The fund helps support the creative and career ambitions of emerging talent, with grants of up to £2,000 available to support exceptionally talented solo artists, songwriters and groups who do not have significant financial backing. Applications are open from today (September 12).
After the success of last year’s pilot, The MOBO Help Musicians Fund’s total fund has been increased to £40,000, creating even more funding opportunities for grass roots talent at the start of their careers, with groups of five or more now eligible to apply for grants up to £3,000.
HMUK’s head of creative programme Lucy Bampton said: “We’re thrilled to announce we have doubled our investment in the MOBO Help Musicians Fund following such a successful pilot year. This additional investment and working with the fantastic MOBO Trust will enable us to support even more exciting and innovative artists from genres beyond the existing commercial heartland. We’re particularly excited to expand our criteria to enable larger groups, such as gospel choirs, to realise their career ambitions.”
Applications are encouraged from genres beyond the commercial heartland such as R&B, soul, afrobeats, jazz, gospel, reggae and African as well as hip-hop and grime, but talent from any genre are welcome to apply.
Those eligible for the grants would be able to fund a broad spectrum of activities - from vocal coaching, support for live performance and touring, video production, recording studio access, PR,?marketing?and promotion.?
MOBO founder and CEO Kanya King CBE said: “MOBO has a long history of championing and supporting the next generation of talent in urban music. Yet with each new generation of artists comes new challenges to develop one’s art and get to the next level, so financial backing early on is critical to the long-term growth of a fledgling artist.
"After last year’s successful pilot and witnessing the progress of last year’s recipients, it was only natural to continue this partnership with Help Musicians UK and we are therefore proud to be able to offer even more exceptional musicians, songwriters and producers invaluable funding and support in achieving their career ambitions. We look forward to seeing more of the wide range of grass roots talent the UK has to offer".
The 2017 MOBO Help Musicians Fund supported 11 up and coming acts, such as producer, composer and vocalist Agama, who used her award to produce a four-track EP and live video. Elsewhere, contemporary soul and Neo Jazz artist Estée Blu developed her live performance and got vocal coaching after receiving funding.