Where a person grows up can play a significant role in shaping who they become.
Musician Levi Mellington knows this well.
Growing up in Horsham, Mr Mellington, like many other kids, had an early fascination with music.
He said the limited opportunities for young people to play live music led to him drop the interest altogether - which he reconnected with later in life.
"It got to the point where I was just like 'I can't play music in Horsham so I will just play sport', which is pretty much what every other kid does," he said.
A decade on, Mr Mellington formed one half of the indie rock duo Travalley with his brother Sam.
He hopes to come back to Horsham, with sights set on hosting a music festival that will put Horsham on Victoria's live music map and inspire other like-minded kids to get the band together.
Mr Mellington was born in Horsham - but only rekindled his interest in live music when he moved to Ballarat at 18.
"Being from Horsham it was such a weird thing to be playing in a band or to play music," he said.
"It was just one of those things where if you did it you just felt weird and a bit strange because no one else did it."
In one formative experience, Mr Mellington remembers when Australian songwriter Xavier Rudd played a rare show in Horsham.
"I just remember seeing that and thinking how did they get this guy here? I listened to him on iTunes and downloaded his music off of the internet and he is playing in my hometown," he said.
"How did they manage to get him to Horsham and why is no one else coming? That is the most vivid memory of a band coming to Horsham and playing. That always stuck in my memory."
After leaving Horsham to live in Ballarat, Mr Mellington and his brother started the band's first incarnation, which would eventually become Travalley.
The Mellington brothers moved to Melbourne in 2019, where they played shows almost every weekend until the pandemic started.
Mr Mellington said success was initially difficult to grasp, as the brothers had no family or friends in Melbourne to rely on for support.
"That was the hardest thing. To get people back to those shows. Coming from Horsham you don't have family and friends in Ballarat, Melbourne, or Geelong like all of those other bands do," he said.
"We just started playing as many shows as we could because that is the only way you are going to get your name out there to new people.
"I reckon we played 30 shows over the year to no one, and it was just belittling to the point where you just rock up to a show where there's no one there, maybe two or three people and the bar staff. You get to the point where this is just crap, what is the point?"
The band's song Dear Babe was picked up by Triple J host Declan Byrne and played on his show Home and Hosed - a watershed moment in the band's trajectory upward.
"After we got played on Triple J it gave us more credentials - we could say we had been played on Triple J and we are a bigger Melbourne band," he said.
"It was just a weird experience to see it all unfold in front of you. It had a good impact because it legitimises who you are as a band."
Soundshell music festival
With Triple J air time and a Victorian tour under his belt, Mr Mellington has announced plans to create a Horsham music festival at the Sawyer Park Soundshell.
"At the moment it is early - early, early stages. We haven't gone through anyone yet, or got the licensing, any of that. It is more so just about the planning side of things," he said.
While the festival may be a while away from becoming a reality, Mr Mellington said the early planning stages were crucial to gauge the communities interest in bringing bands to the town.
Mr Mellington said when Travalley last played in Horsham, the band had difficulties finding a venue to host them.
"We asked almost every single venue in Horsham and no one would give us a show because we were an original band. Their thought was why would people want to see songs that they don't know," he said.
"It got to the point where we had shows booked and they rang us up and said we can't have you because we have a function booked and it will make us more money."
But Mr Mellington said he was hopeful the community would get behind the proposal. When Travalley eventually played a show in Horsham, the turn-out was good, and the attendees were enthusiastic.
He hopes to attract many other big names who have Horsham roots - including singer Alice Skyem, indie rock group Spacy Jane and lo-fi act RAT!Hammock.
"You have to figure out if people in the area are interested and have the community backing it first before proceeding with it. I guess it's the same thing as what we found with playing in Horsham - if the community aren't going to get behind it, it is going to be pointless," he said.
"It is such a good area, and there are so many amazing musicians coming out of the area, but they have to leave to get to where they need to be, to achieve their musical dreams.
"Getting them back into the community that they developed in, so then they can start doing the same thing for everyone else that is aspiring to be like these bands."
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