Graduate story: Anastasia Scales

Anastasia Scales - performs as emcee and hip hop artist, Nastaij
Winner of 2015 triple j Unearthed NIDA music video competition
Bachelor of Contemporary Music (majoring in Industry and Audio Production)

Anastasia Scales released her first EP, was a Bluesfest stage manager, and toured the country as a drummer for various artists, all while studying contemporary music at Southern Cross University. Now based in Melbourne, her song 'Grow Up' aired nationally on ABC Rage after winning a music video competition.

"'Grow Up', from my latest EP 'Transit', is a conscious and positive hip hop over a synth pop beat. It's worth a lot of money to have a film clip of this calibre done. It was made by the directing, design and production students at the National Institute for Dramatic Art (NIDA). I'm really happy with the result. The reaction from everyone has been so special. It has given me more exposure, which has led to more shows and connections within the music industry. I have teamed up with a mostly female collective called Indigo Rising who are about supporting each other creatively. It's always nice to have someone on stage with you. I'm super thankful to the teams at triple j Unearthed and NIDA."

Nastaij's debut EP, 'The Warehouse Sessions', took out categories in the 2013 and 2014 Right Out TV Awards, and won RAW Artists Byron Bay 2013 'Musician of the Year'.

"With the change of federal government in 2013, I expressed my political views with 'You Don't Represent Me' and was overwhelmed with the positive response from people. My partner and I filmed the clip over four days using just a Go Pro and a whiteboard. We gave people from all walks of life the chance to have a voice and write whatever they wanted on the whiteboard. I still get goosebumps when I watch it."

Anastasia is now juggling her beat-making with working as the Vic/SA/Tas brand advocate for Sennheiser Australia.

"I want a career in music. Melbourne is a great place to really dive into the music scene. There's a lot of stuff happening and the vibe is amazing.

"At SCU so much of the gear in the studios is Sennheiser and I know how good the quality is. Being their brand advocate ties together a lot of my skills, my love of music, and my love of travel. I'm on the road quite a bit so I'm constantly meeting new people.

"Although a lot of my degree was focused on live music production, I think having a firm understanding of how audio components work has assisted greatly in my music-making, and especially my beat-making. I find it quite easy to pick up new programs and incorporate new plug-ins into my sessions, and I feel I owe it to my degree.

"Although I have already started my professional career, I would love to do workshops where I go into a community and show young people how to make music. It's such a rewarding thing when you're the person on your iPod alongside all the artists that you love. I think music is a very important thing in terms of what it gives back to the people who make it."