Power of giving musicians a voice

Published 5:00am 5 July 2024

Power of giving musicians a voice
Words by Kylie Knight

The Voice Australia finalist Zeek Power says he is pinching himself every day as he embraces his role as mentor at Clontarf-based Team Musicare.

“Being able to connect and help somebody along their journey through music, for me as a musician and as a singer and a producer it’s a match that I honestly pinched myself at the start. I didn’t think it was even real. I thought, ‘this is too good to be true’,” Power says.

He joined the team at the end of January and is working with musicians of all abilities.

“I get to make music for a living alongside other people who want to do the same. I just get to be their hands and their feet in doing that. It’s a pretty cool thing,” Power says.

“The thing that made it more real for me was those first few sessions, getting to see the results, the reaction of somebody who comes in for an hour or two hours a week and then they get to hear themselves back, playing an instrument or singing something that they’ve been working really hard on. That just makes it so worthwhile.

“There’s nothing better than being able to give. That’s the bigger gift, being able to give back in some way. That’s what Musicare does.”

Power was born in Bowen and moved to Brisbane in 2012, when he was 21, to pursue a career in music.

He was the frontman of a band for seven years, touring nationally and internationally, and stepped into the spotlight on The Voice Australia in 2019, making it through to the finale and coming third in that season of the TV singing competition.

Collaboration has been key to his development as an artist and he’s relishing the chance to do this with musicians at Team Musicare, an organisation which provides a creative space and mentoring for the all-abilities community.

“A big lesson that I’ve learnt and something I’m trying to impart to the people I get to work alongside here is … as long as you’re proud of what you’re creating, then it’s good. At the end of the day, the only audience or critic we should be creating to please is ourselves,” Power says.

“By staying true to that guide rail, you actually do the rest of your audience and listeners the biggest favour because the stuff that you’re producing is 100 per cent genuine and it’s 100 per cent true to its creator.

“That is a lesson I have travelled through constantly over my time doing music full-time. The more I pass that on and encourage people, the more I remind myself. Make the music that you just love to listen to and that you’re proud of.”

Power of giving musicians a voice

Making a difference

Power says his role as mentor is to be the musicians’ ‘hands, feet and voice’.

“We have clients who come in with different capacities, different abilities – physically, mentally, emotionally. My role as a mentor is just to come alongside them and do what I can to make them have the time of their lives in a music space where there’s no constraints,” he explains.

“If they want to create something original, if they want to learn how to play an instrument, if they want to just use this time therapeutically and listen to something in a really relaxing atmosphere … I’ll create that for them.

“Some sessions, they range from being very hands-on sitting in front of the computer and producing a full song in a session with a client all the way to having a client sit on a drum kit because they’ve never played drums before and they just want to smash away … or hold a mic for the first time and sing along to one of their favourite artists on Youtube.

“There’s no session that’s the same. My days always look different.”

His goal is to make people feel better about themselves and their circumstances, using music to express themselves.

“I think it (music) is a powerful expression because it’s not limited by language, and it’s not limited by intelligence or physical ability, mental capacity … it’s such a universal power and energy, and expression of the heart,” he explains.

“I work with people here who don’t have any control of their body, and they can’t hear and they can’t see but they feel. At its core, music is such a healing thing.”

And music allows people, from all backgrounds and of all abilities, to connect.

“Music is that great equaliser, that I think is really beautiful. That’s why I love doing it,” he says.

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