Wayne Connolly is an ARIA Award winning producer, engineer, musician and composer with over two decade’s experience in the music industry.
He graduated as an electrical engineer from UNSW and began his career as a software developer at Fairlight Instruments, the Australian company responsible for the world’s first digital sampler.
In 1990 he started as studio manager at Paradise Studios, owned by Billy Field and famous for classic recordings by artists such as Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil. At that time, the studio was home to RooArt, a company set up by InXS’ management to develop new Australian talent.
The very first full-length album Wayne recorded, Underground Lovers’ Leaves Me Blind, was released in the UK on the prestigious 4AD label and was Rolling Stone’s Best Australian Record for 1992. Some other significant artists Wayne worked with as engineer or producer at Paradise included Custard and You Am I. Wayne won his first ARIA Award in 1996 as engineer on the platinum-selling You Am I album, Hourly Daily.
Over his career, Wayne has worked with around 200 bands and artists. In 2006 the Youth Group 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 he received two ARIA Awards, Best Producer and Best Engineer, for his work with Josh Pyke on the album Memories and Dust. He has also recently been announced Best Engineer in 2010, for the Paul Dempsey single, ‘Fast Friends’.
In recent years Wayne’s work has encompassed recording sessions for several feature films including 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, sung by Sarah Blasko.
The track ‘When We Get There’ produced by Wayne with Josh Pyke and Michael Yzersky for Black Balloon won the Best Original Song for Screen at the 2008 APRA Screen Awards.
Wayne has also composed and produced a number of ABCTV station IDs, which have aired on ABC1 and ABC2 since 2008. He has worked with music production companies Nylon, Supersonic and Eye Candy to produce music for a range of TV and cinema ads, including LG, Toyota, Australian Tourism and most recently Qantas In-flight.
Through his work with the band Dallas Crane in 2003, Wayne developed a close relationship with Alberts and has since recorded a wide variety of artists at Alberts very own studios, including Neil Finn and Jimmy Barnes for an Easybeats tribute album. Wayne’s personal studio is housed within the Alberts' complex and features a vintage Neve console, which Wayne personally restored over several years.
Wayne has continued to write, play and record his own music. His personal discography includes nearly a dozen albums with various bands such as The Welcome Mat, Knievel and Fragile.
In an extensive career Wayne has enjoyed a broad range of experiences in the music field, from supporting Bob Dylan at The State Theatre in 1992, and other international artists as diverse as Billy Bragg, Aztec Camera, Teenage Fanclub and Stevie Nicks, to sitting around a campfire singing songs with Archie Roach and Shane Howard at a songwriting workshop on North Keppel Island, performing at the CMJ and SXSW music conferences in the US, mixing the music for Baz Luhrman’s Australian Tourism campaign, and working alongside New York musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) on recordings for You Am I.
Wayne has also published various articles, including an interview with chief assistant engineer for The Beatles, Richard Lush for Audio Technology magazine, and appeared as a guest speaker and panelist at various conferences, including the Sydney Song Summit and the Integrate Audio Technology Convention.