Matt Gudinski joined Mushroom back in 2003, not long out of high school, with the formation of his touring imprint, Illusive Presents. Over the past 17 years Illusive has grown into a tour juggernaut, promoting a mighty array of talent spanning genres and geography. From hot newcomers such as Channel Tres and Lil Uzi Vert, to electronic icons like Róisín Murphy and Fatboy Slim, plus global arena idols such as Drake, Khalid, A$AP Rocky and more, Illusive Presents shows no sign of slowing down with their 2019 tours totalling over 500,000 tickets sold.
With the Illusive Presents arm, in 2016 Matt was responsible for the creation of what is currently Australia and New Zealand’s largest touring behemoth – RNB Fridays Live (Friday Jams Live in New Zealand). RNB Fridays Live celebrated its fourth year running in 2019, with a line-up starring Janet Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Jason Derulo, and alumni Fatman Scoop, to name a few. Previous years delivered names like Usher, Lil John, Salt N Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Craig David, Sean Paul, Kelis, Nelly, TLC and more.
In his role as Executive Director, Matt oversees all the Mushroom label subsidiaries and is responsible for the continued evolution and their diversification, including: Bloodlines, I OH YOU, Ivy League Records, Liberation Records, Liberator Music, and Soothsayer. With Mushroom Group’s labels arm, Matt first struck gold back in 2006 with the signing of up-and-coming Sydney hip-hop trio Bliss N Eso (whom he also co-manages) to his label Illusive Sounds. The group are now multi-ARIA award winners, festival headliners and one of the most successful Australian acts of their generation.
In 2015, as Director and artist manager Matt launched the Group’s first dedicated management arm, Role Model Artists, which looks after the likes of Love Deluxe, Bliss N Eso, and rising stars Fergus James and D’Arcy Spiller plus many more. Mushroom has since launched a second management arm, in Converge Mgmt (home to Body Type, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and more).
In March 2019 Matt oversaw a new partnership between Mushroom Group and Underground Cinema, with the production of Australia’s first large scale immersive experience – Dirty Dancing. Over 20,000 people took part in the Melbourne and Sydney events, which saw the iconic movie recreated at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse and The Domain, Sydney, complete with live actors and dancers, bars, and a screening of the classic film.
In 2018, Matt Gudinski entered a joint venture with Arena Touring, working on shows with such legendary talent as Gladys Knight. With Arena, Matt unveiled a second arena spectacular – So Pop, which made its series debut in 2019 featuring a line-up of AQUA, Vengaboys, Blue and more. (A
planned 2020 series starring the Pussycat Dolls, Jesse McCartney, Smash Mouth was forced to cancel due to the global coronavirus).
In early 2020, Matt launched Mushroom Group’s new, full-service music development company – 100s + 1000s. Its early roster boasts some of Australia’s best up-and-coming talent. He also established the Group’s podcast division, which recently launched ‘180 Grams’, a new series telling the story behind remarkable Mushroom label albums.
The latest venture brought to the Mushroom Group by the younger Gudinski is Melbourne music industry entrepreneurs Sasha Chifura and Shelley Liu, who bring the Valve Sounds label along with boutique management agency Foreign Echo. There’s also a new partnership with Los Angeles-based management and publishing firm XXYV, who have released music by up-and-comers Ella Isaacson and Gallant, RIP Youth and Bombs Away.
Following in the footsteps of his legendary father, in 2021 Matt Gudinski is at the forefront of Australia’s most powerful independent music company.