Image courtesy of Sally Coleman
Sally Coleman has launched a new virtual sci-fi group which she has dubbed “Australia’s answer to Gorrillaz”.
The former Triple J Breakfast host called the project Big Sand.
Big Sand features animated characters and a narrative set on a beautiful but harsh desert planet.
Coleman said TMN that Big Sand brings together many of his passions.
“I just grew up loving sci-fi and fantasy books. I’ve been a big reader for a long time and it’s just something I never really grew up with, so this is kind of my second secret love for ages, and I just got to a point where I was like, ‘I wish there was more of that in music, because it’s not an area where there’s loads of overlaps for whatever reason,” she said.
“There aren’t enough aliens in pop music.”
Courtesy of Sally Coleman
Big Sand led Coleman to learn about motion capture and learn how to use game development software Unreal Engine.
Despite the extra steps, Coleman said there’s actually just as much fabrication and work involved when artists have to curate a character and perform as “themselves” every day.
“I know I said that part of the reason I did this is that I really like science fiction, which is true, but the other thing is that it actually gets pretty exhausting for me. [as an artist] having to run my identity all the time,” she said TMN.
“When you’re playing as yourself, you’re still kind of in character, you’re still making your life available for others to see and critique, and I actually found that a bit overwhelming. sometimes.
“So… yeah, it’s extra work to create that narrative around the characters and to visualize them, but in a way I think sometimes the audience doesn’t realize that the artists have to do it themselves anyway.”
Coleman wants to bring audiences a sense of mystery, fun, silliness, curiosity and adventure with Big Sand, with the ultimate goal that one day they can play the game, interact with the characters she invented. and also be part of the story.
Initially, Big Sand will target a younger demographic, possibly teenagers, but they’re open to finding a passionate audience from all walks of life.
“I would love to connect with a teenage audience,” she said.
Courtesy of Sally Coleman. Credit: Harley Lewington
“That being said, I feel like there’s just a wide range of people of all ages or all demographics, they’re really drawn to this kind of narrative fantasy. So my dream would be to achieve a audience that I didn’t even know existed, I think.
“That would be something that I would love…is to find a new demographic of fans who are really drawn to this story and I’m like, ‘Oh, nice to meet you’.”
She says a very deep emotional connection with a relatively “tiny” audience would feel like a success to her, and she’s not chasing 1 million streams or an arbitrary number of radio plays.
And aside from effectively being his own artist, label manager, publisher, sync agent and PR agent, Coleman said the next challenge is figuring out how to bring the virtual project to real live audiences.
“So that’s a challenge that I’m trying to solve right now,” she said.
“I have some really exciting ideas coming up and I want to show them to everyone.”
Big Sand’s debut single, “Take Me Home,” will be released on April 27. It is written and performed by Coleman, with co-production by ARIA nominee Alice Ivy. The next two singles from the EP Welcome to Grand Sablepresent Tia Gostelow and the winners of the ARIA SAFIA award.