Q&A with Oskar Proy, Class of 2017

What did you do straight after graduating from Padua College? 

Straight after graduating was when I had my experience on the TV Show, The Voice Australia.  It was a crazy roller coaster singing such a personal song for my Abuela (Grandmother), as the whole experience meant a lot to myself, and my family. I learned so much through my time on the show, about myself and TV. Some of the highlights were spending time with the other talented contestants and meeting the coaches, who were extremely kind and genuine.

It has been almost 2 years since you graduated, did you choose to go to university or further learning?

I’m not going to university, instead, I decided to pursue my passion for music, and have been learning a lot in a practical sense to help me further my Music Career.

I had my experience on The Voice, released my first single ‘Like You Do’ on streaming and recorded and released my first Album ‘Sticks and Milestones’.  I’ve also been working on my live performance (finding my sound), doing many gigs regularly and opening shows for reputable Artists such as Reece Mastin, The Pierce Brothers and Taylor Sheridan.

All of these events have forced me to grow as an Artist, and at times, it’s challenging for I am independent, but I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve also been lucky enough to have been guided by the right people and supported by my family and friends every step of the way.

What do you love about your career choice?

The thing that I love most about my career choice is that it gives me the ability to connect with other people in ways that you can’t replicate in another fashion.  Music truly is the universal language, no matter who we are or where we come from, music makes us feel things, and helps to bring people together. I love that I get to share a part of myself with others through music, primarily through my original material.

What are the challenges of your career choice? The challenges (especially when you are an Independent Artist) are that you have to work hard at establishing yourself and gaining a following, while trying to maintain consistent gigs, practising live performance and continuing to create and record your original material. 

Nowadays Labels and Managers prefer to see that you already have a following backing you, especially on Social Media, before even considering taking you on. So this makes Social Media one of the essential tools in an Artists advertising, promoting and engaging with their followers.  Being an Independent Artist requires you to do so much more than just going out there and performing. It’s all of the work done behind the scenes that can be the most challenging, but in the long run, can be extremely rewarding.

What or who was the most significant influence on your career choice?

The most significant influences for me have been my family and friends and the teachers/ mentors I’ve had who have supported and guided me along the way. When I was starting, it was my Abuelo (Granddad) who encouraged that I start busking, as he used to in the city with his South American band called Tunari. Over the years, I have found it to be one of the best ways to become more comfortable singing publicly. All of my family have always supported my music, but in particular, my Mum (Tamara) and Dad (Edgard) who haven’t only encouraged me and helped me financially with all of my musical investments, but have also (mainly Dad as he’s a builder) homemade some pretty cool inventions when needed for my live performance.  The continued support is what helped me realise that this is what I’m meant to be doing as a career.

If you were to sum up what your time at Padua taught you, what would it be?

I am forever thankful to Padua for giving me a positive and nurturing environment to grow in.  Throughout my time at Padua, I learned many lessons and a lot about myself, and over the years, I became more sure of who I was. The two things that stand out to me is that I learned I could be the world’s most terrible procrastinator, but also that no matter what if I genuinely put my mind to it, I can achieve anything.  And really for me, it’s about finding that balance to stay focused when things become ‘routine’.

What advice would you give to a student that is in their finishing years at Padua?

My advice would be to stick at it to the very end, I remember that exams were extremely stressful and that it can be hard to maintain that motivation towards the end of the year, but all you can do is your personal best. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the exact score you wanted or needed because there are always other avenues to get to where you want to be. It’s also okay if you’re not sure what you want to do straight after finishing at Padua (I was still unsure), but it’s good always to be open to new opportunities and try different things. I’m sure that with time you will find something right for you or in my case, it will confirm that what you have been thinking about doing is what you should pursue.

Do you still see or are friends with your mates from Padua?

Yes, of course!  Although we are all busy living our lives and pursuing our callings at the moment, we still manage to make time to catch up with each other. Admittedly it’s not as much as we would like (and one of us is half way round the world) but I guess that means that we appreciate the time we have together more because we are not sure when ‘next time’ will be.

What do you get up to in your spare time, what do you like to do for fun? 

In my spare time, I like to catch up with my friends or spend time with my girlfriend. I enjoy keeping fit and have been doing gym training. Sometimes a song idea will come out of nowhere as well, and I find myself writing a new song.

When you look back at your time at Padua, what are your overriding memories? 

One of my favourite memories at Padua was being able to jam up at the Music room and being around heaps of talented students and just making music! I always really enjoyed performing at the Autumn and Spring concerts, and I loved how Mr Mannock would orchestrate pretty much the whole music department into the big finale songs!

Along the way, what challenges have you hit personally or professionally? 

I love creating music in the studio, playing live and connecting with other people. The hardest part has been to continue to do the things I don’t enjoy doing as much, but are still extremely important in me progressing further (more the admin/bookwork side). It is hard to catch a break sometimes as I have gigs on most weekends. Even though I’m doing what I love, I don’t have as much chill time as I like (and will probably only get busier in the future), but it’s going to be worth it in the long run.

What is one of the highlights of your life so far? 

One of the highlights for me with music is releasing my first album ‘Sticks and Milestones’, which contains seven of my original compositions. The whole process, from recording the music to the making of the actual CD was such a massive learning experience for me.  I was fortunate to be guided by Andy Shanahan at Fuse Studios, who took his time to show me the ropes, and my cousin, Luke Proy, who was the photographer for the album. Even though I’m proud to have something to share with people finally, I’m already back in the studio making new original music and trying to broaden ‘my sound’.

Sarah Treyvaud
OHS & Alumni Relations