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Emerging artists create this generation’s mixtape in a time of COVID
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Photos by Mark Calleja

Fresh from the Ebdale Recording Studio, five emerging artists are now ready to reveal their unique stories and music on a special recording – the Fresh Compilation Album 2021. The artists, ranging in age from 15 to their early 20s, recorded the album thanks to the State Government’s FReeZA program that is facilitated by Frankston City Council’s Youth Services Team.

The album is both a personal reflection of its contributors and a potentially iconic record of the challenges their generation is facing in the uncertain times of this pandemic. The youngest, Kaiyah, spent the lockdown of 2020 learning to play guitar and piano and live-streamed to friends, writing and performing in a therapeutic way. At the other end of the experience level, Bridget Allan was a regular on the Melbourne gig scene whose performance opportunities have been stifled by lockdowns and was given a new focus with this album.

In the final stages of production, Victoria entered its sixth lockdown, and BayZa Leslie – a volunteer sound engineer who also features on the album – transferred the project to his home studio, liaising with the other musicians remotely. “It was an opportunity to collaborate with people they wouldn’t normally collaborate with and to do things (musically) they wouldn’t normally do,” Bayza said. “I wasn’t expecting the talent that was already there, and all I can say now is I wouldn’t miss this album.”

The featured artists are:

  1. BayZa Leslie is a hip-hop artist and instrumentalist with sound engineering skills who focuses on heavy lyricism and runs the Hollow Door studio.
  2. Beast of Virtue – Jack Christie – is a bedroom-pop artist who blends nostalgic synths with folk and alternative music.
  3. Bridget Allan is an indie artist, guitarist and singer who has produced several individual albums, is a regular on the Melbourne gig scene and also at events for causes such as Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Defence Tour, Paddle Out for Westernport and Oxfam.
  4. Chaliah Hilton-Cronin is a soloist from the Mornington Peninsula who writes acoustic indie/folk music about youth, identity and heartbreak.
  5. Kaiyah Mercedes is an emerging singer/songwriter whose lyrics reveal intricate stories in a poetic style.

The album can be streamed and downloaded from Bandcamp at

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