In the Studio with Robbie Phillips


Heartstrings Melbourne is all about discovering and showcasing the plethora of local live music available to us, focussing on the individual. But after having met and featured so many talented musicians, we wanted to do more than that. We wanted to actively help develop these grassroots talents to realise their musical aspirations – whatever they may be!

To this end, we’ve teamed up with Last Match Recordings to provide free demo/EP studio time (usually valued at over $200!) to one talented and deserving musician per month from the blog.

_CI23933That’s where Robbie Phillips comes in! We met Robbie at the Balaclava Hotel Open Mic Night one Thursday evening. He had mentioned his aspiration to take the next step into recording a demo. This, coupled with his impressive musicianship and the high standard of his originals, meant Robbie was clearly an ideal candidate for the first recording session.

“My music can be quite expressive and I was a little nervous about how it would translate on a recording. I have an idea of what my music sounds like in my head, but hearing it back through a pair of high tech monitors and suddenly it’s naked and exposed. After the session, I’m now starting to see how I can take my sound further. I’m full of ideas that I can’t wait to explore.
Chris was a pleasure to work with. He knows exactly how to get the best out of a sound. He’s a magician behind that mixing desk of his.
I’m very grateful to both Heartstrings Melbourne and Last Match Recordings for the opportunity!”

Jump on his facebook page to keep updated on his music and be sure to keep an eye out for Robbie, a truly humble and extremely talented musician!


Christopher Sprake

_DSC3869Open Mic Night @ The Acoustic Cafe

“The more time you spend trying to be someone else is just time wasted.”

Chris has had a fruitful career in music with a highlight being a solo tour in Canada earlier in the millennium. It only takes the first few seconds of his set to realise why. His extremely smooth but powerful voice conveys the soul of a sincere and authentic musician.

He runs a recording studio on Hoddle street called Last Match Recordings and he plays atmospheric indie rock in a band (as well as pursuing a folk side-project).

He draws inspiration from his day-to-day interactions with people and in particular from the community work he is involved in – helping people overcome struggles in their own lives who come from underprivileged backgrounds.

Passionate about supporting the community, Chris’s studio is based in a Government housing complex where his facilities are open for use by the residents free of charge.

Being a producer and seeing so many musicians come into his studio for over 7 years, he stresses the fact the you have to find your own authentic story and sound:

“The more time you spend trying to be someone else is just time wasted. People respond to something that’s genuine.”

Check out for more details on his fantastic career and be sure to drop into his studio whenever you need some recording work done!

Charlie Calleja

Charlie Calleja
Open Mic Night @The Acoustic Cafe

“My goal is to make another album this year.”

Playing his first Open Mic in Melbourne, this English musician’s fantastic voice and catchy originals made a real impression on the audience and myself (example: he gave me a copy of his EP and I have been listening to it on repeat!). Playing music for over 14 years, Charlie’s originals fall into the category of Alternative Acoustic/Folk.

I was impressed to hear that for a past album Charlie was flown to the US to record it and had the privilege of playing alongside members of some well renowned bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, Beck, etc. Whilst he regrets not staying in the US longer to support his album’s release with several live performances, it was an amazing experience for him. Truly a rare lifetime opportunity!

Having been out of the live performing scene for approximately 4 years, Charlie thought it was high time he got back into it: “I’ve started writing loads and I’ve got plans to make an album soon.”

“Even if my career is just song writing for other people, that’d be great, but obviously I’m trying to make a go of it myself.”

Charlie encourages local musicians to:

“Get out there as much as you possibly can and do it as often as you possibly can. Don’t stop writing – it’ll get better and better and better. Keep writing like crazy!”

“Don’t compare yourself to people who are crazily successful. You can’t compare your second rate performance with someone else’s first rate performance.”

Stay updated with Charlie’s performance schedule round Melbourne at

Check out his awesome originals at