James ‘Monte’ Irvine, host of weekly radio show Unchartered Wednesday Nights, is heading to the Musicoz Australian Independent Music Awards.
The 2LVR local presenter has interviewed over 100 artists over the eight months his show has been on air.
“It’s something I am incredibly passionate about. The artists don’t get airplay from main stream radio,” he said.
Of the artists listed in the Top 100 People’s Choice Awards, Monte has interviewed 28 of the finalists.
“I was on air when I got the message to go to the awards.
“I was absolutely blown away.
“The most exciting thing is going to be meeting them all there and seeing if any of them win an award… and meeting more artists to lineup for interviews,” he said.
As a result of his show, the coordinators of the Musicoz Australian Independent Music Awards have invited Monte to Sydney to be a VIP.
The hashtag trend #Montefamous, a label given to artists once interviewed, is gaining momentum across the country.
“I’ve got people approaching me Australia-wide for interviews. I’ve been blown away with the reaction and the support of the show. The artists have all thoroughly enjoyed being on the show,” he said.
Monte’s passion for undiscovered artists is what led him to pitch the radio show idea.
As a result, the show now participates in the regional Australia top 10 Amrap Charts each week.
Amrap is a community radio initiative that supports the development of independent Australian artists by giving their tracks airplay on community radio.
In an interview with Brisbane-based pop-rock and jazz musician, Cheeky Velvet, the rising star told Monte “What you’re doing is amazing. It helps build careers.”
Monte has interviewed artists ranging from 12 years through to mid 40’s.
“The artists themselves open up once I start talking, not just about their music but about their journey in life. It gives you a deeper appreciation about what they are doing and where they’re going,” he said.
Monte regularly recruits special guest co-hosts as a one-off stint to be a part of the show.
“Once they have been part of the show, they realise what independent music is.
“The music created by independent artists has a lot more social justice meaning.
“It’s amazing the diverse attitudes that come through that.
“The artists deal with a lot more full on subjects - the criminal justice system, mental illness, women’s rights, politically engaging stuff, as well as normal stuff.
“Wednesday night is the highlight of my week.
“I love it,” he said.