 14 to 18 and includes students from years 9-12. Each year, the year 12s in the band have to leave and we audition new members to take their place with a small overlap in order for the year 12s to teach the new members all their parts – this helps the band to maintain its professional standard.

Playing in the genre of funk and soul, we enjoy putting our own spin on popular funk tunes as well as playing songs created by Australian artists in order to promote home-grown music. Amongst these covers we like to slot in a few originals. Collaborating as a current band as well as developing on the work of past members, we really enjoy being able to make our own contributions to the music scene and establish ourselves as emerging artists in the Geelong community. Playing at local youth events, markets and festivals, as well as events and functions at Kardinia, we are no strangers to the stage and never shy away from putting on an energetic and entertaining performance.

How long have you been performing?

I have been performing as a musical theatre performer as well as a musician since about the age of 8. Idolising Square 1 and similar bands as a younger student at the school, myself and a group of friends decided to create our own version called “The Ashes” in about grade 2. Despite rehearsing every week, we found that we weren’t really up to scratch for performance ’till around grade 4 or 5. After disbanding in year 7, I set my goal on becoming a member of Square 1. Joining Square 1 as a lead vocalist in year 8, I proved to be a very shy performer due to being surrounded by people who were a lot older, and more established, than myself. This shyness didn’t last long and I was soon able to become confident and driven when it came to my music, in particular performing in Square 1. I am now in Year 12.

Do you remember your first gig and what was it like?

I performed my first gig with Square 1 before I was actually a part of the band. At the time the vocal section was made up of two male vocalists, but to play the original song “The Lost Weekend” at assembly, they needed a female voice. I was very honoured to be asked to sing with the band and I remember it being an extremely nerve-racking experience to perform in front of my entire school with a band I didn’t have much experience with. After this performance, I was then invited to be a part of the band and played my second-first-gig with the band at the Torquay Bowls Club supporting the Sweethearts.

What can we expect to see from your performance at the Geelong Show?

We actually have a brand new line-up of performers at the moment with two new horn players as well as two new vocalists. Recently we have also been developing some new original material and the Geelong Show seems like the perfect opportunity to give them a whirl. We have a very exciting and energetic set planned for the day and hope to get a few people on their feet and dancing.

Who’s another Geelong act (or from around the region) you’d love to collaborate with and why?

Square 1 have supported Sweethearts multiple times and we really enjoy playing alongside them due to our bands being very similar in style and nature. As for collaborations, we play a lot of Melbourne artist, Kylie Auldist’s songs, and I feel as though spending some time working with her would be extremely exciting and beneficial for us as a band. We also idolise Melbourne bands Saskwatch and The Bamboos and often find ourselves drawing inspiration from their music.

What do you think of the current state of the Geelong music industry and where do you think it is headed?

Flicking through the pages of the local music magazine, Forte, it is plain to see that the Geelong community is giving it a fair crack when it comes to the music scene.

There are so many bands and emerging artists that have been forming and over the past few years I have found the Geelong music industry to be increasingly supportive of young artists. The FreeZa program has been especially beneficial for me as a young musician as they have provided so many opportunities for me to perform at events specifically for emerging artists with my own separate self-managed band, Hey Mammoth.

A lot of other members in Square 1 are also involved in other bands and have been able to develop themselves in the Geelong community due to the support given to local artists. However, with venues such as The Barwon Club and The Workers Club, as well as Pistol Pete’s and The Courthouse, it is not hard for emerging artists to organise their own gigs and events in Geelong. If programs and venues continue to support bands as they have done so recently, I can see a very bright future for young musicians in Victoria.

What are you social links so people can follow you?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kicsquare1/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/square_1band/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-102669324

Previous band originals: https://soundcloud.com/square-1-2

Unearthed High https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/square-1

Square 1 will be performing on the In Bloom stage at the Geelong show alongside other local acts from October 20-22.