Keychange unveils 74 participants for 2023 Talent Development Programme

Keychange unveils 74 participants for 2023 Talent Development Programme

Keychange, the international initiative for gender equity in the music industry, has welcomed 74 new participants to its 2023 Talent Development Programme. 

Keychange brings together different skills and networks through the Keychange Pledge and Talent Development Programme, with international collaboration at its heart.

The Talent Development programme aims to equip the participants with the skills, resources and pathways needed to unlock their full potential in their area of expertise. Keychange has brought 282 participants to the programme over the past three years.

Selected by industry specialists, the newly announced participants mark the third cohort of artists and music industry professionals from 12 countries across Europe and Canada to take part in a year-long programme. It follows an open call that received 830 applications.

The 74 new participants are below grouped by territory: 

CANADA: (Artists) The Garrys, Desiree Dawson, Liza, Meisha and The Spanks

(Innovators) Roxanne Lemieux, Kingsley Swim, Nancy Lee, Gaby Gauthier-Durand

ESTONIA: (Artists) Maris Pihlap, Manna, Bedless Bones

(Innovators): Iti Teder, Tanya Korenik, Paula Hakkaja

FRANCE: (Artists) BRÖ, TOLVY, Poundo

(Innovators) Cecilia Pietrzko, Gina Périer, Lola Levant

GERMANY: (Artists) Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, Gloria de Oliviera, Ava Vegas

(Innovators): Katie Wellenberg, Sarah Jane Nicholson, Amande Dagod 

ICELAND: (Artists) CYBER, Jelena Ciric, MSEA

(Innovators) Josie Anne Gaitens, Lama-sea Dear, Inga Magnes Weisshappel

ITALY: (Artists) IRuna, Claudym, Queen of Saba

(Innovators): Margherita Devalle, Alice Salvalai, Marika Lelario

NORWAY: (Artists): Moyka, Maud, KAMARA

(Innovators): Maria Bringsjord, Dana Jdid, Inger Braten

POLAND: (Artists) Izzy and the Black Trees, Agata Karczewska, Iza Smelczynska

(Innovators) Magda Jedrzejewska, Anna Klimczak, Urszula Nowak

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: (Artists): Pastiche, Tolü Makay, Katie Phelan

(Innovators): Bekah Molony, Maya Cullen Petrovic, Mags Blackburn 

SPAIN: (Artists): The Crab Apples, Gela, SUNESIS

(Innovators): Esther Cid, Grace Puluczek, Mabel Alonso 

SWEDEN: (Artists) Aasma, Felin, Kristina Issa 

(Innovators) Naomi Wood, Sorrel Salb, Jonna Eve Eriksson

UK: (Artists): Halina Rice, Pyra, Freddie Lewis 

(Innovators): Michelle Kambasha, NIKS, Saskhia Menendez

The talent programme represents a broad range of music genres, sub-sectors, artists and professionals from diverse backgrounds. 

An inclusive approach aims to tackle intersectional barriers. Within the latest cohort, where participants responded to diversity and inclusion monitoring questions, the results were: 51.7% identify as LGBTQIA+; 9.5% of participants identify as gender expansive (non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid and other minority gender identities); and 27.3% belong to racially marginalised communities within their countries. 

Keychange partners offer additional access and childcare support to a number of selected participants.

The Talent Development programme will launch with a full network meet-up in Brussels on February 14-15. It will be curated by Sarah Bouhatous, programmer and co-ordinator at the Scivias platform, which works for greater inclusion in music in Wallonia and Brussels. 

The event will take place at the Keychange Pledge signatory and partner venue Ancienne Belgique. It will play host to a special Keychange live event featuring alumni from the Keychange programme, British alternative-soul singer Tawiah and Swedish rock quartet The Hanged Man. 

Alongside the full network meet-ups, participants will take part in workshops, seminars and masterclasses at the 13 festivals that are partnered with Keychange across Europe and Canada. Artists will have the opportunity to perform at international showcases, while innovators will take part in international music conferences. Each participant will be invited to join a bespoke mentoring scheme created in collaboration with

The announcement comes as the Keychange Pledge has now achieved over 600 global signatories united in creating more opportunities and visibility for women and gender-expansive artists and professionals throughout the music industry.

Merle Bremer, project lead Keychange (Reeperbahn Festival), said: “We are now in the third year of the Keychange programme. After two challenging years of the pandemic and in spite of a tense geo-political context, I look forward to the coming year with optimism. The Keychange Partner Network has selected 74 remarkable participants who will travel to festivals throughout Europe and Canada starting in spring. At Keychange, we are taking further steps to create sustainable change that insists upon a more equitable and inclusive music industry moving forward.”

The latest Keychange Pledge signatories include Believe and TuneCore (US), the Society for the Administration of Copyright in Congo (DRC) and the Royal Irish Academy of Music (IE). 


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