Words by Bhavesh Patel, PRS Foundation/Momentum Music Fund
I’m regularly asked what the building blocks are to create career momentum as a band or artist. No two careers are the same, and there are many different paths to take, but there are some core things you can do to get started.
Firstly, understand who you are as an artist and what you want to sound like. This can dictate your early career path, from what venues and festivals to play, to the radio shows and blogs you should be looking to get your music to. Find a studio or space to really learn and refine the process of making new music and look to sign up for industry workshops and panels on songwriting and recording.
Getting out there to play shows and meet people may sound obvious, but interacting with your audiences, fans and networking is important. Fans are not only consumers of your music but are advocates for your music and will help promote you. Likewise networking could lead to you meeting someone who introduces you to your future producer, manager, PR or agent.
This leads onto building a support network around you, people who believe in you and can help develop your career and talent as you progress. This will start with friends, family and fan support, but will lead to gaining professional representation.
Once you have a team (management and/or agent and/or PR, etc) and have gone beyond those first steps and are receiving recognition, such as radio plays and reviews, funding can be the cash injection needed to get you to the next stage of your career.
The Momentum Music Fund which I run at PRS Foundation has supported over 230 artists whose careers have benefitted from additional support, whether for marketing/PR, to record a new release or to tour. Most recent examples have been Little Simz, who we supported for a UK tour, Public Service Broadcasting, who were supported for their album Race for Space (which reached No.11 in the UK Album Charts) and Ghostpoet who received support for his album Shedding Skin which was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Funding like this, at the right time in an artist’s career, can have a significant impact and help build and continue their momentum.
Bhavesh Patel is the Programme Manager at PRS Foundation and runs the Momentum Music Fund. Momentum is run by PRS Foundation using public funds from Arts Council England, support from PPL, and is in association with Spotify. Get your tickets for the PRS Foundation and Glastonbury Festivals Talent Development Workshops and Momentum showcase at the Trinity Centre, Bristol, 7th November 2017. Find out more at: prsfoundation.com