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Disrupting Music Industry Norms with Dare Studio

Dare Studios stands at the forefront of Victoria’s music scene as a pioneering female-led and run recording studio. Co-directed by esteemed industry maven Charlotte Abroms, Dare is dedicated to challenging conventional music industry norms and fostering an environment of creativity and empowerment for all artists who grace its doors.

With a decorated career spanning over 15 years, including accolades such as the Lighthouse Award, Fast Track Fellowship, and Music Victoria’s Outstanding Woman in Music Award, Charlotte has established herself as a trailblazer in artist management, creative consulting, and strategy. Her vision for Dare extends beyond the mere creation of music; it’s about nurturing an environment where artists feel self-sufficient and empowered to explore their craft freely.

Shortly after its launch, Charlotte sat down with in-house producer Julia Wallace to deliberate on their joint commitment to dismantling barriers for aspiring musicians. Their focus? Cultivating an environment and experience infused with values of respect, diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and kindness.


I’ve got a really vivid memory of me writing down ‘Music Manager’ next to my job description on an airport landing card. At what point did you realise you were a Music Producer?


I vividly remember getting an international Visa and my job description being ‘Entertainer’ – I thought that was really funny. The immigration staff may have thought I was a legitimate clown. I think I realised I really was a Music Producer in the last year when I wanted to and was able to be a part of every stage of music making, and some people asked me to contribute to the production of their songs. I am still getting used to calling myself one!

What inspired you to launch a studio?


Music. I love songs.

I’ve loved songs for as long as I can remember. I have always been focused on songs and how to deliver them to an audience who also loves songs. Through management and consulting, I kept stumbling across the same issues – people having songs but not knowing how to record them, not knowing where to record them, or who to record them with, or just wishing they had the skills and language to record themselves.

From the moment I walked into Dare, I knew it was the space. Open, natural light, secluded and private, with great people and an amazing energy.

Now that we have a space, it feels like the opportunities are endless. It’s a flexible and affordable arrangement. When people come in, they have a lot of clarity and context around the process, how everything works, how much everything costs, what they need to bring. There’s no guessing or confusion. It feels creatively liberating.

So, anyway, being a producer is a pretty cool title! I actually wrote down that I wanted to be a Music Producer in my Year 7 journal. How do you feel being a real life Music Producer?


I think of Dr Dre when I hear ‘Music Producer’ and find it quite funny to think I can call myself one! I just love to be involved in writing, recording and constructing songs. I think all artists are some type of producers in their own music, I just happen to really like the recording process and making sounds. I got a recording interface for my 12th birthday and have been making music since then – so I guess 11 years later, being able to sit and work in a recording studio and calling myself a music producer, I am pretty happy to be here and happy if I can contribute some of my ideas and skills to other artists music!

As someone who doesn’t make music, how have you felt previously being in recording studios?


Awkward! I rarely feel awkward in life. I’ve felt awkward most times I’ve set foot in a music studio. I remember I invited an international artist over to Australia to do some shows, and we walked to a recording studio in Melbourne when he was in town. We walked for literally over an hour to get there, mainly so we could catch up and chat. When we arrived at the studio door, I was like, “OK, bye!” I was about to set foot on my journey back. He said, “Aren’t you coming in?” I did go in because he encouraged me to, but I’ve just never felt comfortable.

I’ve been so self aware of not knowing where to sit, or if I can speak, or what I can touch, or who I can ask where the bathroom is or if I can make a cup of tea. Dare has been designed so that people feel comfortable. Like I said, I felt it the moment I walked in there. I think it’s because it’s not really an ‘industry’ place, it’s detached from all of that stuff. It’s just about music and we’re all just about music.

This is a good segue for me to ask you if you can tell me a little about who you are as a producer? I feel there are so many different personality types in the producer world. Which type are you? How do you generally work with an artist?


I am a very ‘music first’ focused producer. I’ve been a solo artist and session musician for years and just love playing and listening and making good music. Writing and recording music is a deeply personal and emotional thing to do, and I hope to bring a calm and compassionate approach to work collaboratively with the artist to make something they love. I’m not afraid to make a couple of mistakes or trying a recording technique that is a bit creative if it works for the music! I really want artists to enjoy the recording experience and be excited to come into the studio and try things out.


I love that. Artists making something they love is paramount. That’s the whole reason we set out to be part of the music world – to make and listen to songs we love!


What are you most excited about in relation to Dare Studios?


The songs. And the empowerment. I love that people can go in for one day and come out with a song. It feels like such a creatively liberating space for people to make music. I put a little note on the website that says, “We believe kindness reverberates in extraordinary ways” – I truly think getting the right ’types’ of people in the space creates an energy where people can freely create songs, and in turn, the songs benefit from it, the people benefit from it.

We’ve talked a lot about producing, but I don’t want to forget how we know each other – I love your music, which you mainly self-recorded. How does being a producer complement your own music?


I kind of stumbled into becoming a producer through recording my own music. Producing my own music over the years has led me to create a songwriting and textural production aesthetic that keeps evolving. For my own music, I use recording to inform some of the songwriting decisions, and the production can get very creative; it’s really fun.


Well, this concludes our little interview. I can’t wait to hear what you make in there, Julia! I’m so excited I can finally say to people, “Come record with Julia Wallace.” I believe so much in the magic you all make. It’s fun to be a part of it.

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