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Launceston in summer according to Shanice

Uncovering the creatives

For so long, bustling mainland metropolises have lured young creatives in search of industry networks and resources.

But, like Sumner, Shanice Osita Chuku is excitedly content in Launnie and says this place continues to provide ample opportunities.

"As a 22 year-old I have achieved a lot of things that I set out to do across a longer time period rather than in the last five years, I think a contributing factor has been being surrounded by an environment with a real sense of community."

Shanice is the lead singer of LAPHRODISIAC, a four piece band born amid 2020 lockdowns and is a vocalist Bad Beef, a 14-strong ensemble specialising in reggae ska.

Shanice followed her mum into professional singing and praises the Royal Oak - a local watering hole and gastro pub opposite City Park - for providing the platform that supports artist discovery.

“Tim from Holy Holy, and Artistic Director of A Festival Called Panama reached out to me, thanks to mate of his that saw us perform at the Oak… next thing I know, I'm singing on the main stage at the festival," she says.

The events calendar in Launnie is another feature of this place Shanice adores. She talks of the diversity of music on offer and of international acts to have performed and excitedly recounts a backstage conversation with Connie Mitchell from Sneaky Sound System. But it's the local scene that'll get visitors excited, says Shanice.

"We have so many hidden gems in terms of musicians and artists. I feel like when you explore Launceston, you're going to come across these characters everywhere and be like, wow, that's really special."

When she's not lighting up a room with what are often her own lyrics and assorted range of percussion, Shanice is making up faces: she's a professional make-up artist and educator, which has scored her a huge following on social media.

"When I was younger, I would watch mum get ready for gigs and I'd ask her for a bit of eyeliner or a bit of lippy…so when I started getting into music professionally when I was about 13, that's when I realised make-up was another way of getting my creative juices out there."

A lot of weddings have been rescheduled amid the pandemic, but Shanice is preparing for an influx of brides in the New Year, when Launnie's at its balmy best. She'll also be recording LAPHRODISIAC's first EP over the warmer months and soaking up the sun in between studio sessions.

It's obvious Launnie has helped shape this songstress, who is bursting with tips for visitors.

"My number one tip for visitors to Launnie in summer: be outside! We have so many picturesque place to sit outside and enjoy here.

"Also, be sure to catch live music: support our artists here in Launceston. We have such a variety of things on offer: you think it's going to be one thing then it's that and ten things more!

"Finally, talk to a stranger - talk to someone on a park bench, say hi to them. Launceston is full of friendly people."

"In fact, the more you deep dive into Launceston, there are just so many characters and places that pop out, so get out and enjoy."

We have so many hidden gems in terms of musicians and artists. I feel like when you explore Launceston, you're going to come across these characters everywhere and be like, wow, that's really special