Camden musician and social media sensation 20-year-old Bailey Pickles has landed the biggest job of his career so far at Vivid Sydney.

He has composed a 10-minute soundtrack for the Our Connected City light display that will see his music sync up to the Harbour Bridge and 21 other buildings in Circular Quay as thousands of Sydney-siders and tourists flock to the city for one of its most popular events.

Bailey said, “When I got asked to do the music, it was really like a full-circle moment because I always went to Vivid with my family when I was younger. It was something we all did together. I was so excited.”

This year’s Vivid theme is “humanity together.” Bailey has tried to align his composition with this theme as he believes in the power of music to bring people together, especially in times of crisis.

“My ultimate goal with this is to bring people together,” Pickles said. “There’s so much fear and unrest in the world at the moment. I want this music to bring people back together again. It’s a celebration and it’s so upbeat and exciting, it matches perfectly with the lights and it’s just this beautiful message of hope. I think it’s going to uplift people.”

Bailey is in his third year of study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but music has always been a huge part of his life.

He said, “According to Mum, I used to hum in my cot at 18 months old, so it’s been from really early on. I’ve always had music in my head. When I was three, I started writing little pieces of music on the upstairs piano. When I was four, I started going to ear training lessons at Yamaha and tried out for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at 10 and got in, so I did Saturday morning lessons with a classical tutor for seven years.”

Bailey attributes a lot of his passion for music to the schools he attended growing up: St Peters’ Anglican Grammar School Campbelltown and Macarthur Anglican School. He said, “[They] really helped me with my music. Where I wasn’t the strongest in learning particular subjects, they really put me on a pedestal for all my music stuff. It really helped me out. And Macarthur was the best school you could ever go to. I don’t know anyone who went there and didn’t love it.”

Bailey still makes the commute from Camden into the city every day for university and work commitments because of how connected he is to the community. He said, “I’m born and bred from Camden. I go into the city from here every single day. I do the trip, which is a four-hour return, because I love it so much. I still live with my family. I’ve loved growing up in Camden, it’s such a beautiful place.”

He has used social media, particularly TikTok, to connect with other artists. His work has drawn an audience of millions to his pages.

“TikTok and everything on there has connected me with the most incredible opportunities… I’m an incredible advocate for, if people have a dream or a talent, to start posting videos showcasing their talent,” Bailey said.

“I’ve had a chance to work with some of the biggest artists in the world. We’re connected now with record labels and they send me their artists. It’s incredible and one of the coolest parts of all of this is that these people are reaching out to me, instead of the other way around.”

Bailey has worked with international celebrities like James Bay and Becky Hill, as well as some of Australia’s most well-known names in music like Jessica Mauboy and Delta Goodrem.

His ultimate career goal is to meet and work with composer Hans Zimmer, and one day compose a score for a Hollywood film. He hopes this opportunity at Vivid will bring him closer to these goals.

Listen out for Bailey’s composition if you are in Circular Quay for Vivid this year. And if you can’t make it, you can download the Cinewav app to stream his composition from your phone by selecting “Our Connected City Composed by Bailey Pickles” on the app.

–  Emily Kaine