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Domestic violence survivor makes music with a message


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Mother-of-five Carol George has turned her spare room into a studio and is making hip hop music with a message.

A domestic violence survivor, Ms George received victims of crime compensation in 2017.

She used this money to set up a studio in her home in Bairnsdale, eastern Victoria, where she now writes, sings and produces her own music.

"I want to create positive change in my community and stop others from experiencing what I've experienced," she said.

"I believe music can create change. My music has a message, about staying strong. It's fresh and raw and true."

Ms George said her connection to her Indigenous culture, particularly the Bidwell tribe of Gippsland, was a crucial driver in her music-making.

Ms George's vision is to continue making her own music and to get young Bairnsdale musicians into her studio and help them make their own music too.

"I've got this set up now. I want to get the youth in here and give them an outlet, give them opportunities and help them tell their stories. Music can break cycles," she said.

Style impresses at festival
Blue Hughes, who runs the Cool Summer Festival at Mount Hotham each year, said Ms George had a powerful message.

She performed at the festival for the first time last year when she was seven months pregnant.

"Carol's performance, well, she's dynamic, with a powerful message," Mr Hughes said.

"She's a very fluid rapper. She can just switch from bringing it up or playing it quiet. She reads the audience and rolls with it.

"She's spontaneous and original, she just flows. She did her set and then later got up with DJ Eddy and freestyled.

"She was just laying words out over beats she'd never heard before. The crowd loved her."

Buff Farnell, AKA DJ Eddy, is a resident DJ during winter at Mount Hotham. He has played at Victoria's Meredith, Golden Plains and Falls Festivals and at the Rip Curl Pro.

"It's not very often someone can just step up like that and truly freestyle. It blew me away. The music and her lyrics, it gelled. It was natural straight away," he said.

Since setting up her spare room studio, Ms George has solo produced four tracks: Fresh on the Scene, Sistas Stay Strong, Nurture the Youth, and Walk Away.

She won a song contest in 2011 with a track called I've Changed My Ways.

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