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Meet APRA AMCOS Ambassador Amara Primero

Story Published Wednesday 14 September 2022
APRA AMCOS Ambassador Amara Primero

Our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador is screen composer Amara Primero.

Amara combines her creative and business skills across all aspects of screen music.

She is passionate about supporting Australian composers and the potential for Australian production music libraries.

Screen composer and Primerchord Production Music CEO and Founder Amara Primero is our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassador. Her credits include Stille Nacht, winner of Best Original Music at the 2019 Los Angeles Cinematography Awards (LACA), Amazon Prime's documentary Shane.

Primerchord has supplied music for hit TV and streaming shows including Bondi Rescue, Discovery's, Sydney Harbour Force, Outback Car Hunters, The Repair Shop Australia and Amazon's Making the Cut (a Project Runway spinoff).

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Australia, Amara said, “Australian composers, especially through the means of Australian production music libraries could potentially be a major international export product. I am advocating for Australian TV productions to utilise more Australian music libraries and composers as a first stop, before diving into international libraries and composers.”

In 2021 and 2022, she led screen music masterclasses on 'TV Underscore' and 'Building a Production Library' at the NATSIMO's VIrtual First Nations Suite.

We asked her a few questions to get to know Amara better.

Describe yourself in 3 words
Brave, Creative, Visionary.

What drew you to composing music for the screen?
I have always loved stories. True stories, imagined stories -- both forms. What excited me from a young age was hearing and seeing how music can help elevate a story on screen, but also how the music can tell a story by itself without any visual and how we can conjure up our own "images" in our imagination while listening to a piece of music.

What recent TV, film or streaming shows do you think have standout scores?
Surface on Apple TV by Olafur Arnalds. I am a huge fan of his work. I also think the music on The Crown is superb. The series has three composers so far, Balfe, Gregson-Williams and Phipps, plus the main titles by Hans Zimmer. What I love about both shows is how the music is so organic and textured -- with the entry of each instrument layer, it beautifully drives the story.

You composed the music for the Amazon Prime documentary ‘Shane’ about the career and life of Shane Warne. Can you tell us a bit about the process for that?
Composing the music for 'Shane' was a wonderful adventure that I'm honoured to have been part of.

The music discussions we had were all encompassing the question, "What does a soundtrack to Shane Warne's life sound like?" The answer was actually found in a quote from the movie, where Warne says, "I liked loud music, I smoked, I drank and I bowled a bit of leg spin." From that quote alone, it evoked a lot of musical direction. We ended with a score that used a pallet of light-action and rock-styles for scenes highlighting his time on the field, to melancholic atmospheres that underscored the challenges in his life and career.

It was fun to incorporate some sound-design into the score too, with the sounds of a cricket bat-hit, often echoing in some moments throughout the score.

As founder and director of Primerchord Production Music, can you demystify one or two things about Production Music?
A lot of musicians are still unaware that production music libraries such as Primerchord Production Music are an incredible way of opening doors to sync opportunities and an additional source of royalty income for an artist/composer.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you were starting out in the music industry?
Make sure you understand business. This goes for any artist who wants to make their career profitable. Sure, study your music degree, make/create and perform the music, but understand the business; who's who in the industry and different industry avenues, including the multitude of revenue streams that are possible.

Copyright is meaningful to me because…
Copyright is an extension of who I am as a composer. It is my story, but most importantly it's how my copyright material (story) interconnects with others' stories.

I am an APRA AMCOS Ambassador because...
I am passionate about working with APRA and the Film and TV industry to help bring more Australian composers/artists' work to the screen and the world.