"Australia's most important voice"
|About Skinnyfish Music|
|Wednesday, 09 December 2009 01:00|
Listen to an interview with Skinnyfish Music's co-founder and managing director Mark Grose on the ABC's The Guestroom with Leon Compton
Skinnyfish Music is a Darwin-based company which records and promotes the work of indigenous musicians. The fundamental philosophy behind this business is to empower indigenous Australians to generate and pursue their own creative and economic activity.
Established 14 years ago by Mark Grose (Managing Director) and Michael Hohnen (Creative Director), Skinnyfish Music works in partnership with artists and their communities to produce music by, about and for them, and to take their music to the wider world.
The company’s aim is to provide opportunities for and to nurture the talents of artists who hail from communities across Australia and the region from Timor to Tasmania - through recording, distribution, publishing and performance.
Skinnyfish Music recognises the value of music for its beauty and ability to bring people together to affect positive change in people and entire communities; its role in recording and preserving language; and its expression of traditional and modern culture. Through the highest level of artistic endeavour and quality production, Skinnyfish is committed to presenting the music from indigenous Australia to national and international audiences.
As music is increasingly recognised as a vehicle for communication and engagement, Skinnyfish has a strong emphasis on training and community development projects in the homelands of its artists. Through special projects such as song-writing workshops, video clip production and performance, important messages about health, education and wellbeing are conveyed through music. These projects form an essential part of Skinnyfish Music’s belief that music can be used as an agent for change in remote communities.
Skinnyfish is committed to building long term relationships with musicians, their families and communities; and connecting with Australian and international artists, private organisations, government departments and many other associations which have significant influence on indigenous communities.
Skinnyfish Music strives to maximise the positive impact that music can have on people’s lives while providing a window to the richness of indigenous Australian culture.
‘Skinnyfish co-founders Hohnen and Grose… have given Australia voices that it had forgotten it had’
The Music.com listing for Australian Music Industry’s Top 50 ‘Most Powerful’ July 2012
Mark Grose - Managing Director
Mark began working in remote indigenous communities in 1979 (WA and NT). This experience, coupled with teaching disaffected indigenous youth in the Kimberley from 1985 to 1987, made him want to make a bigger contribution to indigenous life than his teaching role allowed. In 1989, Mark began working as a community development facilitator in the Kimberley where he remained until 1991 ahead of taking the role of CEO of Galiwin’ku Community Incorporated, the largest community in East Arnhem (NT). Based on a desire and determination to ‘make a difference’ to the lives of indigenous people in remote communities, Mark co-founded Skinnyfish Music with musician Michael Hohnen in 1998.
Michael Hohnen - Creative Director
Michael Hohnen was educated at the Victorian College of the Arts and played double bass through Australia and Europe in classical, jazz and pop (The Killjoys) ensembles for the first 10 years of his professional career. He then moved to Darwin where his work with Charles Darwin University led him to Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island where he conducted a very successful music course. It was during these workshops that Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen met and realised their vision to start an independent record label to help the amazing indigenous musicians in the NT take their music to each other, and to the world. Michael has produced and released numerous albums including the triple platinum and multi-ARIA award winning "Gurrumul" (for which he also received an ARIA nomination for Producer of the Year) and the follow-up album “Rrakala” which has reached platinum status in Australia.
On the 8th November 2012, Mark Grose and Michael Hohnen were collectively named
Northern Territory Australians of the Year 2013
Skinnyfish Music collaborates with indigenous artists and their communities including:
A new subsidiary of Skinnyfish Music representing a variety of artists including:
Skinnyfish Community Projects (and associated funding partners)
Skinnyfish Music Accolades:
Skinnyfish Music Album Awards:
‘Rrakala’ – Gurrumul Yunupingu (Platinum status declared July 2012)
‘Gurrumul’ – Gurrumul Yunupingu (Triple Platinum status declared October 2011)
‘O Hele Le’ – Ego Lemos
‘Malk’ – Saltwater Band
‘Djarridjarri / Blue Flag’ – Saltwater Band
‘Saltwater Band Live in Darwin’ – Saltwater Band
‘Manmoyi Radio’ – Nabarlek
‘Bininj Manborlh / Blackfella Road’ – Nabarlek