PledgeMusic and Help Musicians UK have teamed up to create the Emerging Artists Fund, a talent development initiative designed to provide legitimate DIY acts with funding needed to build a long term career. Here we look at six esteemed panalists who will help to select the awardees.
Guest post from PledgeMusic News
PledgeMusic and Help Musicians UK continue their Emerging Artists Fund, a talent development initiative to benefit emerging artists. Targeting acts with a genuine ‘DIY’ drive to build a long-term career, the scheme will enable selected artists to run their own PledgeMusic campaign and to access a top-up grant from Help Musicians UK once they hit their funding target.
To help select the applicants and make the final decisions as to who will be the Emerging Artists Fund awardees, the following six esteemed panel members have graciously given their time and efforts.
Producer / Engineer / Mixer
Thomas ‘Mitch’ Mitchener is a producer & mixer who is carving out a niche as the breakthrough producer for an exciting new generation of British rock bands. With his humble nature & his own studio space he is the epitome of what a modern, young producer should be – accessible to the artist, from a recent musical background and, most importantly, a unique sound.
Mitch has spent the last few years working with a raft of rock and indie bands, including Asylums, Hello Operator, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Gallows, and Young Guns. He produced, engineered, mixed and performed as bassist on the acerbic punk thrash of Blossom, the Top 20 debut album by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Mitch also produced their new album Modern Ruin which exploded into the charts at Number 7 on its release in January 2017, following three singles which were all named Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record In the World’ on Radio 1. Mitch also produced the debut album from hotly tipped band Counterfeit which was released on 17th March and received 4Ks from Kerrang!. Mitch kicked off 2017 by mixing the debut album from Dead!.
John was awarded an ambassadorship by his home city of Coventry for services to the city after the success platinum selling number 1 Enemy Album We’ll Live And Die In These Towns. The Enemy sold over 1.5 million records, and have three top 10 albums.
Starting out as a tour manager, working with several bands including Boy Kill Boy, Alexisonfire, Rise Against and more, John moved on to consulting for many other bands and music brands, including The Fratellis, The Twang, etc. Huge national club success was gained as owner of the Midlands favourite club Rehab Warehouse in Coventry. It was voted recently The Guardian’s Club Venue Of The Month several times.
THE PEARL HARTS
Singing songs about making deals with the devil, the open road, bad love and long youthful summers, The Pearl Harts (Kirsty and Sara) write timeless songs with choruses you can yell and riffs that will spin around your head for days. In 2013 the duo put on their first show at infamous rock hangout Crobar in central London. Causing a stir with their self-released single ‘Wolf Eyes’ – they soon caught the attention of blogs and press on both sides of the Atlantic and radio play on the BBC, Absolute Radio and a live session with John Kennedy on XFM.
It has been their fearless live reputation that has seen The Pearl Harts tearing up stages all across Europe; playing audiences of up 10,000 even before the release of a debut album. Their tenacious DIY approach to promoting their band has lead to invitations to support rock heavyweight rock acts such as Garbage, Skunk Anansie and Stereophonics, with Shirley Manson proclaiming that they are “badass girls with all the right stuff.” Retreating into their basement in the second half of 2016, they now have their debut album ready to be unleashed onto the world.
A&R / Live Events
Tor works in A&R at Polydor Records, and has the distinct honour of bringing global phenomenon Lana Del Rey into the label’s roster. Her current focus is working with Mo who won The Voice 2016 and upcoming Toronto based artist Saya. Tor runs her own club night in Hoxton called Gold Dust, where the guests have included Lana Del Rey, Aiden Grimshaw, Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Guillemots, Tom Odell, Eliza Doolittle, Princess Superstar, Ghostpoet and loads more. To top it all off, Tor runs the PledgeMusic Presents events for the good folk here at PledgeMusic.
“I’m excited to be on the panel for Emerging artists” Tor explains. “Over the last few years I’ve been involved with PledgeMusic doing some scouting, and now running their live events, so I know how important the company is. It’s great a new platform has been set up for newer acts to be discovered and to raise their profiles. This is also going to be an important tool for us at Polydor to see which acts are growing & building fanbases so we can hopefully go on to work with some of these artists in the future.”
A&R / D2F
Barry Saint is the Head of Artist and Label Relations for Gigrev and is also an A&R consultant for Nude Records/Publishing.
Barry has spent the majority of his career working in A&R, with positions at Sony, Relentless Records, Distiller Music Group and PledgeMusic, working with artist’s including Cage The Elephant, Funeral For A Friend and The Blackout. In addition, he managed the 4AD signed artist Broken Records.
Business Development and Programme Manager at British Underground
British Underground is an Arts Council England NPO working with export ready music-makers to help them maximize opportunities at international showcases and conferences. We work across genres producing events at SXSW, Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, the World Music Expo in Europe and A3C hip hop event in Atlanta.
We also have a partnership with Jazz re:freshed to take UK jazz to international Afropunk Festivals and have an ongoing bass music exchange project with cultural agencies in Brazil. We are also partners in the International Showcase Fund managed through PRS Foundation, which funds artists to attend showcase performances.