Musicians demonstrate creative career adaptability in the latest round of Do It Differently Fund

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Help Musicians has today announced grants to 41 music creators as part of the Covid-19 adapted round of the Do It Differently Fund. Those awarded have demonstrated ways of reimagining how they create, promote and work in a climate of social distancing.

Awarded projects range from modifying how a 12-piece ensemble can collaborate remotely, to recreating the live experience digitally in novel and interesting ways, to transforming pre-existing recordings into new pieces of work.

Outside of creative output, artists are showing that understanding how to adapt their business skills online is key to thriving. One-to-one Skype business mentor sessions, delivered by ThinkMusic as part of the Do It Differently funding package, have proven hugely popular. Topics such as ‘fan engagement strategy’, ‘building for the future’ and digital marketing have been identified by awardees as areas they are keen to build on in order to grow their careers online.

To complete the 360-degree Do It Differently package, BAPAM (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) will be offering online education tools to artists supported by the Fund.

Awardee Harleighblu said: “Before the crisis I was at a crucial point in my career; I had released my album and was ready to go out on tour, including a showcase at SXSW. Many opportunities, from international touring to important studio sessions, were cancelled due to Covid-19 and after spending years building my career to this point, I was left devastated. With Help Musicians support I can now release new music, develop my online presence, buy the equipment needed for a home studio, create content, and continue on with my career through the pandemic and beyond. With additional business support and wellbeing aid - I feel this is a wonderfully tailored package for independent artists during this time.

Help Musicians Director of Programme Claire Gevaux said: “The Do It Differently Fund was created to offer musicians a uniquely comprehensive package of support that spans across the range of their needs. We are delighted to see awardees reflecting not only on their creative output but also on how they can adapt their business skills and maintain wellbeing, especially when the traditional creative development model during lockdown is more challenging. We received a huge number of applications to this round of Do It Differently, demonstrating some real creative adaptability amongst the UK’s musical community. However, we do understand that the current lockdown situation may not offer the right environment for creative inspiration for everyone and we’d like to reassure musicians that we will have other opportunities to consider in the months ahead.

Awardees in this round & their projects are as follows:

  • Lists, a Scottish singer-songwriter, will be finalising, mastering and marketing his debut album
  • Grace Gillespie, a London-based folk/ alternative artist and producer originally from Devon, will be completing and mastering an EP release project
  • Aruba Red, a London-based R&B singer, will be releasing, mixing and mastering a recent live recording from a headline show at St Pancras Old Church
  • Ayanna Witter-Johnson, a London-based R&B cellist, singer and songwriter, will be upgrading her technical setup for content creation and promoting new releases
  • B-ahwe, an East Midlands based R&B/ soul jazz/ hiphop singer, will be recording, producing, mastering and developing artwork for a 5 track EP
  • Byron Wallen, a London-based jazz trumpeter, will be creating content for his next album by mastering existing material that was composed and recorded with other musicians over a number of years, as well as developing artwork and promoting his first album
  • Carla J. Easton, a Scottish singer-songwriter, will be promoting two singles and an album
  • Chris Hyson, a London-based composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, will be writing, recording and mixing his debut album
  • Dyskinetic, a West-Midlands electronic artist, will be purchasing equipment to create high-quality online performance videos, as well as devising education videos for young disabled children
  • Cristina Hart, a London-based pop-electronic songwriter, will be promoting and developing visuals for a single and EP
  • Dena Anuk$a, a Northern Irish DJ and rapper, will be writing, recording and mixing her debut album, inspired by Egyptian Queens
  • Douglas Whates, a Scottish Jazz composer and recording engineer, will be composing, recording and self-releasing a new album
  • 12 Ensemble, a London-based violin classical collective, will be setting-up, producing and marketing two 30-minute online episodes of live performance footage and historical content
  • M w S, a London-based alt R&B songwriting duo, will be producing, mastering and mixing an 4-track EP
  • Gildas Quartet, a London-based violin quartet will be working with composers to create new pieces written specifically for a quartet at a distance, record each part separately and mix them using binaural panning techniques to create an innovative 3D listening experience
  • Hamish Macleod, a Scottish composer, producer and guitarist, will be producing, releasing and marketing a debut solo project, a collection of electronic music crossing electronica, orchestral and jazz genres
  • Harleighblu, a Nottingham-based neosoul singer, will be securing new equipment needed to launch new music, and will also be releasing a string of singles leading onto a solo EP with a tailored PR and marketing campaign
  • Joy Anonymous, a London-based multi-instrumentalist, artist and producer, will be promoting and releasing three planned 2020 singles
  • ISQ, a London-based jazz/ art-pop artist, will be producing a remix of her latest album, which will be supported by a promotional campaign, including an online album launch
  • Ivo Neame, a London-based composer and pianist, will be composing, recording and mixing a large ensemble album, featuring the likes of Jason Yarde, Chris Potter, Ambrose Akinmusire and Linda Oh
  • Jeauneil, a London-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter, will be releasing and promoting a 4-track debut EP featuring singers, poets and spoken word artists
  • Jodie Nicholson, a North East based indie folk pop artist will be producing, mixing, mastering, marketing and promoting the release of a new single
  • Cattle & Cane, a North East based pop indie duo will be promoting a covers EP/ mini-album featuring 8 songs
  • Katy Carr, a London-based folk acoustic artist, will be releasing and marketing her sixth studio album
  • Lauren Housley, a Yorkshire-based country/ Americana singer-songwriter will be mastering, marketing, and developing artwork and merchandise for a new album
  • Liran Donin, a London-based jazz double-bassist, will be releasing and promoting his live album release
  • Maria Chiara Argirò, a London-based jazz/ electronic artist, will be recording, mixing, mastering and promoting the release of her third album
  • Martha Hill, a Northern alt-pop artist, will be mixing five tracks, developing visual content (three music videos, promotional photography, artwork and design) and manufacturing and distributing merchandise
  • Matthew Read Trio, a contemporary jazz group, will be releasing an album of new music alongside an online video series
  • Ruisi Quartet, a London-based classical quartet, will be recording their debut album showcasing interpretations of a diverse range of music, spanning the 1600’s to a specially commissioned new work by a leading young composer Oliver Leith.
  • Midori Jaeger, a London-based cellist, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist will be recording, mixing, mastering and marketing a new 4-track EP.
  • Lady Nade, a South-West folk/ soul/ jazz/ pop artist, will create, record and distribute her third album
  • XOA, a London-based jazz/ electronic/ experimental composer, will be producing, recording and releasing a new EP/LP on a new self-run label
  • Olcay Bayir, a London-based singer, will be releasing three songs, one of which will have an animated video
  • Sara De Santis, a London-based pop electronic composer, will be recording, mixing, mastering and developing videos and photo concepts for a new album
  • Sonja Sleator, a Northern Irish rock pop artist, will be recording, mixing and releasing a series of singles
  • Suzie Stapleton, an alt-pop gothic blues artist, will be marketing and manufacturing vinyl/ CDs for her new album
  • Bahla, an alternative jazz duo, will be remixing, mixing, mastering, promoting and developing artwork for two new singles
  • Isaac B, a London-based hiphop artist, will be promoting, marketing and developing visual content and merchandise for a new 7-track EP
  • Junodream, a London-based indie band, will be marketing the release of four singles throughout 2020
  • Rhumba Club, a synthpop London-based artist, will be developing a five month online growth campaign, featuring three single releases with accompanying videos
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