We have run an ongoing programme of music artist development for over 15 years, working with national partners / funders such as Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK and PRS Foundation to provide comprehensive support for emerging and developing music artists and music enterprises across the Yorkshire region.
Our work to develop the profile of Yorkshire’s music artists has also involved delivering many live events, showcases and stages at festivals, including delivering the Yorkshire music stage at South by South West in Texas for several years, delivered under our Music Industry Yorkshire brand, the region’s music industry development body. Alongside live opportunities, we run industry panel events, advice sessions and workshops, all designed and scaled to meet the needs of artists, and of places and music communities.
Because we are a unique organisation regionally, offering the entire music & radio industries in-house, we can provide ‘direct’ solutions to any artist needs identified by offering access to our own recording studios, radio station, record label, music distribution and event promotions. Over the past year we have supported more than 200 Yorkshire music artists, working directly with these artists in areas such as recording & production, digital releases, distribution, royalty collection, promotion & marketing, radio sessions, live showcases, finances, online presence… all focussed on helping the artist develop their professional practice and build their artistic sustainability.
Alongside our core activity of artist support and development we also run an intensive full-year artist development programme for a handful of artists each year. Breakthrough, our successful music artist development programme, provides intensive ‘holistic’ support for a small cohort of selected Yorkshire music artists over a full year, and has run for over 5 years, funded by Help Musicians UK and Arts Council England. The Breakthrough programme has led to successes for artists involved such as:
* gaining regional and national BBC radio play and media support
* increasing income from releasing recorded works worldwide
* building revenue from royalties generated by registering works
* developing the business skills needed to be a sustainable artist
To increase the reach of our artist development opportunities, we work with other likeminded organisations on specific projects and currently partner with Music:Leeds, Come Play With Me, DMF Digital, and Arnold Brown Ltd in the Yorkshire Music Forum, a consortium providing artist development across Yorkshire and supported as a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner.
Starting out as a young artist in various bands recording at Higher Rhythm, then graduating from our Breakthrough artist development programme in 2016, Skinny Pelembe’s stellar success followed, signing with Brownswood Recordings, playing sell out tours and major festivals.
LIO progressed from our PRS Foundation Open Fund project in 2018 onto our Breakthrough programme with the ambition of releasing more music, building profile and growing fan-base. Leonie, the front woman in LIO also progressed to lead on the 2020 Breakthrough programme, supporting artists as a project worker at Higher Rhythm.
Joe Russell-Brown, a singer songwriter from Scunthorpe, was selected for our Breakthrough Artist Development Programme in 2018. Joe developed as an artist, turning out a self-recorded EP with a fair label of ‘lo-fi dream pop anthems’ being attached, and gathering a list of 9k fans, playing gigs across the region and selling his music in 62 countries. Joe now heads up the 2020 PRS Foundation TDP programme of activities at Higher Rhythm supporting artists as a project worker.
Originally from Doncaster, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Explicare combines a twist of dream pop, atmospheric synth and deep-bass haze. Explicare participated in our PRS foundation funded TDP artist program 2020, recording and releasing a single as part of the programme plus producing a video to promote the release.
Born in Zambia, raised in the UK, British musician August Charles’ musical tastes and talents have evolved over many years, and 2020 saw August emerge with his debut single “Take Me Away”. August Charles participated in our PRS foundation funded TDP artist program 2020, recording and releasing a single as part of the programme plus producing a video to promote the release.
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Sparklehorse, Grandaddy, Slint and Lou Reed, Leeds-based Pocketwatch are quickly gathering followers with their dark soundscapes, personal lyrics and chubby beats. Pocketwatch participated in our PRS foundation funded TDP artist program 2020, recording and releasing a single as part of the programme plus producing a video to promote the release.
Sheffield-based singer-songwriter R.Loomes music can be described as ‘dark-Folk’ drawing influence from artists such as Portishead, Cat Power and Jeff Buckley. A preference of live performance studio recordings is creating an intimate and compelling catalogue. R.Loomes participated in our PRS foundation funded TDP artist program 2020, recording and releasing a single as part of the programme plus producing a video to promote the release.
Taking a break from bass duties from Sheffield instrumental experimental pioneers King Capisce, ‘The Wake’ is Roshan Lal’s first step into recording his solo material. Delicate acoustic open tunings accompany falsetto vocals to create something beautifully unexpected. Roshan participated in our PRS foundation Open funded artist program 2019, recording and releasing a single as part of the programme plus producing a video to promote the release.
Floodhounds participated in our Breakthrough Artist Development Programme in 2017. Festival appearances at Live at Leeds and Long Division (Wakefield) followed, alongside BBC Introducing airplay and sold out local live shows in Sheffield. Floodhounds also won an ‘Honorable Mention’ for the Sensoria Festival ‘Beats working for a living’ Music Commission Award in 2018, awarded with a grant to support further career development presented by Richard Hawley, and ended 2018 playing international dates.
Junior Cat is a well established dance-hall artist released the single Dancehall vibes on Yorkshire based label RamGoat Records. Higher Rhythm released, distributed and monetised this release for RamGoat records as part of our ongoing artist development core programme of activities.
Singer song-writer Kid Conventional, from Sheffield has spent the last few years developing his strong reputation as a songwriter and building a fan base as an emerging music artist. Higher Rhythm have released, distributed and monetised 5 E.P.s and singles for Kid Conventional as part of our ongoing artist development core programme of activities.
Upbeat indie and dirty pop making 4 piece from Leeds, Marsicans, feel like a band heading for a big musical career. Higher Rhythm supported Marsicans with an interview and artist music feature on Sine FM Radio Station.
This four piece band from Doncaster seem to have done it all over the last few years… Festival stages, Industry praise and even a European tour with Pink, Bang Bang Romeo do shameless guitar pop in a unique way. Higher Rhythm has supported Bang Bang Romeo from day one, releasing their first single on our own Circuit Records, providing dozens of artist sessions and features on Sine FM Radio station and Live Lounge sessions at Doncaster Rovers football stadium.
Legendary reggae musician and DJ is another incredible addition to the stable of artists at Yorkshire based RamGoat Records. Alongside providing distribution services, Higher Rhythm support the label in the PR and marketing for all RamGoat Records releases, helping secure National reviews and airplay on the respected David Rodigan Radio 1 Xtra show.
Paul Littlewood is a musician, singer-songwriter, and studio engineer. His works have been published by Sony Music and Third Side Music (Can) and released by Xtra Mile Recordings (UK), Three Sixty Records (US), and via his own label Anklebreka Records. Since 2012 he has engineered in the Higher Rhythm studio, recording his own music, and music for scores of other artists, receiving national and international review for his work on Skinny Pelembe LP ‘Dreaming is Dead Now’.
The Harriets are a Leeds-based alternative pop and rock four-piece. Supported by the Higher Rhythm Breakthrough artist development programme the band have gone from strength to strength, shortlisted for Glastonbury Emerging Talent and Record Store Day Unsigned 2019, played on 6 Music and a regular feature at BBC Introducing artist showcase nights, The Harriets sold out their first-ever London show and released their debut album HOPEFULS on all formats in 2020.
Let Man Loose are a rock band from Hull, who have been supported by the Higher Rhythm Breakthrough artist development programme and PRSF Open Fund project. 2019 saw the band attract the attention of BBC Music Introducing, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy of Radio X.
No Fixed ID, is a unique musical talent that manages to sneak into the gap between the boxes of ‘alternative rap pop’ and ‘art rap’. Successful applicant to Higher Rhythm’s Help Musicians UK and Arts Council England funded Breakthrough Artist Development Programme in 2018, we supported the artist with appearances at HerFest, Live at Leeds and The Big Boulder Festivals, a physical single release through Come Play With Me, and a speaker on a music industry panel at the Yorkshire Music Forum annual conference.
Bi:Lingual, fronted by the energetic Dylan Cartlidge, were a band that took the phrase ‘power trio’ to a whole new level, participating in our Breakthrough Artist Development Programme pilot year. Frontman Dylan, is excelling as a music artist, signing with Universal and definitely being another one to watch.