Rising To The Top: How Young Artists Conquered Australia’s Young Rich List 

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Music is more viable than ever, says Jaddan Comerford, who debuts on the Young Rich List this year. The rise in streaming services, live acts, and merchandising have made music increasingly accessible and profitable.

Australia’s Young Rich List

Jaddan Comerford recalls hearing Riptide by Vance Joy for the first time in late 2012. The ukulele riff was catchy, and then the vocals sang about dentists, dark rooms, and Michelle Pfeiffer. 

Later, there was some of the merriest percussion ever committed to record. “I was like, ‘Holy shit! This is pretty special,” he says.

Comerford, whose brother is friends with Joy, was one of the earliest to listen to a song that racked up 2.5 billion plays. James Keogh, better known by his stage name Vance Joy, recorded the song in a backyard shed using $700 he’d saved while working as a gardener. 

Not long after hearing the track, Comerford, based in Melbourne, began managing the artist. The success of Vance Joy not only proved to be a good move, but Comerford’s Unified record label and artist services group has now grown into an international business with over 90 employees that will generate $30 million this year.

“I am in awe of the career we have built for Vance Joy, and I think his success reflects the changing climate in music,” Comerford says. “In an era where buying physical records is no longer a viable way to listen to music, streaming services offer artists a new revenue stream that they can monetise themselves through live shows and merchandising.”

As someone who has spent his career in the music industry, Jaddan Comerford knows firsthand how quickly things can change. In recent years, with the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music and endless opportunities for artists to connect with fans through social media, music has become a more viable career than ever.

Whether through streaming, touring, or merchandise sales, these young disruptors are proving that you don’t need a record deal to achieve fame and financial success. If you have passion, creativity, and perseverance, anything is possible.

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