Applications have opened for a new programme by the Ivors Academy to give four performing songwriters and composers a year-long, fully-funded mentoring and development in writing, production and performance.
The Inside Track programme is for artists who do not currently have manager, publishing or label funding and offers the opportunity to learn under the mentorship of Ivor Novello-winning producer, songwriter and musician, Cassell the Beatmaker.
Applicants need to be members of The Ivors Academy, be solo performing songwriters or composers, over the age of 18, living in the UK or Ireland, be in financial need and belong to either an under-represented group or able to demonstrate significant barriers to accessing the music industry. This may include lack of access to education, caring responsibilities of geographical location. The work will take place in London and bursaries are available to cover travel and accommodation.
Cassell, who has previously worked with Plan B, The Streets, Duffy, Beverley Knight and Ms Dynamite, will deliver the programme through his community interest company, In The Making with funding from PPL and the Ivors Academy Trust. The successful applicants will write and produce tracks with him. They will learn about image and brand development, business planning and industry networking and the programme will include a showcase performance to industry figures.
Cassell The Beatmaker said, ‘Winning an Ivor was a career-defining moment that opened doors and made people see me differently. Using my 25 years’ experience I want to create the same kind of opportunity for artists with the talent but without the connections, knowledge or financial backing to start a solid career in music.’
Peter Leathem, CEO of PPL and a Trustee of The Ivors Academy Trust, added, ‘I am delighted that PPL is the first significant supporter of Inside Track, providing funding and expertise which will create new opportunities for underrepresented music creators and performers. By helping them overcome the structural barriers they face, we can help to move the music industry forward and ensure it more accurately reflects our diverse society.’
Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said, ‘We’re honoured to be working with Cassell and his talented team, and are hugely grateful to PPL for backing this brilliant new development scheme and becoming the first Pioneer Supporter of The Ivors Academy Trust. Talent, creativity and commitment are what matter, not who you are or where you’re from. We’re excited to see how this new Inside Track creates fresh opportunities for up-and-coming music creators.’