MOBO Help Musicians Fund
Support towards creating and promoting music of Black origin
If you’re a musician making hiphop, grime, R&B, soul, music of African origin, reggae, jazz or gospel then the MOBO Help Musicians Fund is here to support you to take your career to the next level.
You can apply for up to £3,000 towards recording music, and everything that goes around getting it out there into the world.
This support focuses not only on your music creation, but also on your wellbeing and long-term business development.
- up to £3,000 in financial support towards creative output
- one-to-one business advice sessions tailored to your needs and delivered via experienced music industry professionals
- personal health consultation with British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) professionals, covering all aspects of your physical and mental health health, with specialist referrals where required
Applications are open to musicians working in music of black origin. You can be a solo artist, composer, group member, songwriter, producer or a multidisciplinary artist.
To apply, you must:
- Be making music in one of the following genres: hiphop, grime, R&B, soul, music of African origin, reggae, jazz or gospel
- Deliver your supported activities within 12 months of accepting the grant. Please note, your activity should not start any earlier than three months from the submission of your application
- Be aged over 18
- Be in financial need without significant backing (i.e. not receiving significant financial backing from a label, publisher or private investor, and not having £16,000+ in savings)
- Have control over one or more aspects of your career (e.g. self-managing, self-releasing or self-producing)
- Already have an active career and be able to clearly demonstrate your work to date
- Have the right to live and work in the UK
- Currently be living in the UK
- Have a UK bank account
If applying as a group:
- At least 50% of members must meet the criteria as above, including the lead applicant
- You must have been established and playing together regularly for at least one year
Your budget of up to £3,000 might go towards some of the following:
- Time to create (writing, composition, rehearsal)
- Session musician fees
- Recording (studio hire, engineering, mixing, mastering)
- Content creation (video, audio, promotional photography, artwork, design, etc)
- Manufacture and distribution
- Merchandise (design and production)
- PR & Marketing
- Musical equipment or software/hardware to produce, collaborate or distribute*
*Equipment costs should not make up any more than 50% of your budget. Please note we are unable to fund the purchase of musical instruments, including laptops.
As part of this support, you’ll receive six hours of dedicated one-to-one business advice from industry experts to help you to shape or rethink your business plans.
You may be wondering how to promote your next release, be looking to find new ways to distribute your music or build an online fanbase.
We’ll pair you with up to two expert business advisors who can help you with a range of topics.
You can choose the topics of expertise that would suit you best when making your application, including:
- Branding, marketing, and social media
- Career development and achieving your goals
- Digital commerce including‘direct to fan’ sales and streaming
- Finances, taxes, and self-employment
- Legal and contracts advice
- Music business strategies (publishing, distribution, promotion, and licensing)
- Navigating careers in specialist music genres
- Publishing and Royalties
- Touring and Live
- Project Management
Through our partnership with BAPAM, you’ll be able to explore your own health practice, identify and develop achievable health goals, plan a schedule that helps you develop your career sustainably, and access expert clinical help for any performance-related conditions. This is available at any time during the duration of your grant.
Further support for your wellbeing, physical and mental health is always available.
Here are the activities that we can’t currently support through this fund:
- Activities that take place within 3‑months of a submitted application
- Activities that are not primarily music or career development focused
- Formal courses of study, training or research (e.g. undergraduate or postgraduate study). For information on how we can support this, please visit Support your Studies
- Attendance as a performer at showcases already supported by funds like the International Showcase Fund (e.g. SXSW, CMJ, A3C, Womex, Reeperbahn, Folk Alliance International, Canadian Music Week)
- Ongoing overheads, for example rent, utilities and insurance
- Buying or insuring vehicles
- Costs associated with entering competitions
- Activities that have already occurred (we can’t fund retrospectively so please check
the deadline dates)
Equipment costs that make up more than 50% of the total request from Help Musicians
- Costs relating to the purchase of musical instruments (including laptops) and/or the upgrade/maintenance of existing instruments
- Although we won’t exclude applications that are asking us to contribute to a wider project, this support shouldn’t be seen as a top-up fund for larger funding bids. By top-up funding, we mean supporting less than 10% of a total budget.
Please note that if you have received financial support from this fund or Record and Release support in the last 12 months, then we will be unable to support a new application for recording and release activity at this time.
There is high demand for this support, and in 2022 the charity was able to support around one in five applications from the funds available. We do understand that this process can be challenging, and we are here to support you, but due to the volume of applications our guidance cannot guarantee a successful outcome.