Music enthusiast Liam McPhan-Smith has always moved to his own beat.
But it was on a trip to the Good Life music festival with his cousin in 2012 that the Indigenous 17 year-old Ballarat High School student realised he could take his love of music and pursue a career out of it.
“I saw a DJ standing up on the stage and the crowd was just going wild,” Liam said. “It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It got me thinking how awesome it would be to make a career out of something like that.”
In a bid to make his dream become a reality, Liam who is undertaking his Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning at Federation College in Grant Street was given access to his own disc jockey mixing equipment and the opportunity to play for students and staff to showcase his talent.
With an eclectic taste in music spanning from electro, house, trance to rhythm and blues, the music room where Liam regularly practices at Federation College is rarely without a group of other students flocking in to hear him play. In a testament to Liam’s talent, the up and coming disc jockey, was invited to play his own set at this year’s Good Life music festival.
The music festival for under 18-year-olds showcases the skills of the next generation of musicians.It’s a fitting move for the budding disc jockey as it was the festival which inspired him to pay his first gig for an under-age event at Element nightclub last year
“It’s such a great opportunity and I hope it opens up doors for me to travel around Australia playing gigs,” he said. “I already play for friend’s parties and at smaller events but I’d love to be able to play for larger crowds too.”
Liam said he hoped to one day travel the world like his idol renowned Melbourne music producer and disc jockey Will Sparks.
“Music is something that helps you in life no matter how you are feeling,” Liam said.
“Whether you are feeling sad or something is bothering you it has the ability to pick you back up and make you feel good.”
Federation University Australia's Head of Ballarat Campuses Sam Henson said it was paramount the college campus’s highly it was successful VCAL program offered a diversity in learning. He said often students who had been previously disengaged in a traditional school setting could a find a new lease on learning when they were able to pursue something they loved.
“The more diversity the better,” he said.
“It’s so important we have a range of options for students to really explore themselves and find out what they love.” The Good Life festival will return to Melbourne Park this Saturday.
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