WTF(rance). Building a musical bridge between Australia and Europe

France and Australia don’t have much in common. The geography is different (vast spaces vs densely populated cities). Their official languages don’t match. And, historically speaking, they haven’t had many political dealings. The same goes for music – think famous French classical music composers like George Bizet and an Aussie classic, “Am I ever gonna see your face again?”

Yet, there are music industry professionals who defy those stark contrasts. Meet Alex Pinte, a French guy on a mission to connect the Antipodes and Europe.

PART 54 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE.

“I always wanted to be a musician”, says Alex. “But I never really dared jump into that world because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Everyone was a business owner, so I’d kind of been pushed that way.” That confession explains the many music-related projects he has been involved in since we met.

Alex has now settled in Australia and works in the music business in various roles. Our paths crossed when we were both doing a social media marketing course in one of the Melbourne colleges in 2018. And, at that stage, he had already been immersed in the local music scene.

For starters, he used to manage a Melbourne-based busker, Ben Whiting. Around the same time, he established a boutique management and tour promoting company, Wind & Birds. Next, to kick off 2019, he brought a French rock band KO KO MO to Australia for a 10-day-tour.

Recently, he has also become the Australian rep for Groover, a French start-up linking artists and industry influencers. And on top of that, he works with What The France, a portal created by Le Bureau Export to promote French music overseas. He does that through the What The France Australia branch which he introduced at the BIGSOUND music conference in 2019.

The road to all those achievements was long and winding, though.

His parents wanted him to work in finance. Alex was expected to graduate from a business school and follow in his family’s entrepreneurial footsteps. So, at 25, he opened a hotel in Spain with a friend. Sadly, things didn’t quite work out as planned, and he made his way back to France. But he wasn’t ready to work in finance then, either.

Having already lived Down Under between 2009-2011 and still under the spell of the Australian music scene, he’d decided that he wanted to do what he truly loved in life – play music. A decision that, naturally, didn’t go down well with his family.

Somehow, he pulled off a 3-year stint with a band in France where he sang and played the guitar. But, as he openly admits, he “reached a point where you have to realize that you’re not good enough, and you’re not going to make a living out of it”. So he gave that project a rest and found another way to stay in the music world. He also went back to Melbourne.

His recent music projects striving to connect Australia and France are what we talked about during our recent Zoom catch-up. Despite some network difficulties (if you’ve been to Oz, you’ll know a thing or two about the internet connection), I managed to question Alex on his music industry adventures. So enjoy the chat below!

If you’re keen on getting to know more on the topic, visit the French-Australian Music Network (FAMN). And don’t forget to check out the What The France Australia playlist, curated by Alex every month.