The first run of grants from the latest BPI-run Music Exports Growth Scheme has been announced – with British artists ranging from major label signings to relative unknowns receiving significant chunks of cash to further their career abroad.
The MEGS fund has already awarded £1.6 million of Government investment to promote over 100 UK artists internationally since its launch in January 2014.
Now, as announced late last year, the BPI is helping hand out a further £2.8m over the next three years.
The BPI has just distributed the first £250,000 portion of the money to 21 British acts.
Successful applications came in from both labels and management companies – including Red Light Management, Turnstile, Moshi Moshi, Mute, Raw Power, ATC and Marathon Artists.
You can see a full list of recipient artists below (complete with the BPI’s description).
They include MOBO winning jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon, folk artist Luke Sital-Sing and, synthwave act GUNSHIP.
Slaves (pictured), who have released two albums on Virgin/EMI, are also amongst the recipients, in addition to two acts who have released records via Sony labels – art-pop indie group Everything Everything and rock act Don Broco.
Small and medium sized companies are eligible to apply for MEGS grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 to help promote their UK acts around the world, giving them the opportunity to go global with their talents.
BPI Director of International, Chris Tams, said: “The Music Exports Growth Scheme promotes an incredibly diverse range of music that isn’t typically part of the mainstream but deserves to reach a much wider international audience. Smaller labels don’t always have the means to market their talented artists overseas, which is where the Scheme can make a vital difference, helping to boost not only their profiles and fan-bases, but the UK’s music exports in the process.
“We had an excellent response to this latest round of funding – with nearly 100 applications submitted. Narrowing this down wasn’t easy, but we’re delighted to award nearly a quarter of a million pounds to 21 acts – close to matching the largest amount we’ve given to date.”
International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, said: “The UK music industry is hugely influential and continues to inspire millions across the world. In 2015, music contributed over £4 billion to the UK economy and five of the world’s top ten selling artists were British.
“In the three months since the re-launch of the Music Exports Growth Scheme in October, we have awarded almost a quarter of a million pounds of funding to UK acts looking to break into international markets. Britain has an incredible pool of raw talent and, through our GREAT campaign, we will continue to help budding artists take the next step towards global success.”
The 21 acts to benefit from the latest MEGS funding (and the company who applied for their cash):
- Boxed In (Moshi Moshi Music) – British singer, songwriter & producer Oli Bayston leads English Electro Dance-Pop 4-piece. With two album releases to date – Boxed In (2015) and Melt (2016). Planned activity: Build profile in US with live & promo tour April 2017. Support for Melt LP and digital releases & vinyl LP for US RecordStoreDay. Instore events & possible NYC MOMA visual event.
- Cate Le Bon (Turnstile Music Partners) – Welsh singer/songwriter who has released 4 solo albums, including recently Crab Day, and has worked with Manic Street Preachers, Neon Neon and Funeral for a Friend’s Matt Davies. Planned activity: Funding for US live touring & festival appearances, supported by ongoing marketing & promo for ‘Crab Day’. Promo for unreleased tracks EP in US.
- Charlie Cunningham (Mute Management) – London songwriter and performer widely regarded for his musicianship and signature flamenco guitar style honed in Seville. With 3 EPs and a debut album Lines to his credit. Planned activity: Promote his debut LP via tours in Germany, Benelux & Spain, with funding for increased stage show and other fan engagement.
- Clock Opera (Venn Productions) – London-based British indie rock act fronted by founder Guy Connelly. The 4-piece have a debut LP Ways to Forget to their name, with plans to release a second album Venn in 2017. Planned activity: Fund logistics of extended headline European tour so more cities can be added, plus increased marketing & press support to amplify engagement around gigs.
- Deaf Havana (Silva Screen Records/So Recordings) – English alt rock group from Norfolk formed in 2005 after the band met at college. With 3 studio LPs to their name and a new album, All These Countless Nights, due for release in 2017. Planned activity: Full US media and retail servicing, including radio promotion, to support release of band’s 4th album.
- Don Broco (Raw Power Management) – English rock act originally formed at school in Bedford, but with their craft honed at university. The group’s debut LP Priorities was released in 2012, followed up by Automatic in 2015. Planned activity: Help fund 1st ever US tour, supporting The State Champs, also laying foundation for 2018 US live activity. Digital marketing to promote ‘Automatic’ LP.
- Everything Everything (Red Light Management) – Manchester indie act spanning art pop and electronica, the 4-piece with 3 Ivor Novello nominations have released 3 LPs including 2011 Mercury Prize shortlisted Man Alive. Planned activity: Fund a return US tour (incl. session musicians) & promotional activity to coincide with band’s 4th album, and continue building fan-base/raise profile.
- Flamingods (Liquid Management) – Multi-instrumental 5-piece formed in Bahrain in 2009 by Kamal Rasool, with an experimental sound reflecting diverse global influences. 4 LPs released including Majesty in 2016. Planned activity: Marketing, Press & PR & promo engagement in US, France, Germany, Holland & Italy to support touring and new product releases.
- Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes (ATC Management) – North England hardcore 4-piece formed in 2015 by former Gallows frontman Frank Carter. Album Blossom & EP Rotten (2015) but second LP Modern Ruin due. Planned activity: North America tour & festival dates, plus enable increased fan engagement via in-store events and promotional activity, including an exclusive indie vinyl release.
- GUNSHIP (Horsie in the Hedge) – British synthwave band formed by Dan Haigh, Alex Westaway & Alex Gingell, “influenced by the soundtracks of 80s film, TV shows, video games & cartoons”. Self-titled debut LP in 2015. Planned activity: Support towards US marketing, press & PR, including promo trip to build on sync opportunities, and release of 360 degree Virtual Reality video of new single
- Jamie Isaac (Marathon Artists) – BRIT School classically trained vocalist & pianist from Croydon, whose work spans jazz, R&B, soul, hip hop & electronica. His acclaimed debut LP Couch Baby was released in July 2016. Planned activity: Support major assault on US market – 2017 tour, including SXSW, and launch of promo mixtape with re-mixed album tracks, with digital marketing support.
- Luke Sital-Singh (Raygun Records) – London singer & songwriter with a folk sensibility. Featured on the BBC Sounds Poll of 2014 and exciting interest. Followed up his 2014 debut The Fire Inside with Time is a Riddle. Planned activity: North America tour to capitalise on growing interest in his music, including syncs, and establish him as an artist there. Film promo videos while on tour.
- Moelogo (Since98) – Originally from Nigeria, London-based artist influenced by R.Kelly and Usher. His R&B, Reggae-infused style is finding its audience, with break-through single Pangolo going viral online. Planned activity: Servicing of 2 new singles and an EP to European & world media.
- Moose Blood (Raw Power Management) – Kent-based emo rockers, who are building a devoted following through their sell out tours & festival appearances. With 2 LPs under their belt, including the acclaimed top-10 hit Blush. Planned activity: Build on successful 2016 tours in US, Australia & Europe by funding further 2017 touring, freeing label investment in digital marketing & promo.
- Mt. Wolf (CRC Music) – 3-piece regarded for their layered sound splicing electronic & acoustic elements, as well as a growing live reputation. Their long-awaited debut album is due in early 2017. Planned activity: Tour, radio & PR support in France/Germany to promote 2017 debut album.
- Phoria (X Novo Records) – Brighton-based alt rock band who stand out with their “visually evocative soundscapes”. Fronted by composer Trewin Howard, the 5-piece released their debut LP Volition in June 2016. Planned activity: Support a US tour of key cities to build the band’s fan-base and promote Volition LP. Build sync and publishing partnerships in North America, and release EP to engage fans.
- Slaves (Seven 7 Artist Management) – Kent duo whose music has been described as “British punk with harsh bluesy riffs”. Their 2 LPs both made top-10, with their 2015 debut Are You Satisfied also shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Planned activity: Fund US tour of key cities & SXSW to build on live reputation and add to word of mouth fan engagement.
- TIGERCUB (Alcopop! Records) – Brighton “grungy” rock trio James, Jamie & Jimi came together in 2010, heavily influenced by Nirvana, Sonic Youth and other 90s rock acts. Their debut full LP Abstract Figures in the Dark came out in 2016. Planned activity: Grow fan-base in Europe via touring, press & PR and social media – videographer.
- Vanessa White (Salute the Sun Records) – British singer-songwriter and musical actress also known for being a member of the successful girl group The Saturdays, now striking out with a solo career. Planned activity: Looking to tap into major interest in place of heritage, The Philippines, with promo visits, radio, digital & social marketing investment.
- White Lies (White Lies) – West London “post-punk” 3-piece formed in 2007, who have drawn comparisons with the likes of Joy Division & Editors. With 3 albums released to date incl. the No.1 To Lose My Life, and new album Friends due for release. Planned activity: Contribute to shortfall cost for 13-date North American tour to promote ‘Friends’.
- YolanDa Brown (Black Grape Global) – MOBO winning singer/saxophonist praised for her “singular mix of jazz, soul and reggae”. Her debut LP April Showers May Flowers hit No.1 on iTunes & Amazon jazz charts, and she will support Billy Ocean’s 2017 UK tour. Planned activity: Contribution to fund cost of live concert appearances in Australia, Nigeria & US, and related promotional activity.
Music Business Worldwide