Last week, Tap Music – co-founded by Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, and home to Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Dermott Kennedy and more – won the Manager Of The Year honour at the Music Week Awards 2020.
Speaking to Music Week at the time, both Millett and Mawson stressed that they were taking very serioulsy their “responsibility to incorporate social justice work” into Tap Music’s DNA, hinting that they have several programmes that will launch soon to help affect positive change in the music industry.
Today (September 28) Tap Music have revealed their masterplan in the form of Tap Futures – a not-for-profit arm of their business which will encompass all of Tap’s fundraising, grant making and youth programme activities moving forwards.
In addition to this, Tap have also announced their fundraising plans for 2020 / 2021 – consisting of an initial financial commitment of £50k to be allocated in due course – and their first two confirmed beneficiaries: Nines’ Church End And Roundwood Unity Centre Redevelopment Project, Harlseden, and Saint Gabriel’s College, Lambeth.
An official press release stated that Tap Futures “aims to inspire the next generation of industry professionals to break through and reach their full potential. Breaking into these roles is tough, not least for the underprivileged and underrepresented, which must change. Research shows that children from families earning under £28,000 a year are half as likely to learn a musical instrument as those with a family income above £48,000.”
Tap Futures will initially fund specialist partners to offer a series of music industry workshops and after-school programmes focused on performance, production and music management, targeting some of the most deprived boroughs in London.
Part of Tap Music’s goal is to readdress the imbalance of representation of female artists, songwriters, producers and executives. It will also draw on the expertise and experience of Tap personnel and artists to provide mentorship services to those most passionate about pursuing a career in the music industry.
A press release confirms it will also work towards helping “traditionally underprivileged individuals gain insights and access to both the fashion and sports industries - through workshops in schools and youth groups.”
The first beneficiary of Tap Futures will be UK rapper Nines’ Church End & Roundwood Unity Centre redevelopment project. Tap Futures is funding an upgrade of Church End and Roundwood’s sports pitch from concrete to astroturf and will provide a series of music business workshops at the centre that will provide underserved youth with insights and roadmaps into all aspects of music careers.
The second beneficiary, Saint Gabriel’s College, a co-educational secondary school in Lambeth. Tap Futures will support Saint Gabriel’s College to extend their music programme and to reach more students.
Speaking of the Tap Futures, Ed Millett said: “The music business and many of the creative industries suffers from a lack of diversity. These often-opaque industries still favour the privileged, and those with existing contacts or money are most likely to succeed. The launch of the Tap Futures is the first step in a long commitment from us to help accelerate change both in our own internal policies and also at a grass roots level. We want to extend the amazing career opportunities our creative industries can provide to young people who might otherwise never consider this an option for them. We will start with the music industry but we are more than aware that these efforts are needed across all creative fields, whether art, fashion, film and also sport. We are so excited to help Nines on his brilliant endeavours to regenerate his own community as well as begin our own programmes as Saint Gabriels College secondary school.”
Ben Mawson added: “We are really excited to launch Tap Futures with two very different but equally important partners. We know how important it is to inspire young people while they are still imagining what their future might look like and that is as important in school as it is in a community environment. Establishing Tap Futures also ensures we can continue to build on our commitment to support our incredible artists and their vision for change - they have already achieved so much working for a range of charities and causes - we’re excited to build on this moving forwards.”
Nines said: “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s so important for the future of my area, that the kids are inspired and shown the many different ways that they can achieve success. It’s great to be able to partner with TaP to make that happen”
Nick Butler, headteacher of Saint Gabriel’s College, said: “Saint Gabriel’s College has a long history of investing in young people’s musical talent. We encourage all of our students to find their place in the music department by taking up an instrument, attending an ensemble or club and performing in school concerts and within the local community. I am delighted that TaP Music will be supporting our students to develop their creativity by providing a fantastic recording studio for our music department. This will be of significant benefit to our students who are learning instruments and encourage those who wish to pursue careers in music technology.”
Previously, Tap’s fundraising activity for mental health charities – which saw the team cycle from London to Paris and coordinate an industry football tournament – raised £100,000 for CALM and My Black Dog.
Tap Futures fundraising plans for 2020/2021 aim to exceed last year's total and will include a second cycle - from London to Amsterdam, plus a second industry football 5-a-side tournament.
Tap are calling on the industry to get involved in both fundraising activities and in delivering future programmes - for more information on how to get involved in the cycle and the 5-a-side tournament, should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers can read Mawson and Millett's winners' interviews here. You can revisit our June 2020 Tap Music cover feature interview here.