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.
Please note: Our site contains links to and from other websites. Studio12 and Leeds City Council do not necessarily endorse or support the organisations that are linked to or from our website. We cannot guarantee that links will work all of the time, and we have no control over the content or availability of the linked pages on other websites. We aim to keep this page as up to date as possible, however please check details yourself before applying for opportunities, some of which may be paused or cancelled due to the pandemic. If you’re a Studio12 member and need some help or advice in submitting an application for any opportunities or funding, please get in touch: email@example.com
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.
Sound and Music: Visit Sound and Music’s website for a useful Young Composers Toolkit, designed to give composers and sound artists information and advice on how to build and sustain a career in the music industry.
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.
BBC Music Introducing: Tune in to the show that celebrates the best of West Yorkshire’s thriving music scene Saturdays 8-10pm, presented by Emily Pilbeam. Head to Twitter to follow BBC Introducing and find out more about the artists they’ve supported.
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.
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.
Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM): The UK’s professional body for musicians and a nationally recognised subject association for music. Since 1882, we have been dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession. We support over 10,000 members across the UK and Ireland with our unrivalled legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. Our members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds. As well as working musicians, our membership also includes part-time and full-time students and retired musicians. We campaign tirelessly in support of musicians’ rights, music education and the profession as a whole. We are a financially independent not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation. This independence allows us the freedom to campaign on any issue affecting musicians. Visit ISM’s website to find out more about their services and how they may be able to support you.
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 sound system. 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 sound system.
Music Industry Yorkshire (MIY): MIY is an initiative of not-for-profit music and media organisation. They partner with like-minded organisations and link key players, businesses and events to provide support, signposting and development opportunities for Yorkshire’s established and aspiring music industry professionals. Alongside region-wide masterclasses, mentoring sessions and expert-led panel events, MIY has delivered high-profile international events such as the Yorkshire Artists Stage at South by South West. MIY was created to support our region’s extraordinary, vast and diverse music community and simply by registering as a member through the MIY website (your member profile is private) you will receive info about:
● Panels and Sessions with Music Business Pros in Yorkshire
● Signposting to Information, Advice, Guidance and Support available
● Opportunities to participate in Key Industry Events
Anyone in any music sector (artists included) will benefit from the information and updates you will receive simply by joining MIY. Some of the tools on the MIY site focus on supporting music pros other than artists… If you run a music business / music service you can list this (free) in the music business professionals listings aimed at any sector – except original music artists, (though if you are a session player or cover band, it makes sense to list there as anyone can browse the MIY site to find professionals and services). Anyone can also use the MIY site to search for or post music industry jobs, or to browse music industry support events in the region. If you are based in Yorkshire, and work or want to work in the music industry, visit the MIY website to join the community for free.
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 about the talent development programme and to sign up for opportunities.
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.
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.
Sound and Music: The UK’s national organisation for new music, and a charity. They offer their own directory of opportunities for composers on their website which can be filtered by type, location and genre/interest. Visit Sound and Music’s website to access their directory of opportunities for composers.
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 led 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.
Subdub: A Leeds organisation established in 1998 promoting Reggae, Dub, Roots, D&B, Dancehall, Dubstep and Jungle music on the legendary Iration Steppas sound system. 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 sound system and the history of Dub.
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.
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.
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: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.
HerFest: An annual free music festival which celebrates female identifying musicians, hosted by Come Play With Me and Her Music PR. HerFest is held at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Visit Facebook to find out more about HerFest.
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 programme which provides five days’ studio recording time to a core female-identified band or artist each month, as well as a slot at a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival and numerous live events throughout the year. In addition, ReBalance supports women who want to work in sound engineering, stage management and production by offering 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.
The 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 that promotes 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 provides 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.
Brudenell Social Club: An award-winning and now legendary independent music venue based in Hyde Park, Leeds. One of Leeds’ longest running independent music venues and now a globally recognised brand – a destination for touring artists big and small. Their community hub also provides DIY promoters and bands/artists with a platform to promote their own events, alongside big-name gigs. Visit Brudenell Social Club’s website to find out more about their gigs, and to see if there are opportunities for you 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.
HiFi Club: One of the longest running Leeds clubs which hosts regular nights and showcase including DJs and live music across genres – such as breaks, dubstep, footwork, grime, hip hop, jazz, soul, afrobeat and disco. Visit the HiFi website to find out more about the HiFi Club and opportunities for you to perform.
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.
Live at Leeds: An award-winning metropolitan music festival held annually across a variety of venues in Leeds, on May Bank Holiday. The Festival began in 2007 and since then our aim has always been to showcase the best new emerging artists alongside more established acts from around the world. 10,000 music fans, over 20 stages and 200 artists, who will you discover? Visit the Live at Leeds website for more information about the festival and to check if there are opportunities for you to perform.
Seven Arts: An independent arts space in Chapel Allerton, Leeds. A small but versatile space, providing a hundred-seat venue for film, theatre, dance, music, words and comedy. Visit the Seven Arts website to find out more about their independent arts space.
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.
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 more about their events, or to enquire about using their arts and events space.
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.
Releasing / Airplay / Getting Paid
Amazing Radio: An international radio station first broadcast originally on digital radio in the United Kingdom. The station plays music by new and emerging artists across various genres including pop, rock, indie, hip hop, electronica and jazz. You can register for a free account which allows you to upload one of your tracks and one video link. Visit Amazing Radio’s website to upload your music.
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: Visit BBC Introducing’s website to upload your track and get yourself heard on radio!
Brace Yourself: London based independent music PR specialists in radio, print, online & brands. Visit the Brace Yourself website to find out more about their PR services and opportunities for airplay.
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.
Futuresound Group: A reputable music promotions group based in Leeds. One of the largest independent live promoters in the North of the UK, hosting over 400 shows a year with artists from a variety of genres in venues from 100 capacity rooms to arena shows and large outdoor events. Visit Futuresound’s website to find out more about their festivals, venues and artist services.
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.
Limbo Radio: A Manchester based grassroots underground radio platform broadcasting from DownTex Mill which also has its own shop and hosts events under the Limbo banner. Limbo facilitates a platform for experimentation, innovation and creativity. They specialise in offering slots to DJs wanting to practice and promote their mixing abilities. Visit Limbo Radio’s website to find out about opportunities for you to get involved or to get airplay.
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.
NTS Radio: Radio, video, events and creative projects. NTS Radio broadcasts underground music live from London, Manchester, Los Angeles and beyond. Visit NTS Radio’s website to find out about opportunities for airplay.
One Beat PR: A London & Sheffield based independent music PR company founded by Liv Willars, working with a variety of bands, artists, record labels and events. Visit One Beat’s website to find out more about their PR services.
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: Record label, music publisher and independent record shop based in the Corn Exchange, Leeds. They are a new one stop music publisher with a multiplying collection of music spanning electronic, soul, jazz, psychedelic, rockabilly and more. Most of their music comes from artists based in Leeds. Visit the Released website to find out more about their label and publishing 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.
Resonance FM: Resonance is a ground breaking 24/7 London radio station which broadcasts to central London, Greater London, nationally and also live streamed to the rest of the world. Realised by a dedicated community of volunteer engineers and programme-makers, Resonance offers over 105 creative broadcast series every week featuring local and international artists, makers and experts. Resonance seeks to discover, encourage and support a diverse range of artistic voices through radio – from first-timers to seasoned broadcasters. Visit Resonance’s website to send them your promos / press releases, or to pitch your ideas for your own radio show!
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
Sentric Music: A British independent music publisher specialising in emerging songwriters and artists. Sentric put songwriters and artists first, offering the fairest publishing deal in the music industry. If your music is performed live, streamed, played on the radio or used on YouTube Sentric gives you control to collect your royalties globally from one portal, with no upfront fees. Visit Sentric’s website to find out more about their publishing services.
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
Awards for Young Musicians (AYM): For ages 17 and under. Musical talent is everywhere but opportunity isn’t: family finances and other obstacles too often get in the way. Awards for Young Musicians are here to change this. We directly support hundreds of young musicians from low income families each year, with funding and other help. Our Awards programme: the biggest obstacle faced by many talented young musicians is a simple lack of money. They have the talent and drive, but developing their musical potential can be an expensive endeavour. AYM works to address this by offering individual grants of up to £2,000 per annum to exceptional young musicians whose families are on a lower income. This funding can be used towards musical costs (such as tuition, instrument costs, equipment or travel) and is offered in conjunction with individual support to cater to personal circumstances, such as mentoring, access to workshops, free concert tickets and performance opportunities. This support is both inclusive and means-tested, so that young people receive the right level of support for their circumstances. AYM’s key criteria are musical talent and financial need, meaning whatever genre the musician plays, they can prove their eligibility without having to have taken formal exams. AYM encourages applications from young musicians playing any musical genre, from Western classical music and jazz to electronic and pop. AYM accept applications from January to April. Visit AYM’s website to find out more about the Awards for Young Musicians and to apply.
Drake YolanDa Award: The Award is a talent development grant which aims to financially support talented emerging artists who are creating great music, actively performing and want to pursue a career in music. 10 emerging artists will be awarded £3,000 each to support them in areas including touring, artistic development, recording new music, music videos, marketing, branding and purchasing new equipment. This award is open to emerging artists across any genre of music (classical musicians not eligible) aged 16 – 30. You must be resident in the UK. Applicants can be singers, rappers, instrumentalists and groups. We are looking for independent artists that need support and do not currently have backing from major record labels, publishers and more. Visit Drake YolanDa’s website to find out more about the Award and to apply.
Finzi Trust Grants: They provide grants to musicians below the age of 25 at the time of their application. Grants may be used for music performance, music publication, books on music, music festivals, and furthering musical education (excluding full time courses). Eligible candidates must demonstrate commitment, ability and genuine financial need. Please note that financial support is not given for postgraduate study, undergraduate study, subsistence or school fees. Limited funds are available for grants of a modest size. Applications will be considered twice a year; deadlines for submission are 20 February and 1 September. Late applications will be carried over until the following period. To find out more about the Finzi Trust grants visit the Gerald Finzi website.
Finzi Scholarships: The Scholarships are separate from the Trust’s Grant Giving and are awarded annually following an application process which may lead to interview. Finzi Scholarships are project based and are aimed at expanding horizons, giving opportunities and the inspiration to widen experiences in the musical world. Proposals must have a musical foundation: projects might show a creative initiative or could involve some practical experience, education or research, perhaps even giving a personal change of direction. Who can apply: Candidates of all ages and resident in the UK at the time of application are welcome to apply (group applications are not considered). Formal qualifications are not necessary. Applications are welcome from trained musicians, but equally, previous professional experience is not a pre-requisite. Finzi Scholarships are not awarded for attendance at courses, for the support of academic degree courses, nor for the provision of student grants. The Trust anticipates awarding grants for projects within the UK or overseas lasting, on average, between 3 – 8 weeks. Projects can be home-based but if a project involves travel, then these expenses are met together with costs of accommodation and subsistence (and where appropriate, disability allowance) for the period involved. Costs of equipment and allowance for lost income are not normally covered. Grants previously awarded have ranged from £1k to £5k. Projects are assessed not only on their strength of vision but also on their realism and practicality. To find out more about the Finzi Scholarships and to check when applications next reopen, visit the Gerald Finzi website.
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.
Jerwood Bursaries: Funding support for artists, curators and producers. Jerwood Bursaries provide funding of up to £1,250 to help you explore and develop your practice by enabling you to gain new skills and knowledge. We want you to have the opportunity to pursue your interests independently and on your own terms. A Jerwood Bursary can support your development by funding meaningful opportunities to reflect on and grow your creative practice. This might include new partners for collaboration, receiving mentoring or taking part in training, conferences and workshops. It can support development of your creative practice by covering the costs of self-initiated residencies and by supporting early-stage research and testing of brand new ideas. We want you to suggest activities that will help you to learn and take control of the development of your artistic practice and career. We particularly welcome applications for:
● Mentoring, coaching, critical feedback
● Professional and/or specialised training
● Taking part in conferences or workshops
● Self-initiated residencies
● Networking and membership of artistic networks
● Learning specific skills and knowledge
● Research to develop your practice
To find out more about Jerwood Bursaries, when the next deadlines are and to apply, visit the Jerwood Arts website.
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.
Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust: Music: The Trust supports young musicians at the start of their careers with particular projects such as attending masterclasses, travelling to auditions, making initial recordings, commissioning new works etc. The Trust also supports organisations such as IMS Prussia Cove, English National Opera, British Youth Opera etc. who have a particular focus on working with young artists. Visit the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust website to find out more about their financial support.
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.
RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Composers Programme:
Establishing yourself as a professional composer is rarely easy. Annually, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composers programme aims to transform the prospects of promising composers. Besides offering a commission (£2k) – performed with one of a range of noted ensembles, venues and festivals – we support a cohort of composers taking critical steps towards establishing their careers, and equip them with the skills and confidence to seek further commissions and performances of their own beyond the programme. We do this through a year-long range of sessions and activities, including the opportunity to meet and draw insights from key figures in the music business and professional composers, workshops to develop skills that will enable you to promote yourself and your music, as well as individual sessions looking at your own personal objectives that we will help you to fulfil. To find out more about the Composers Programme visit the RPS website.
RPS (Royal Philharmonic Society) Composing for Dance – Drummond Fund:
We are pleased to offer grants of up to £25,000. Recognising the increasing challenge and expense of staging dance with live music, we hope this grant will enable practitioners to activate plans that may not otherwise have been possible, making a difference to their progress and profile. Who can apply: UK-based professional dance artists, choreographers, companies, festivals or venues with at least two years’ standing, looking to commission a composer to write new music for performance that will involve live instrumental musicians or singers. Alternatively, the application can come from a composer so long as they have plans and performance outcomes taking shape with a choreographer and dancers. Applicants should express why a project like this will have worth for themselves and/or their company and their audience, and what they hope to achieve with it that they have not previously. The composer may be an emerging or established artist but must have some proven acumen for writing music of character and distinction for live instruments or singers. If you would like to undertake a project like this but would like our help suggesting and introducing a composer with whom you could collaborate, we are happy to chat. How the grant be used: We recognise that all practitioners are different. Some may simply value the means to pay a composer to write music for them. Others might want to devote some initial funds to research and development, so a composer and choreographer can experiment and test new ground together, before embarking on a piece. Others may need help to hire musicians and stage the ensuing performances, or capture it digitally to share with wider audiences. In your application, you should give us a picture of all your major project costs, how you would like to assign the RPS Drummond Fund’s support to these, and where you intend to find the remaining funds. Visit the RPS website to find out more about the Drummond Fund and to check when applications next reopen.
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 families. 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.
Stephen Oliver Award: The Stephen Oliver Award is now awarded every other year to a young composer who has written a work for music theatre to assist with the cost of bringing that work to performance. The Award is up to £5,000. The Award will be made to assist with the cost of bringing to performance a work which has been, or is in the process of being, written for music theatre. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that a performance is in prospect. There is no set application form. The applicant should submit by email a copy of the score and libretto to which the application relates (and links to recordings if available) together with other examples of the applicant’s work. In addition, the applicant should provide, also by email, detailed estimates of costings for bringing the work to production, together with an account of progress made in accessing other sources of funding and possible realisation dates. To find out more about the Stephen Oliver Award and to check when applications next reopen, visit the Munster Trust website.