The personal development programme has six spaces and aims to equip each participant with tools, opportunities and support to progress their careers in music.
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Centred around a paid commission from global music-architecture agency MSCTY, the scheme invites musicians and recording artists to compose tracks in response to spaces in cities around the world. In this case, said city will be Bristol. Funding for additional development costs will also be provided to successful applicants.
In addition to financial support, Saffron is offering participants personal mentoring, music industry masterclasses, marketing and a showcase event.
The programme begins in August and will last six months.
Applicants must be Black or of Black heritage, above 18 years old and a woman, non-binary, trans or gender-non-conforming person based in Bristol or South West England. Being a ‘musical creative’ of some kind, whether that’s a producer, a composer, a vocalist or an instrumentalist, is also required.
The Artist Development Project follows the latest Annenberg report, which shows that less than 3% of professional music producers are women. Statistics for Black women and gender minorities are even lower.
As a music tech initiative that aims to redress the gender imbalance in the music industry with an intersectional lens, addressing these figures is key to Saffron’s ethos.
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The organisation hope to “lay deeper foundations for better visibility, representation and financial benefit for Black music creators” in the South West.
Founder and Creative Director Laura Lewis-Paul says:
“This project is really important to me, not just as a Black woman in the South West, but thinking about it in relation to the wider music tech industry, as this project allows a space for us to breathe, to be creative and to be heard.
“I hope that people in the industry are starting to realise that “Blackout Tuesday” gestures are not enough, that tick box exercises are not enough, that one EDI training session IS NOT ENOUGH!” she continues.
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Those who meet the criteria can find an application form on Saffron’s here. The deadline is 6:PM, August 25 2021.
Safi Bugel is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter