Wayne Connolly is an ARIA Award-winning producer, engineer, musician and composer with over two decades’ experience in the music industry.
He began his career as an electrical engineer writing software for Fairlight, and in 1990 started as studio manager and in-house producer at Paradise Studios, which at the time was home to rooArt, a company set up by INXS and their manager Chris Murphy to develop new Australian talent.
Some of the significant artists Wayne worked with as engineer and/or producer at Paradise include Underground Lovers, Died Pretty, The Fauves, Grant McLennan, Custard, and You Am I. Wayne won his first ARIA Award in 1996 as engineer on You Am I’s platinum-selling Hourly Daily.
Over his career, Wayne has worked with more than 200 bands and artists. In 2006. Youth Group’s single ‘Forever Young‘ reached Number 1 on the Australian charts. That year Wayne also received two ARIA nominations for his work with both Youth Group and The Vines. The following year Wayne received two ARIA Awards for Best Producer and Best Engineer for his work with Josh Pyke on the album Memories and Dust.
In 2009, Wayne produced the first solo album for Something for Kate’s Paul Dempsey, Everything Is True achieved Gold status, and in 2010 Wayne won the ARIA for Engineer of the year for his work with Dempsey.
Through his work with Dallas Crane Wayne developed a close relationship with their label, Alberts – the record label which is also Australia’s oldest music publishing company.
Artists Wayne recorded in the studio at Alberts included Hungry Kids of Hungry, The Paper Kites, All Our Exes Live in Texas and Boy and Bear, as well as iconic artists such as Neil Finn, The Living End and Jimmy Barnes for an Easybeats tribute album.
In 2011, Wayne produced two tracks at Alberts that reached the top 20 of Triple J’s Hottest 100 – Boy and Bear’s version of Crowded House’s ‘Fall At Your Feet’ and Cloud Control’s ‘There’s Nothing in the Water We Can’t Fight’.
The Music Farm
Wayne restored a 1973 vintage Neve 8026 console, now housed at The Music Farm Studios, in the Byron Bay hinterland. Under Wayne’s extensive consultation, The Music Farm has been both completely refurbished and lovingly restored to retain an updated but original atmosphere, and provide a seamless digital or analogue recording facility. Since its completion, artists including Matt Corby, Client Liaison, Amy Shark and Josh Pyke have recorded there.
Film and Television
Wayne’s film and TV credits include Friday on my Mind, The Kettering Incident, RED, Black Balloon, Newcastle, Mullet, Prime Mover, Monkey Puzzle, and Little Fish. For the latter, Wayne collaborated with Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie on a reworking of Cold Chisel’s Flame Trees, by Sarah Blasko.
Other clients have included Sydney Opera House (Temper Trap) and Qantas. From 2011-2014, Wayne also acted as music adviser for Qantas, curating playlists for boarding music, where he was able to feature many contemporary and established Australian artists.
As a musician and songwriter, his personal discography includes a dozen albums under various guises. He was one of the three principal writers in the The Welcome Mat.
His current band Knievel released their fourth album entitled Emerald City through Alberts.
In 1992, Connolly produced the Underground Lovers album, Leaves Me Blind, and subsequently received Rolling Stone magazine’s Best Australian Record award.
The following year he engineered You Am I’s fourth EP Coprolalia and their debut album Sound As Ever alongside Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, which went on to win the 1993 ARIA for Best Alternative Release.
In 2006, Youth Group received the Breakthrough Artist ARIA Award for their single Forever Young.
Wayne’s work has been recognised with several ARIA Awards and nominations over the years:
- 1996 ARIA Engineer of the Year, You Am I, Hourly Daily
- 2007 ARIA Engineer of the Year for Josh Pyke, Memories and Dust
- 2007 ARIA Producer of the Year for Josh Pyke, Memories and Dust
- 2010 ARIA Engineer of the Year for Paul Dempsey, Fast Friends
- 2006 ARIA Producer of the Year, Youth Group, Casino Twilight Dogs
- 2006 – ARIA Engineer of the Year for The Vines, Vision Valley