The UK’s leading new music funder, PRS Foundation announces its latest selection of Women Make Music Artists 2016 who will receive funding from the organisation later this year.
Women Make Music. It shouldn’t be revelationary but according to the bleak stats, it’s still something of a radical notion. You only have to take a look at recent headline hitter, the Mercury Prize to spot something awry with only five women being awarded the coveted title in its 18 year history. Equally, PRS for Music’s membership of illustrious writers and music creators currently only represents 16% women, which is staggeringly progress from 2010’s woeful 13%.
Thankfully, in a bid to address this, PRS Foundation is working to support the development of women making music across all genres and backgrounds which makes funding like this the rather revelationary thing. As a staunchly pro-women space, TGA is thrilled to be able to premier the announcement of these lucky – and much deserved – grantees.
Get to know ’em below.
Newcomers to this blog, neon-lit Newcastle bunch, Joy Atlas have already impressed with a handful of geometric math gems including most recent single, ‘Altitude’. Scooping up a position amongst the grantees will go on to support their upcoming eponymously titled debut which promises even more synth sparkle and dizzier heights for front woman Beccy Owen’s towering vocals.
Hannah Lou Clark
No stranger to these online realms, TGA dutifully withstood lashings of rain in the bleakest of mornings at last year’s Greenman Festival to finally catch introspective songstress, Hannah Lou Clark take to the stage. Thankfully, there’ll be no need for such valiant weather battling for you, dear reader, as Clark’s spot will go onto support a UK tour ahead of her next release, EP 3.
Call Me Unique
Keen TGA print collectors will remember the Portland prodige, Esperanza Spalding’s sprawling bass lines gracing Issue 1’s pages and much like Spalding, Brummie raised Call Me Unique is also channelling that much missed jazz scat. With clever (and welcome) hints to her idols, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes and Ms Lauren Hill, her funding will go towards an upcoming EP release and UK tour to support.
Emily Levy is not only a singer, songwriter and composer, she’s also one third of a capella vocal trio, Voice. Vocal pipes aside, Levy flexes her production capabilities within a number of musical compositions; everything from dance companies to the Marian consort and acts as an inspiring youth educator. This push from PRS Foundation will support her upcoming work, Song Cycle.
Flexing both the physical fitness of a performing pianist alongside the mental acuity of a composer, Fumiko Miyachi carves out the kind of musical landscape panoramas that usher us unwittingly into an ultra post-modern world. Dedicating time to new material alongside her role as a Composition Tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, her PRS Foundation backing will support a portrait album recording, release and tour.
Composer and general creative sort, Bobbie Gardner is the Artistic Director for For:wards, a Pledge Music funded project with the heady goal of commissioning 10 composers and 30 musicians to collaborate with communities across Birmingham. PRS Foundation’s’ support will go on to fund For-wards: Citywide taking the project to more locations up and down the country.
I AM WILLOW
Not to be confused with Willienium generation, Willow Smith, I AM WILLOW is schooled in the same songwriting strengths as similarly cinematic songstresses, Regina Spektor and Tori Amos. The Maltese born and London born artist is supported by PRS Music Foundation as well as homegrown funds from Malta Arts Funds.
A name you might be familiar with, Grammy nominated Ella Spira is the composer and co-director behind London based production company, Sisters Grimm and the company behind sell out success, INALA. Support from PRS Foundation will go on to promote the global production of Voices of the Amazon, a rainforest musical set in the heart of Brazil.
London based via Sweden, Ayelle released her EP Machine earlier this year and latest single from Ayelle, ‘Reclaim’, has all the glitchy electronica of a James Blake soundscape topped with the artful trills of dark hearted Goddess, BANKS. PRS Foundation’s backing will see the artists limbering up for a new release and music video in the coming year.
Odaline de la Martinez
Cuban born composer, Martinez is a woman of firsts. The first woman ever to conduct at the BBC Proms in 1984, Martinez is also behind the world’s first Afro-Cuban opera about slavery. This wave of funding will support part III of said operatic trilogy, Plantation – the story is loosely based on a 17th century novel by Aphra Behn, who, incidentally, was the first woman in history to make a living from writing.
With BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne already a fan of her artful efforts “really beautiful stuff”, it’s not surprising that Hume’s dramatic folk also bagged her a session with equally nice sort, Marc Riley at the studios. Expect more recordings and a wider UK tour, thanks to PRS Foundations’ support.
Having attended the Royal College of Music and performing as a session musician alongside high flying pop queens, Jessie J and Riri, London based artist Hannah V has a healthy black book of industry pals. This push from PRS Foundation will now see the producer and songwriter step out on her own, following the recent release of her debut EP, Version 2.0.
Let’s Eat Grandma
East Anglian export, Let’s Eat Grandma sing songs about fungi and generally have fun being experimental in their sisterly, psychedelic haze. Their debut album, ‘I, Gemini’ (me too, gals) came out earlier this year via Transgressive and this push will support a UK tour this Autumn playing out much of that record, no doubt.
Martha Ffion is the musical project of Claire Martha Ffion McKay, an Irish songwriter based in Glasgow with a knack for the kind of lovelorn lyricism of First Aid Kit or the more mellow moments of shoegazing gang, Big Deal. With an EP out in a few weeks, PRS Foundation will be backing Ffion’s UK tour to support it throughout October.
Rachel K Collier
Swansea singer songwriter, Rachel K Collier studied Creative Music Technology at Royal Welsh College of Drama and Art which went onto spark some creative collabs of her own alongside legendary garage producer, Wookie. Collier is now keen to focus her attentions on solo efforts with PRS Foundation’s support setting her up for her debut UK tour.
London based girl gang, TRILLS are currently working with – in their own words- “maverick producer” Johan Hugo, (The Very Best, Mumford and Sons) to channel their spellbinding harmonies into a new EP set for release under their own label this September. This wee push from PRS Foundation will help set music live on a UK tour across the country.
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