Brynn Davies is on a mission – not only to breathe life into long form journalism, but to champion Australian music, with Lunchbox. It all began as a web series when Brynn was working in music media and found she needed a creative outlet.
“I always loved Countdown and Molly Meldrum was my idol. I wished a show still existed to promote Australian acts but TV as a medium is dying – so I thought why not do a low budget web series with Sydney bands and see what the response is like?” Brynn said.
“I’d never done any TV work but we put together an amazing group of people, including a director and designer. We filmed in 2016 and then we had financial issues and time constraints. I realised what a huge job it was. We had nine 30 minute episodes without an audience, so I put it aside until we had more money to finish it off and put Lunchbox together,” Brynn said.
Lunchbox is a team of dedicated music journalists, photographers, dancers, comedians, presenters and working musicians on the first music feature site dedicated to Aussie musicians.
Brynn told #SheHacksNews while Australia has turned some incredible artists onto the international stage for decades, the industry has changed from what it was during the golden era.
“While the internet is an amazing tool to get your music out there, there’s such an oversaturated market that it’s almost impossible to make yourself as visible as you need to be. Plus, there’s lack of funding, decreased music and ticket sales, venue closures and lockout laws – challenges popping up all over the place with no definitive solutions,” Brynn said.
Brynn grew up in a musical family – her father is Iva Davies from the iconic Aussie band Icehouse while her mother was a dancer with the Australian Ballet.
While Brynn is passionate about music and the arts, she’s also passionate about long-form journalism.
“So the features we write are incredibly in-depth; we do interviews album reviews, opinion pieces, the works. I want to really champion home-grown acts, as there are so many wonderful musicians in the world, but there’s nothing but Lunchbox that really looks at Aussie music,” Brynn said.
“Young artists can be exploited when someone promises them an interview or review in exchange for money, thinking that’s going to get their name out there. But it doesn’t translate to sales and often those pieces are lost in the huge mountain of editorial getting churned out by big media.”
LunchBox doesn’t charge artists for feature editorial, so the audience knows that everyone showcased on the site is because the team has decided their music is seriously worth a listen.
“We’re championing musicians from every corner of Australia and NZ because we think independent homegrown acts should be celebrated just as much as internationals and the big stars. We’ve got to support Australian musicians or we’re going to start losing the heart of the industry,” Brynn said.
“Somewhere along the way we lost the art of long-form journalism – we’re bringing it back! There are so many stories to tell, amazing experiences to dive into, and you can’t get to the heart of an album or a band’s journey in 200 words! I always tell the team to write like they’re writing the cover of Rolling Stone, no matter who they’re interviewing.”
With stories updated daily, Brynn hopes Lunchbox will become a destination for music fans, critics and professionals alike; a hub for trend-setting, taste-making and most importantly, the biggest local champion of homegrown talent, committed to promoting diversity across all areas of the music industry.
The biggest challenges so far?
“One of the biggest challenges has been actually funding Lunchbox. I recently quit my fulltime job so I was running Lunchbox part time in the evenings and I’ve had to organise all the content. As a start up we’ve got some amazing numbers, so I’m trying to get advertising onboard – without advertising it’s very difficult,” Brynn said.
What advice can you share with other women in business?
“Never be afraid to ask for help from as many people as you can. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without asking for help from people with knowledge of sales, marketing, coding, web design, music management, and what the bands themselves would like to see,” Brynn said.
“If I decided to do everything myself, things would not have evolved as well as they have. We all need to learn from others.”