Developing Skills and Talent in the Creative Industries
Here you can find help and advice on the creative music industries. This comprehensive guide includes a list of links related to: business, careers, communities, courses, jobs, producing, performing, releasing and getting paid.
Help Musicians UK: This UK charity offers help for musicians throughout their careers. Visit Help Musician’s website for guides on: careers, finance, funding, health and well-being, housing and musicians services.
Music Publishers Association: A non-profit organisation representing music publishers in the UK since 1881. Visit Music Publisher’s website for guides on: job seeking, internships, work experience and how to manage the music business yourself as a ‘DIY’ artist.
Musicians Union: An organisation representing over 30,000 musicians. Visit Musicians Union’s website for guides on: copyright, finance, health & safety, marketing yourself, legal services, sexual harassment, working relationships, tax and more.
Youth Music: Free music career guides include things to consider before going freelance, how to navigate the industry yourself (DIY), creating a successful music brand, professional working relationships and much more. Visit the Youth Music website to access their free music career guides. Plus you can also pitch your idea to get yourself featured on their website – this could include opinion pieces on the music industry, how-to guides and top tips, interviews with music industry figures and more.
Supporting Music Industry Resources / Community
Association of Independent Music (AIM): The not-for-profit trade body representing UK’s independent music. Members range from the respected record labels and associated music businesses to self-releasing artists and the next generation of music entrepreneurs. AIM promotes and supports this diverse sector globally by providing a range of services, opportunities and practical help to members. Visit AIM’s website to look for music jobs, opportunities, resources and services.
Algorave: Events where people dance to music generated from algorithms, often using live coding techniques. The algorave community consists of a worldwide collective of live coders who host events all over the world and invite new artists to be part of the community. Visit Algorave’s website to find out more about artists who live code, events happening near you, and how you can run your own event.
Brighter Sound: A music charity based in Manchester. With national and international reach, they’ve delivered exciting projects and events that support young and emerging musicians for almost 20 years. Visit Brighter Sound’s website to find out more about their music opportunities and projects.
British Council Music Community: They believe in the power of music to connect people across cultures. Working with a global network, they create music projects and opportunities that allow people to exchange ideas across genres. Visit British Council Music’s website for a list of UK festivals, publications, music organisations, and UK funding.
Caution Collective: Founded by musical director Christella Litras in 2007, what began as a very small performance group has grown into an elite portfolio of up and coming songwriters and musicians. Their events have taken place across Yorkshire since 2007, but have mainly been hosted at Seven Arts in Leeds. The evenings host both established and emerging singer/songwriters across multiple genres. Visit Caution Collective on Facebook to find out how you can get involved.
Chapel FM: This arts centre and community radio station in Leeds offers education and training including music resources and a range of courses – from art to radio to writing. Visit Chapel FM’s website to find out more about their community and live music performances, events, and projects.
Chunk: A members collective in Leeds made up of musicians, events promoters, graphic artists, poets, and photographers. Chunk offers its members a platform to express themselves creatively and provides a space to host rehearsals, exhibitions, performances, club nights and gigs. Visit Chunk on Facebook if you’re interested in becoming a member to use their space.
Cloth Cat: A Leeds music education charity supporting those at most disadvantage who live in neglected parts of the city. Music, people, confidence building and empowerment are at the heart of their activities. They help people to gain control over their lives and find avenues into employment, further education and other positive social activity. Visit Cloth Cat’s website to find out about their music projects, courses and events.
Come Play With Me: A singles club putting out split 7” releases from the most exciting Leeds artists. They also create development opportunities for young artists, offer mentoring, and publish a regular music magazine. Visit Come Play With Me’s website to find out how to submit your music and about other opportunities.
Leeds Festival: Every year there are opportunities to volunteer at Leeds Festival. It takes place Friday to Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend in Bramham Park. As a volunteer you get free entry to the festival and time to see some amazing acts. You’ll need to be age 18 or over and available to work the shifts allocated to you throughout the weekend. Campsite Volunteers assist festival goers with directions, help them carry their belongings and pitch their tents. Festival Photographer roles might also be available. Visit Leeds Festival’s website to find out more about volunteering.
Leeds Music Trust: The Leeds music charity that bridges gaps in accessibility and brings people together. They offer musical experiences for education and pleasure, for all ages and abilities. Visit Leeds Music Trust’s website to find out about projects, events and ways you can get involved.
Leeds Producer Forum: A community of Leeds based producers and music makers who share ideas and processes through the legendary Cosmic Slop soundsystem. Cosmic Slop is MAP Charity’s regular in-house fundraising event, held in the Hope House Gallery. The events play host to some of the finest local selectors and internationally acclaimed DJs, playing records through the powerful custom built sound system. Visit Leeds Producer Forum on Facebook to get your music played on the Cosmic Slop soundsystem.
Music:Leeds: Acts as a centralised point to support, develop, grow and promote music in the city across all levels, genres and cultures. They work with artists, musicians, organisations, funding bodies, the government, and national music industry bodies. They frequently create networking opportunities and signpost information on music in Leeds. Visit the Music:Leeds website to find out about projects, events and industry information. The website also includes a Directory of bookable rehearsal studios in Leeds.
Music:Leeds Launchpad: a talent development programme. It offers opportunities and support for emerging artists, musicians, producers, bands, composers and music professionals in the Yorkshire region. Each year, multiple rounds of successful artists and music workers receive a variety of opportunities, including tailored industry mentoring, funding towards recording or towards their project and/or live opportunities. Launchpad:
● Funds recording sessions for selected artists and advice on releasing and distributing music.
● Provides live opportunities in collaboration with partners.
● Arranges one to one advice, support and mentoring for selected artists and those aspiring to work in music.
● Funds project support for those building a career in the music industry, creating new music businesses or projects.
● Organises conferences, workshops and seminars with a range of partners and provides regular updates on events, opportunities and funding available in the region and from local and national partners. There are usually multiple deadlines each year. Visit the Launchpad website to find out more and sign up.
Music:Leeds Launchpad Conference: The biggest, best and free music conference in Leeds – your chance to network with fellow musicians and industry professionals. This year it takes place in autumn, date TBC. Visit Music:Leeds website to find out about the speakers, panels, workshops and presentations.
MMF (Music Managers Forum): The world’s largest professional community of music managers. Since its inception in 1992, the MMF has worked hard to educate, inform and represent UK managers as well as offering a network through which managers can share experiences, opportunities and information. Our membership stands at over 850 managers based in the UK with global businesses and a wider network of over 2700 managers in the USA. The top priorities of MMF are:
● Educating the world on the role of the music manager: help people understand the increasingly important role of the manager, how it is changing and what it is we do.
● Professional development: supporting our members in developing their knowledge and skills as music managers through formal courses and more focused workshops and seminars
● Investment into Music Industry: encourage more investment into manager and artists’ businesses, including our Accelerator For Music Managers Programme and artist investment opportunities such as labels, distributors, Help Musicians UK, PRS for Music, SME funding and Arts Council grants.
●Representation: Campaigning on behalf of our members to affect change.
Visit the MMF website to find out more about the community of music managers in addition to related training and events.
Our Space: A community for QTIPoC (queer, transgender and intersex people of colour) from Leeds. They use music and art to platform and uplift QTIPoC stories and voices, answer the creative case for diversity from Leeds and beyond, and create safer spaces for the community. Visit Our Space on Facebook to find out about their events and how you can link up with the Leeds QTIPoC community.
Paramount Music: Provides emerging artists with platforms and opportunities to develop dreams into careers! They aim to provide the city’s best new acts with exciting bills to showcase their talents. Visit Paramount Music on Facebook for details of music events and opportunities.
Subdub: A Leeds organisation estanlished in 1998 promoting Reggae, Dub, Roots, D&B, Dancehall, Dubstep and Jungle music on the legendary Iration Steppas soundsystem. A pivotal force in the formation of Outlook and Dimensions Festivals, nights include Subdub Leeds, Subdub London, Dancehall Science and Exodus. Visit Subdub on Facebook to find out more about their events. Visit the Iration Steppas website to find out more about their legendary soundsystem and the history of Dub.
Spitfire make inspiring sounds and scoring tools for film, in collaboration with the world’s best composers, musicians and engineers. Their free online masterclasses are for anyone interested in learning how to master the basics of writing music for film, tv and video games. Each session is lead by a different tutor from Spitfire’s team of composers plus special guests and will give you all the tools you need from developing your own creative voice to a detailed look into mixing and mastering.
• Developing Your Own Creative Voice: Covers topics including: the differences between creating your own music vs music to picture, tips and tricks on developing your own voice, finding work in the industry, choosing your sounds and a helpful composite of the essential libraries, and the instruments and gear you will need.
• Writing Music to a Film Cue: Learn about how to set up your session to score for picture, working to a brief, and how to begin writing the cue itself.
• 10 Golden Rules of Orchestral Programming: Using BBC Symphony Orchestra Discover, composer and Spitfire Audio co-founder, Christian Henson gives his 10 Golden Rules of Orchestral Programming.
• Mixing and Mastering: In this Masterclass, Spitfire Audio founder Paul Thomson and AIR Studios Recording and Mixing Engineer Jake Jackson share an introduction to mixing and mastering, including how to translate a sound idea from your head into your DAW, workflow, using reverb, and general tips and tricks.
• Plus 3 more masterclasses to follow by 17th October. Visit Spitfire Audio’s website to access the free masterclasses.
Sunday Practise: A live music and poetry night at Sela Bar, Leeds. It’s free and takes place the first Sunday of each month featuring spoken word, an open mic, DJ and drinks. Set up in April 2013, the event has grown to be a well established night of the Leeds spoken word community. With local and international acts, The Sunday Practise is a great networking event that encourages artist collaborations. Run by Leeds Young Authors alumni, the team also offer creative writing workshops to schools, youth groups and young adults. Visit Sunday Practise on Facebook to find out more about their events and community.
Wharf Chambers: A non-profit arts and events space in Leeds which also operates as a hub for the city’s LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. Wharf Chambers provides an inclusive and affordable space for music, art, film, politics and discussion that brings together people across Leeds. You need to be a member or guest of a member to attend or host events. Visit Wharf Chamber’s website to find out about their arts, music and other cultural events.
Women in Music Community
Brighter Sound – Both Sides Now: An innovative programme that supports, inspires and showcases female music creators and industry professionals across the North of England. A driving force for equality in music, Both Sides Now is delivered in partnership with a range of venues, organisations, music education hubs, labels and festivals. The ambitious 3 year programme includes: residencies, commissions, showcases to platform northern artists, and training and apprenticeships in historically male-dominated roles. Visit Brighter Sound’s website to find out more about Both Sides Now.
Female Magik: A brand that celebrates women from the North of England through workshops, events and a podcast. The podcast focuses on each individual female journey, as each story can impact another woman’s life. They pride themselves on their vision board workshops that teach and encourage women to manifest their dreams and the importance of valuing themselves. Visit Female Magik’s website to find out more about their events, projects, journal posts and podcasts.
Female:Pressure: An international database and support network of female, transgender and non-binary artists in electronic music and digital arts: from musicians, composers and DJs to visual artists, cultural workers and researchers. The database aims to strengthen networking, communication and representation and includes almost 3,000 members from 79 countries. To find out more about Female:Pressure visit their website. If you want to be included on the database e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Girl Gang Leeds: An award winning events collective of party instigators, 90s fanatics, riot grrrls and promoters of positivity. They believe in the overwhelming power of communal support, using their talents to help others develop their own, and celebrating successes. Their strength lies in collaboration, skill sharing and generating new ideas. Visit Girl Gang’s website to find out about their regular gigs, club nights, exhibitions and networking opportunities.
Girls I Rate: Welcome to your extended creative family. We need your voice to create change! By joining the Girls I Rate Army (it’s free), you’ll be engaging with a like-minded community of female creatives to organise and partake in pushing for change and opportunities for young creatives as well as group discussions, mentoring sessions, masterclasses, songwriting camps, GIR Radio, GIR Youtube channel and much much more. We are a community of over 5000 female creatives, with a mission to create good vibes, sisterhood, opportunities and gender balance for young women aged 16-30 in the music & entertainment industry. We are conscious of how much harder black women must work to be seen, heard and supported, so have furthered our mission to launch GIR BLK to provide focused support groups for black female creatives. Through this new initiative, we are aiming to increase opportunities and fund the creative efforts & development of black women age 16-30. Visit the Girls I Rate website to become a member and access their opportunities.
Girls That Gig: A platform advocating all women within the creative and music industry. Their mission is to inspire, connect and support creative professionals. Visit the Girls that Gig Facebook page to find out more about their events and opportunities.
Loud Women: A group for all those who support putting women on stage, and turning up the volume. The global collective consists of musicians, promoters, organisers, and writers. They run an annual festival which has become the largest female-led festival in the UK – securing their position as the leading international showcase for female and non-binary alternative bands and artists. They also act as a record label and produce an e-zine with the latest music news. Visit Loud Women’s website to find out about upcoming gigs and their festival.
Pink Picnic: A DIY, female-run gig collective based in Leeds. They host events at local venues such as Wharf Chambers and Belgrave Music Hall. Visit Pink Picnic on Facebook to find out more about their events.
Rebalance: A pioneering 3 year programme which provides 1 week’s studio recording time to a core female band, female musician or female solo artist each month in 2020. At the end of the year, Festival Republic will commit to giving these acts a slot at a Festival Republic or Live Nation Festival. In addition, they’ll be supporting women who want to work in sound engineering and production by offering studio apprenticeships. Visit Rebalance’s website to find out more about their talent development programme for women.
Slut Drop: Twin aims of putting on some awesome new music and providing a platform for women in electronic music. They focus on promoting female, non-binary, BME and LGBTQ+ creatives. Visit Slut Drop on Facebook to find out more about their events.
VBAIN Consulting F-list: Database of UK Female Musicians, used by promoters and festival bookers. They have compiled a snapshot of over 300 UK labels with female artists in different genres. All these labels have signed female artists on their rosters and some of these labels have international artists. There is another sheet for self-releasing UK artists and another for songwriters and composers signed to UK publishers. Visit VBAIN Consulting’s website to add yourself to the music database of female artists.
Women Produce Music: An artist and producer led non-profit group thatpromotes and supports the activities of music-makers, producers and audio engineers. Visit the Women Produce Music website to find out more about their collaborative projects and initiatives.
Yorkshire Sound Women Network (YSWN): They run workshops in friendly, encouraging environments that include DJ-ing, live coding, Ableton, location recording, and soldering electronic instruments. They welcome women and people of non-binary genders, with their meetups a place for sharing skills and advice, finding mentors, making friends and building communities. Visit YSWN’s website to find out more about their community, opportunities and free resources.
Courses in Leeds
Artforms: This music and arts service works with children, young people, families and schools. They run musical instrument, singing and ensemble courses for all ages on Saturday mornings at venues across Leeds. Artforms also manage the City of Leeds Youth Music Orchestras (generally members are 13 – 18 years old). Visit Artforms website to find out more about music courses in Leeds.
Chapel FM: The first ever arts centre in East Leeds. Visit Chapel FM website to find out what is going on in the Centre, how you can get involved and be part of it, and how you can listen and watch all the programming from their community radio station, East Leeds FM. On Chapel FM’s website you can also find out about courses in music, radio, singing and more.
Cloth Cat: A Leeds music education charity supporting those at most disadvantage living in neglected parts of the city. Music, people, confidence building and empowerment are at the heart of their activities. Visit Cloth Cat’s website to find out about courses in electronic music production, guitar, singing, songwriting, and sound engineering.
Crossfader: An online DJ school and community whose courses are designed to help you get more creative and get the most out of your equipment. Visit Crossfader’s website to find out about courses covering everything from beginner DJ lessons to advanced tips and tricks, plus free tutorials.
DJ School UK: A Leeds not-for-profit company that povides accessible, engaging and educational DJ and music production tuition, projects and workshops. Visit DJ School UK’s website to find out about private DJ tuition, their DJ Club and projects.
Higher Rhythm: Based in Doncaster, they offer the following courses:
– Higher National Diploma in Music Tech and Sound Engineering (2 years, for people aged 18+)
– BTEC National Diploma (study programme) in Music Technology (2 years, for people aged 16+)
– BTEC National Diploma (study programme) in Creative Media Production (2 years, for people aged 16+)
– Trinity College London Arts Awards (12 session course in music technology or radio production)
– Professional Experience Programme (5 session programme and real industry volunteering opportunities)
– Music Technology & Radio Tasters (Meet the staff and tour the facilities)
Visit Higher Rhythm’s website to find out more about the courses and fees.
MAP Charity (Music & Arts Production): An alternative education provider working with young people who are unable to access the mainstream school system. They offer BTEC qualifications in Creative Media and Art & Design to 11-16 year olds. Their education provision is positioned alongside the charity’s work with businesses and creative partners: from screen printing firms to musicians. Visit MAP Charity’s website to find out about their courses, events and opportunities.
Melodies DJ Academy: DJ Miss Melodie set up her the Academy to encourage more females to enter DJing. The Academy host events and showcases, and run courses for males and females and at every level, from beginner to specialist. Visit the Melodies DJ Academy website to find out about their courses in DJing, Ableton Production and Live.
Music Lab: Instrument tuition in piano, guitar, drums, saxophone and more. Singing tuition is also available. Online sessions take place via Zoom and Skype. Visit the Music Lab website to find out more about their tuition opportunities and fees.
UK Music Apprenticeships: Their apprenticeships scheme has two simple objectives: to support music employers to hire committed, passionate apprentices and to help get talented people into paid music jobs. There are a broad range of music apprenticeships from live events and promotion to creative and digital media. Visit the UK Music Apprenticeships website for information on music apprenticeships.
Performing / Promoters in Leeds
360 Club Leeds: Showcases the finest emerging live acts in Yorkshire, playing host to different genres and styles every week. Each gig is themed so the bands and sounds fit together and have a good musical flow. Visit the 360 Club on Facebook to find out more about their gigs and if there are opportunities for you to perform.
Acid Panda: Promoter of events held at Mabgate Bleach, an independent arts music venue and creative space in Leeds. Visit Acid Panda on Facebook to find out more about their events.
Black Music Festival: Europe’s biggest, free and annual open-air reggae concert at Potternewton Park, Leeds (formerly known as Leeds Reggae concert). Visit the Black Music Festival website to find out more about the festival and if there are opportunities to perform.
Clue Records: An independent Leeds DIY record label, podcaster and promoter. Visit Clue Record’s website to find out more about artists they work with, and submit your music for consideration to release with Clue Records.
Futuresound Group: A diverse music and events company located in the north of England with over 20 years’ experience in the music industry. They take immense pride in delivering world class concerts and festivals, placing artist development at the heart of everything they do. Visit Futuresound’s website to find out more about their events.
Gold Sounds Festival: Takes place in May at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. New alternative music is showcased across two stages, over two days. Visit Gold Sound’s website to find out more about the Festival.
Inner City Electronic Festival: A celebration of electronic music and culture in Leeds over 24 hours, including music, talks and technology. Visit Inner City Electronic’s website to find out more about the Festival and how you can get involved.
Leeds West Indian Carnival: Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade… The perfect blend of jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouth watering food, Caribbean Culture and entertainment. Held annually on the last Monday in August – not to be missed. Visit Leeds West Indian Carnival’s website to find out more about the Carnival, and if there are opportunities to perform or volunteer.
Super Friendz: The promotion team behind events at Headrow House, Belgrave Music Hall, This Must Be The Place and World Island festivals. Visit the Super Friendz website to find out more about their events.
World Island Festival: Leeds based promoter Super Friendz’s World Island Festival brings some of the most exciting names in Jazz, Neo Soul, Hip Hop and Electronic music to Leeds. The Festival is held annually in May. Visit World Island’s website to find out more about the Festival.
Yorkshire Entertainment Awards: Created to recognise talent in Yorkshire across music, dance and film – they aim to connect the industries and acknowledge past and present talent. Visit Yorkshire Entertainment’s website to find out about the Awards and cast your votes to support local talent.
Releasing / Airplay / Getting Paid
AWAL: An online platform which offers successful applicants the opportunity to be part of a global music community. AWAL provides digital distribution across over 200 territories. They also offer label management, project funding, sync and digital service provider support, and radio and PR services. They also operate their own record label. Visit AWAL’s website to find out more about their online platform and services.
Bandcamp: An online platform which enables artists to sell their self-releases and physical merchandise direct to fans. Unlike other platforms, it doesn’t put your music on other online stores (iTunes, etc). It’s is a stand-alone online store with a global community. Special feature: add a Bandcamp ‘Buy’ link to your SoundCloud. Visit Bandcamp’s website to find out more about selling your self-releases and merchandise.
BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire: Listen to the show that celebrates the best of West Yorkshire’s thriving music scene Saturdays 8-10pm, presented by Emily Pilbeam. Visit BBC Introducing’s website to upload your track and get yourself heard on radio. Head to Twitter to follow BBC Introducing and find out more about the artists they’ve supported.
CD Baby: Provides digital and physical distribution services for albums and singles and sync licensing for TV, film, and games. CD Baby will get you on: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Music and more. Visit CD Baby’s website to find out more about their services.
Come Play With Me: A singles club releasing 7” vinyls from the most exciting Leeds artists. They also create development opportunities for young artists and offer mentoring. Since starting in 2015 they’ve released a mix of new and more established acts from all genres, demonstrating the awesome diversity of great music coming out of this part of the world. Visit the Come Play With Me website to find out more about their opportunities and the artists they’ve supported.
Ditto: Keep 100% of your royalties. Ditto is an online music distribution company for 160 digital music stores including Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, VEVO, Apple Music, Beatport, Deezer and Shazam. Visit the Ditto website to find out more about their distribution services.
For the Lost: A West Yorkshire music PR company run by Simon Glacken. Visit the For the Lost website to find out more about the PR company and the artists they promote.
Hanglands: A Leeds communications and events agency specialising in music, large events, hospitality and cultural projects. They work across press, marketing, social, content creation, event management, sponsorship, curation, consultancy and more. They work with new and established artists in addition to councils, festivals, bars, restaurants, and independent record labels. Visit Hanglands website to find out more about their services and events.
Her Music PR: A female run, female focused, PR organisation with the aim to give women equal representation in a male-dominated industry. Visit the Her Music PR website to find out more about this PR organisation and their annual festival, Her Fest.
Hyde Park Book Club (HPBC): Independent record label based in Hyde Park, Leeds, releasing the best in new music from jazz and beyond. Visit HPBC’s website to find out more about the label and artists they have worked with.
iMusician: Helps independent artist and labels to sell and monetize their music online through streams and downloads on online stores including iTunes, Deezer, Amazon, Beatport, Spotify, and more. They also take care of YouTube and Facebook monetization through Content ID, offering personalised support. Special feature: they offer an encrypted ‘music locker’ that will help you prove that music belongs to you. Visit iMusician’s website to find out more about their distribution services.
KMAH: A Leeds independent non-profit community radio station featuring a wide range of shows hosted by local DJs, producers, promoters, and artists. KMAH have a diverse output, featuring everything from Drone to Afro, Latin to Kwaito, Techno to Soul, Dub to disco. Visit KMAH’s website to find out more about the radio station and opportunities to perform or be promoted.
LANDR: Keep 100% of your rights and royalties. LANDR gives you access to mastering and global distribution in one place. They release your music on over 250 platforms including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon. They also provide a dashboard to track your success and fan base, enabling you to make important decisions about your next moves as an artist. For example if you find you’ve a large fan base in a certain area, it may be time to book a tour. Visit LANDR’s website to find out more about their mastering and distribution services.
Leeds Dance Community Radio Station 97.8FM: Dedicated to playing music that is under-represented in the city, they are aiming to set up 24/7 broadcasts from their space in Leeds Beckett University (LBU). Playing: hip hop, R&B, urban, underground and Northern Soul music. The station will also provide work placements for LBU students, supporting them to acquire new skills in radio production, journalism, public speaking and profiling new music. Read more about the station and find out about the shows on their website.
The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS): They collect royalties on your behalf for works that are released by a record company, downloaded or reproduced onto a CD, DVD or LP. Visit the MCPS website to consider joining the Society if your works are used this way.
Melodic Distraction: An independent radio station and collective of DJs, producers, musicians, festivals, promoters, artists and more. They broadcast 6 days a week from The Baltic Triangle in Liverpool and feature 75 monthly shows dedicated to showcasing music in the North West. Visit Melodic Distraction’s website to find out more about the radio station and if there are opportunities to perform or be promoted.
PIAS: Champions and supports the best independent music in the world across their international network. As well as developing their own in-house roster of artists, they offer financial investment and resources to ensure that companies and their artists are given the best chance of global success. They provide a wide range of services from sales and distribution to promotion, marketing and digital analytics. In addition, their Artist and Label Services division has long standing relationships with some of the world’s finest independent labels. Visit the PIAS website to find out about their international services.
PPL: The UK’s music licensing company for over 110,000 performers and recording rights holders. They’ve been licensing the use of recorded music in the UK since 1934 for radio stations, TV broadcasters and certain digital media services. They also license music suppliers to copy recorded music for services such as in store music systems, jukeboxes, compilations for exercise classes and in-flight entertainment systems. Visit PPL’s website to find out more about music licensing.
PRS for Music: Music wouldn’t exist without the work of songwriters, composers and publishers. PRS represent them and ensure that they are rewarded for their creations by protecting and licensing music. They pay royalties to PRS members when their work is performed, broadcast, streamed, downloaded, reproduced, played in public or used in film and TV. They further support members by hosting awards and events, and investing in new technology to ensure we’re fit for the digital music age. Visit the PRS website to find out more about licensing, royalties, and how you can become a PRS member.
Record Union: Global digital distribution services for all major online platforms including Tidal, Juno Download and Beatport. Through a partnership with Sony Music, Record Union offers artist opportunities that will help you get heard. Special Record Union feature: their upgraded Discovery Tool gives your music more visibility. They’re also among the only distributors to offer distribution on Juno Download. Visit Record Union’s website to find out more their distribution services.
Released Radio: They showcase the very best UK dance music, tailored towards listenerS who crave something that isn’t being covered by mainstream stations. Visit Released Radio’s website to find out more about the station and listen online.
RinseFM: Rinse has dominated London’s radio airwaves for 20 years showcasing the capital’s thriving urban music community. They also act as a record label and release albums and singles from a roster of signed artists, plus mix CDs from the station DJs . Visit RinseFM’s website to find out more about the station and record label.
Sable Radio: An independent non-profit Leeds radio station. They act as an open, responsive platform that not only broadcasts the best music but also draws on the broader arts practises and discussions taking place in the city. Visit Sable Radio’s website to find out more about the station. If you have an idea for a show email SableRadio@gmail.com
Spinnup: A worldwide digital music distribution service owned by Universal Music Group. They distribute on Deezer, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Napster, Amazon Music and Google Play. Visit Spinnup’s website to find out more about their distribution services.
Symphonic: They distribute physically and digitally worldwide. They cover music marketing, licensing and publishing needs. A special feature – Symphonic gets your music on Beatport, especially good for electronic projects. Visit the Symphonic website to find out more about their distribution services.
Topspin: A digital store and a marketing platform for musicians. It lets you sell your music (physical and digital), merchandise and show tickets. Like Bandcamp, this doesn’t put your music on other platforms (iTunes, Spotify, etc). Instead it lets you embed Topspin on your website or Facebook. Special Topspin feature: add a ‘Buy’ link to your SoundCloud. Also add an ‘Email’ link to your SoundCloud to collect your fan’s email addresses. Visit Topspin’s website to find out more about their online store and marketing services.
Tunecore: Keep 100% of the sales revenue from the music you distribute. Tunecore gets you worldwide digital distribution for albums, singles and ringtones. It also gives you a Music Publishing Administration pack that allows you to get royalties and syncs – their statistics are among the best to track how your releases are selling. TuneCore will get you on: iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube Music and more. Visit Tunecore’s website to find out more about their distribution services.
Talent Development Schemes / Funding
Help Musicians UK Creative Programme: Invests more than £600,000 a year in helping emerging artists, offering funding to individuals and groups and development opportunities. Lots of funding streams are available to help you develop your career, with various deadlines throughout the year. Visit Help Musician’s website to find out more about opportunities and funding.
MMF (Music Managers Forum) Music Managers Accelerator Programme: MMF are the world’s largest professional community of music managers. The ground-breaking programme, supported by YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Scottish Music Industry Association, is the world’s first independent funding and professional development programme designed solely for artists, songwriters and producer managers. It aims to increase the number of sustainable full-time management businesses operating in the UK, empowering them to work with a greater range of creative talent. Accelerator is aimed at UK based managers of all genres who are in full or part-time employment, looking to make the leap into full-time music management with their own company and provides support, training, and finance. Reflecting the true depth and diversity of British music, in year 2020, 20 participants are drawn from across the UK and represent an extraordinary range of 66 artists, songwriters and producers – from drill rappers and heavy rock bands to experimental instrumental groups and award-winning jazz ensembles. They include managers of acts shortlisted for the BRIT Awards Rising Star, the BBC Sound of 2020, BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Hot for 2020 and the Mercury Prize. Over half the group are from outside London. 38% are female, and 52% are from BAME backgrounds. Only three currently operate as full-time music managers, with the majority balancing this role with other freelance, consultative or short term employment. Applications for Accelerator are currently closed but we hope to announce details of a third year in summer 2020. Visit the MMF website to find out more about the Accelerator Programme.
PRS Foundation: They exist to help bring new music to life. The UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, since 2000 they have awarded more than £35m to over 7,000 new music projects. Visit the PRS website to find out more and about their funding opportunities.
The Royal Society of Musicians: Since 1738 they have continuously supported those in need. They recognise the precarious nature of the freelance musician who rarely enjoys the benefits of sickness schemes and pensions and that a few weeks out of work due to accident or illness could have serious consequences for musicians and their famies. All applications to the Society are considered in confidence. Help may be offered in many ways, whether it be living expenses, rehabilitation, counselling, referrals to specialised practitioners, or consultations with financial advisors. In some circumstances, ongoing long-term financial support is offered to retired or frail musicians, as well as those with debilitating illness. Visit the Royal Society of Musicians website to find out more about the funding available.