MENTAL HEALTH

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Black Mental Health Charities

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Music Mental Health resources

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Music Mental Health charities

General Resources

AAPI Support & Organisations

AAPI Music Mental Health charities

COLLECTING AGENCIES

GRANTS

Grants are essentially free money. It's money you don't have repay. You need to submit an application for it. Each grant has been created with some kind of objective in mind. With each grant, there are different guidelines for eligibility, amount of grant money, type of project and so on.

What are the funders looking for?
1. Transformation - How will your project progress? What Impact will it have?
2. A Story - Does your project have a purpose? Does it have a story to tell?
3. In trend - Could there be a lack of Jazz music in London? Is there a need for more digital related projects?

What are main reasons for applications getting turned down?
1. Eligibility - 30% of applications are rejected because the applicant is not eligible
2. Budget - Make sure you check your figures are correct, and reasonable.
3. Marketing - Some marketing plans are too basic (ie: 10 Facebook posts, 5 tweets, . ) Be creative and think outside the box!

What are some of the grants I can apply for?
PRS Foundation and Arts Council England are the two biggest organizations that provide financial support in music & the arts. Other organizations include Help Musicians UK, Music for All, and Youth Music Network.

PRS Foundation

  • Beyond Borders - up to £15,000, This grant supports collaboration between organizations and bands/ensembles in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It enables music creators to produce exceptional new material to be performed in at least three of these countries
  • The Open Fund for Music Creators - up to £5,000. Supporting songwriters, composers or artists/bands/producers/performers who are writing their own music or commissioning other songwriters/composers.
  • Momentum Music Fund - between £5,000 - £15,000. Supporting UK artists/bands to break through to the next level of their careers.

Arts Council England (London)

  • Project Grants - up to £15,000 and another tier for over £15,000. It's looking for projects that build on community and help people across England to engage with arts and culture. There cannot be any income via the project.
  • MEGS (Music Export Growth Scheme) - from £5,000 - £50,000. Supporting UK-registered independent music companies to assist them with marketing campaigns when looking to introduce successful UK music projects overseas.

Useful Links

FUNDING

LEGAL ADVICE

What rights do I have as an artist?

  • Master copyright and publishing copyright
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Trade marks
  • Label access to artist profiles

Do I need a music lawyer as an artist?

It is advisable you get legal representation before signing any contracts. A music lawyer will be able to review a contract you have been asked to sign (by a record label or publishing company for example) and explain each clause of the agreement to ensure you understand them. Your lawyer will also let you know if the terms of the contract are industry standard, or if there is anything unusually restrictive which you would need to negotiate down.

Getting this independent legal advice is important. Whether you are signing a record deal, a publishing deal, or allowing a company to use your music in their latest marketing campaign, you will be giving away some rights in your music in exchange for payment.

Each time you enter such a deal, it is vital that you fully understand the terms of the agreement. For example, as an artist, you need to know whether you are assigning copyright (definitively giving away the rights to your work) or merely granting a licence (allowing someone to use your work for a limited purpose and for a set time). Both are valid options in certain situations, but you need to understand what you are signing away.

This is particularly important because if you don’t understand what you are agreeing to, this makes it difficult to determine whether you are being paid fairly, amongst other things.

How do I find a music lawyer?

PRS provides a legal referral service to their members. They supply a list of qualified music business solicitors who have agreed to help their members with music business issues. All of the solicitors listed are willing to see you without charge, for up to one hour.

HOW TO RELEASE YOUR MUSIC INDEPENDENTLY

Digital Distribution

  • Digital distribution is what you need to have in order for your music to appear on online stores/streaming platforms (Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, Spotify etc)
  • There are different ways in which you can get your music digitally distributed
    • Have a distribution deal with an independent distributor such as PIAS, Republic of music, The Orchard - many of these companies also can handle physical distribution
      • You will need to set up a deal with them to handle your digital distribution (and/or physical) - they often don’t take on every pitch to distribute and often work with labels as opposed to individual artists
    • The other method is going through a self service Digital Distributor such as CD Baby & Tunecore

Bandcamp

  • Bandcamp is an excellent tool with which you can sell your music
  • It is free to sign up and you can sell your music digitally & physically, sell merch and even host live streams.
  • You can build up a ‘community’ of followers who will be notified every time you post a new release and you can communicate with them using the Bandcamp app or via a desktop in your account
  • Bandcamp fans tend to be comprised of your most active fans who are buying & supporting your music actively & so can prove to be a valuable group of people to interact with about your projects
  • Here is a resource to find out more about setting up your own bandcamp page - https://bandcamp.com/artists

Merch

  • Creating merch items can be a good way to generate income for your project outside of just music sales.
  • There are some easy to use companies on the internet that can provide you with good solutions for manufacturing merch.
    • https://www.awesomemerchandise.com/ (UK/US) - Good option with a wide variety of items you can have made up in bulk or to a small/medium amount
    • Print on demand
      • This is when you design some merch but do not pay up front for the bulk order & instead the company will print the items on demand, meaning as they are ordered they will print them, this option is good if you are unsure of selling many items or don’t have the money to invest up front. Though the price per item will generally be higher meaning you will potentially make less on each sale (or have to sell for a higher price) vs ordering in bulk
      • Here is a list of print on demand companies to look at https://www.shopify.co.uk/blog/print-on-demand-companies

Sign up to PRS/MCPS (collection agencies)

PRS for Music is home to the Performing Right Society (PRS) and the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). You can join either society or both. Each membership begins with a one-off administration fee of £100 (inc. VAT) to cover set-up costs.

By joining PRS you assign your rights to the PRS, if you join MCPS you appoint PRS as the agent for your rights; PRS can be the sole collector of your royalties. You can join PRS if you are a creator of music, such as a lyrics writer or composer. Once you're a member, we can collect the royalties due to you when your music is performed live, broadcast on TV or radio, played in public, streamed online or used in film.

You can join MCPS if you want to earn royalties for the reproduction of your music. This includes when it is downloaded, produced on CD, vinyl and DVD, used in video games, or in any way copied for storage and distribution.

Sign up to PPL (collection agencies)

Anyone who has performed on recorded music can join PPL as a performer.

If the recordings on which you’ve performed have been registered with PPL and have been played in public or broadcast on TV or radio, you could be entitled to royalties (sometimes referred to as equitable remuneration). You must have given a “performance” on that recording and it must be a “qualifying performance”.

What is a “qualifying” performance?
PPL has to work within certain legal rules about what makes a performance a “qualifying” performance so that the performer may be entitled to royalties from PPL.

In summary, a performance can qualify in one of two ways:

1. Based on the country of performance (i.e. where the performer gave the performance).

2. Based on country of residence/citizenship of the performer at the time they gave the performance.

In each case, the test is whether the relevant country of performance or country of residence/citizenship is classed as a “qualifying” country under UK law. The list of qualifying countries is updated from time to time. It covers all EU member states, plus many other countries, each of which the UK considers offers sufficient protection of performers’ rights.

Social Ad’s

  • Facebook/Instagram:
  • To access Facebook/Instagram advertising tools, it is advised you set up a Business Manager for your Page. Instructions are here. You can then connect an ad account to your Business Manager and begin creating ads via Ads Manager. This is the best way to create and manage your advertising (as opposed to using the tools available directly in-app) as it gives you more control over the setup and targeting. There are a lot of tools available within Facebook Ads Manager to create really in-depth campaigns and you can find a lot of guides and how-tos here.
  • There are several ad objectives you can select from to meet your goals but the most common ones for music marketing are: reach (to show your ad to as many people as possible within your targeting), traffic (to drive link clicks, for example to your release), engagement (to drive engagement on your social post) and conversions (to push fans towards a specific action on your webshop, e.g. purchase).
  • You can create ads using existing (organic) posts from your Facebook or Instagram page or create a new ad that won’t show up on your profiles.
  • You can choose from different ad formats like videos, photos, carousels and change where they were be displayed - e.g. on Instagram feeds, Stories, Facebook Messenger etc. Read more about it here and make sure to edit placements when setting up ads to only serve them where they will have the most effect.
  • Other platforms:
  • There are many other social platforms that allow self-serve advertising, like Twitter, TikTok or YouTube to name a few. You can find resources about advertising on them below, however Facebook Ads tend to be the best starting point for many artists.
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google Ads
  • Snapchat

Spotify For Artists

  • Spotify For Artists is a free feature which allows to create a profile and manage it, upload features and assets, analyse your audience and track your performances
  • Eligibility - your music must be available on Spotify at the point of signing up. Simply head to the link above and click ‘Claim Your Profile’. You will need to supply some links (socials etc) to prove you are the artist in question claiming the profile
  • Music tab - use the different stats and features to analyse which tracks are best performing, which playlists they have been added to, what you have coming up, add Canvas video etc - In the Upcoming sub-tab, you will be able to see which track(s) you have coming up and pitch them for inclusion in editorial + algorithmic playlists (i.e. Release Radar)
  • Audience tab - allows you have a global overview of your audience including, how many listeners you have (and evolution over time), where they are located (countries and cities), where your streams are coming from etc
  • Profile tab - Manage your profile, update your biography and gallery, add social media links, create a Discography or Curated playlist (Artist pick) etc
  • Campaign tab - create an on-platform marketing campaign for your release
  • More information on the Spotify FAQ

Radio

  • As part of a promotional campaign, a track can be serviced to all relevant radio stations (online, community, national) and presented to the Music Programming teams and/or hosts in order to be broadcast on air.
  • You can either do this yourself by sending music to radio shows if you have the contacts already or you can use a radio plugger to do this for you.
  • THINGS TO CONSIDER
    • ISRC - a unique International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is advised (and for many platforms and radio stations necessary) for each track released publicly in order for the producer/artist to receive royalties
      • ISRC enables recordings to be uniquely and permanently identified. ISRC helps to avoid ambiguity and simplifies the management of rights when recordings are used across different formats, distribution channels or products. The ISRC for a recording remains a fixed point of reference when the recording is used across different services, across borders, or under different licensing deals. More info here on how to get an ISRC
      • Radio edit - a radio edit is never an obligation but in some instances can make a track more “radio friendly” thus giving it a better chance to receive airplay. It typically is a shorter (up to 3mn30), clean version of a track, intended to make it more suitable for airplay.
      • Radio tracking websites - useful tools to track your song(s)’ progression and airplay internationally
        WARM
        MusicDNA
        Chartmetric

    Further Reading

  • @somewhere_soul on instagram shares a lot of music industry tips, raging from music marketing, to DIY PR, and how to work with designers.