BPI

10 diverse indie artists to benefit from £100,000 music exports boost in the latest round of the Music Export Growth Scheme

£100k awarded in 19th wave of Government funding will go towards growing audiences internationally through digital marketing and other forms of overseas promotion appropriate to Covid-19 context

London, 10th February 2021 The latest round of Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding, announced today by independent & major labels association the BPI, has seen a total of £100,000 awarded to 10 diverse indie UK artists looking to grow their international fan-bases.

The BPI-administered scheme is returning following a hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic1, and is funded by the Department for International Trade working in partnership with the Exporting is GREAT campaign.  It is designed to boost British music exports by supporting small to medium sized music companies as they look to build on the potential of their artists in overseas markets.

With live touring and travel restricted by lockdowns and other Covid-19 related measures, this 19th round of investment will focus on digital marketing and other forms of overseas promotion, such as radio, TV & press promotion; social media engagement; retail marketing with DSPs and stores; advertising across all platforms; and other marketing, promotion and asset creation for overseas use.

The 10 artists sharing in the funding of this round of investment are drawn from around the UK and reflect the broad diversity of British music.  They include Hyundai Mercury Prize-shortlisted soul collective Jungle, indie singer-songwriter Beabadoobee, Northern Irish electronic music duo Bicep, London-based indie pop band Kero Kero Bonito, Zimbabwean-born singer KWAYE, Birmingham rapper Wesley Joseph, singer-songwriter Orla Gartland, singer-songwriter and producer Shakka, rapper Shygirl, and Yorkshire indie band Working Men’s Club.

Since its launch over seven years ago in January 2014, MEGS has now supported over 280 successful applications through more than £4 million investment in total. The companies funded estimate a 12 – 1 return on their MEGS investment, which, in turn, has also helped them to secure over 50 record deals and a similar number of publishing & sub-publishing deals, 135 synchronisation tie ups, hundreds of live/festival appearances, and TV, radio and press promo opportunities.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said:

“With a return of £12 for every £1 invested, the Music Export Growth Scheme has proven a big hit for diverse indie artists and the UK economy alike, helping to turn UK artists into breakout global stars. There is huge potential for the UK to grow its music exports in the decade ahead, and MEGS has a key role to play in seizing this exciting opportunity.”   

Chris Tams, BPI Director of International overseeing the MEGS programme, said:

“It’s great to welcome back the Music Export Growth Scheme knowing how much of a massive boost it gives to small music companies and indie artists as they grow their profile overseas.  A hugely diverse range of artists and genres are again being supported in this latest round, and, just like previous recipients such as Wolf Alice, YolanDa Brown, Ghetts and Catfish and the Bottlemen, we expect to hear a lot more from them in future as they contribute to the success story of British music around the world.“

Full list of MEGS recipient artists (and company making the application) in the 19th round of funding:

BEABADOOBEE

Beabadoobee said: “Thank you to the BPI for supporting what I do, especially right now it means the world and will help me and my team to keep making shareable moments.”

BICEP

Bicep’s label Ninja Tune said: “We’re very thankful to BPI for providing us with this funding.  In this strange time the funds will be of great assistance to help further develop Bicep’s presence on the international stage.

ORLA GARTLAND

Orla Gartland said: “As an independent artist releasing through their own label (New Friends) this funding is a huge boost to my debut album campaign. It will allow us to market the album internationally in territories I never could have afforded to push it in before – I’m beyond grateful to the BPI for this opportunity.”

WESLEY JOSEPH

Wesley Joseph said: “I’d love to give a huge thank you to the BPI for the MEGS funding award. We have big plans for the project overseas, and until we can get out and tour, this funding will really help us connect with the international fanbase and let us take things a step further.

JUNGLE

Jungle said: “The BPI continues to promote British across the globe and we feel honoured to be a part of that. Music has no borders.

KERO KERO BONITO

Kero Kero Bonito said: “BPI’s funding both enables ambitious, original and life-enriching art and constitutes a genuinely robust investment in the UK economy. We’re really proud to be part of a music industry that invests in bands who want to push pop music somewhere new; there are audiences across the globe craving fresh expression, as so many British artists before us have proved, and this grant will help us significantly in the next stage of our career. Thank you BPI.

KWAYE

KWAYE said: “Thank you to the BPI for helping support artists, especially during this time and allowing us to continue to focus on what we love. While we may not be able to move so much physically, such schemes allows us to continue to spread our music as far and wide as possible.”

SHAKKA

Shakka said: “The US is an important market for me and up until now I haven’t been able to focus on it and put resources behind building my profile there. Labels often take the position that if you are not consistently achieving top 10 chart success in the UK, then it makes no sense to build an artist in another country, but I disagree. The US accounts for a third of streams with some of my songs despite the fact that I’ve never done any on the ground promo in the US, so I think it’s very important to nurture this fanbase in order for me to have a long and successful career. I am super grateful for this cash injection from BPI and know it will grow my fanbase in the US even more.”

SHYGIRL

Because Music UK, Shygirl’s record label, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant for Shygirl – as one of our global priorities for 2021 and beyond, it will help considerably to develop her profile outside of the UK.

WORKING MEN’S CLUB

Katherine Cantwell, Heavenly Recordings said: “We would like to thank the BPI for awarding Working Men’s Club additional funding. This will help to build on a successful album campaign in two key territories, the US and France. The band intend to use the money creatively to engage with new and existing fans.”

BPI

BPI represents the UK’s recorded music industry. We champion the interests of our membership which includes more than 400 independent music companies. Together, BPI’s members account for 85% of all music sold in the United Kingdom.