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Curly Hendo – A Rising Star from Sydney’s Music Scene

Curly Hendo – A Rising Star from Sydney’s Music Scene

In the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry, Curly Hendo stands out as a local Sydneysider whose talent and determination have propelled her onto the global stage. From her early days with a bass guitar in hand to performing with international stars like RAYE, Curly’s journey is an inspiration to other independent musicians. 

We sat down with her for a Q&A to learn more about her inspiring path to stardom.

Can you tell us about your early life and the role music played in it?

I was immersed in the world of performing arts from a very young age and I quickly developed a love for dance and various musical genres. However, it was at the age of eight when my journey with the electric bass began—a choice that would shape my future in so many wonderful ways. 

I remember feeling a natural affinity with the instrument during my first practice session. Through playing bass, I found a passion for live music performance and became a regular in school music ensembles, concert bands, jazz bands, and rock bands. I took every opportunity to perform when I was younger and now look back and am really thankful for that.

I was also heavily involved in dance from the age of three to sixteen, trained in numerous styles including tap, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet, in which I competed at a state level. It was obvious to those close to me that music, whether expressed through playing my bass or in various styles of dance, was a core part of who I am.

Who has been a source of inspiration in your career?

I felt a powerful desire to experience the music industry overseas and this ambition led me to connect with talented musicians and producers, learning firsthand from industry icons who shaped my approach to music and career.

I grew up listening to iconic bass players such as Marcus Miller, James Jamerson, and Victor Wooten. Their innovative artistry and mastery of the bass have been inspiring. I had the privilege of attending masterclasses with Victor Wooten at Berklee College of Music in 2018 and later met Marcus Miller at a music industry event, where they generously shared insights into their talents and navigating the music industry.

In 2020, I had the privilege of first meeting Keith Harris, who is a phenomenal producer, music director, and drummer. I met him while he was on tour with the Black Eyed Peas for RNB Fridays in Australia. He opened my eyes with many insights into the music industry and has guided me on how to develop my career.

How has your education intersected with your entrepreneurial spirit?

As a teenager, I embarked on a dual path of formal music education and entrepreneurship. I developed my technical skills further at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Berklee College of Music in Boston. Berklee offered a unique opportunity to collaborate with some of the industry’s most talented individuals, enhancing my musical skills and broadening my professional network, which was instrumental in shaping my career and entrepreneurial spirit.

At just 18 years old, I established my own entertainment company, aiming to showcase exceptional musicians and deliver top-tier performances coupled with stellar customer service. My enterprise flourished, expanding to include a roster of over 30 musicians. We have performed at numerous leading venues and events, including corporate functions and cruises across the South Pacific.

Which TV appearances have been your favourites?

Back home in Australia, my television journey began early, with appearances on shows like the rebooted Young Talent Time at age 12, and more recently, performing with semi-finalists on The Voice Australia.

I’ve had the privilege of performing on globally broadcast shows such as BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, where I performed with Zara Larsson for her latest release, ‘You Love Who You Love.’ 

I’ve appeared on BBC’s Late Night with Jools Holland alongside Jessie Ware and Capital Radio, including a performance at the Capital Summerland Ball at Wembley, where I played to a crowd of 90,000 alongside RAYE.  

What advice would you give to people pursuing a music career?

Collaborating with other musicians and mentors is very beneficial for accelerating learning about the music industry and refining your understanding of how to reach your goals. Mentors who have navigated the highs and lows and have ultimately been successful are not only inspirational but provide rich insights into how to effectively focus your efforts in areas that are rewarding for your career.

With music, as you are your business, it’s crucial to have a comfortable understanding of your artist persona—the person you are when performing, whether at a stadium, on TV, or in a studio. It’s important to embrace, evolve, and market not only your musical talent but also your style, image, skill, and ability to connect with audiences and other musicians. This requires a mix of emotional awareness and perceptiveness of how you are perceived as an entertainer. Music, like any art, is a dynamic and emotional relationship with audiences and others in the industry.

How can our readers connect with you and continue to follow your work online?

Instagram is where I tend to post and share new material, including updates on what I am working on or where I am in the world. You can find me at @curlyhendo.

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