Katie Noonan reveals ‘huge financial loss’
Brisbane singer Katie Noonan has revealed she suffered "enormous financial loss" as a result of the global pandemic and relied on JobKeeper payments to stay afloat.
The four-time Aria Award winner, whose 25-date national tour was shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions in March, criticised Australia's commercial radio stations for not supporting struggling Australian artists by giving them more airplay - and therefore royalties - at a time when they can't make an income from live shows.
"There's an entire generation that believe that music is a free thing on the internet and unfortunately it is, so the only way to make a living is to play live to a large gathering of people which is precisely what we cannot do right now," Noonan said following her elimination from Channel 10's The Masked Singer on Tuesday night.
"We were the first industry decimated and I sadly think we will be the last to recover."
"It would be very easy to go down the rabbit hole of depression, and I have to admit I did initially. I was crippled by the enormous financial loss, very significant loss, as an independent producer. JobKeeper has been a life saver and I was lucky enough to get on that."
Noonan, who has released music under her own independent record label for a decade, said the majority of her income was typically reinvested into the creatives who helped produce her music, and she was "acutely aware of the fact I can't pay these people now".
She is launching a monthly online concert series featuring special guests on her website, for which husband Isaac Hurren will step is as the sound engineer, saying "I'm pivoting to a new business model for my livelihood."
While Australian commercial radio stations are required to program a 25 per cent Australian content quota, Noonan said "no one adheres to them, there's no reporting system or accountability".
"Unfortunately when I listen to the radio I do not hear Australian music … and other than Kylie Minogue there are no women over 40 played on Australian radio," she said.
"We don't make royalties from airplay. That's just a fact, sadly. The value of recorded music has gone down."
"What I would've loved was the Minister of Communication and Arts to instil 50 per cent Australian content on Australian radio until this COVID shit show is over, and of that there would have to be distinct content quotas for female musicians and First Nations artists. I think that would be great leadership that enabled art to make royalties at a time they desperately need it."
In a boost for Queensland's arts industry, the upcoming Brisbane Festival will feature predominantly local artists as a result of the current travel restrictions in place.
Noonan's shows at The Tivoli in September have sold out and she announced she will add a third show to meet demand.
"Purely due to logistics it will be celebrating Queensland artists which I am secretly thrilled about," she said.
It comes after Noonan came under fire earlier this week for a now deleted social media post in which she criticised Madonna for altering her appearance with cosmetic procedures.
Noonan said while she did regret the post, she stood by her decision to call out the unfair beauty standards for women.
"Growing old is a privilege that not all of us have. I do have deep-seated concerns about the unethical, unfair pressure on women to look a certain size and disguise their age," she said.
"I think that is quite sad and I myself choose not to do that, but as a woman who firmly believes in the power of choice … I don't have the right to judge that and I did that, so I regret that."
"I think Madonna was beautiful as she was and I can't recognise her at all and that makes me sad. But she can do whatever she likes to her body."
Originally published as Katie Noonan reveals 'huge financial loss'