The Featured Artists Coalition and Amazon Music announce applications for 2024’s Step Up Fund

Now entering its third year, Step Up will support up to 10 independent unsigned artists with grants of up to £8,000


Featured Artists Coalition

May 10, 2024 – Applications open on May 15th and close on May 31st. Submissions can be made for any music-related activity.

• Full details and application criteria will be available via the link below
• Previous Step Up awardees include Jalen Ngonda, Elkka, Joel Culpepper, LVRA, Cherise, Chalk, Amie Blu, Tara Lily and Declan Welsh & The Decadent West

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) is delighted to announce the return of our Step Up Fund, which, for the third year running, is powered by the generous support of Amazon Music, Amazon’s immersive audio entertainment service.

The FAC is currently at the heart of campaigns to ensure the viability of grassroots live touring and a more equitable distribution of streaming revenues, and we view Step Up as an important contribution to the creative development of talented independent artists.

In only two years, Step Up has developed a strong track record in this regard - supporting artists from an extraordinarily wide variety of genres who have gone on to significant levels of success.

These include Jalen Ngonda, now headlining London’s Roundhouse, current Disco Pogo cover star Elkka, who releases her debut album on Ninja Tune this June, and Amie Blu, the latest signing to 0207 Def Jam.

Other previous awardees include Chalk, Aziya, Calva Louise, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, Tara Lily, Amahla, Nix Northwest, Graft, B-ahwe, twst, Daniel Casimir, Friedberg, LVRA, Joel Culpepper, nineteen97, Cherise, Deyah and VUKOVI.

Jalen Ngonda: “As an artist signed to an independent label with no access to tour support the Step Up Fund really helped me to play UK and European shows and to set up a campaign in a way that was most impactful. It also allowed us to keep the ticket price affordable. This has been so valuable in helping us build an audience and to grow the fanbase, which culminated in a sold out UK and EU tour, including Koko London in May 2024."

Amie Blu: “Step Up is such an amazing resource for artists and it has played a huge part in my career! The fund meant I was able to hold my headline show in November with my full band as well as a string trio and just support the whole production. At the time I was still an independent artist so I felt extremely grateful to have the support from the FAC and Step Up.”

In total, 2024’s Step Up Fund will provide up to ten selected artists with a grant of up to £8,000, alongside a broader package of benefits - including a one-year FAC`membership and exclusive benefit package, a 12-month subscription to Amazon Music, an Echo device as well as content creation opportunities with Amazon Music.

Artists can apply for Step Up for any music-related projects over the course of a 12-month period, including recording, content creation, marketing and touring.

The fund is only open to artists who do not have an ongoing agreement with a major or large independent record label.

To qualify they must also be UK-based, aged 18+ and released at least three tracks within the last year, achieving a minimum of either 15k streams per track or one track with 45k streams on a chart-eligible UK streaming service.

Artists or their managers/team will be able to apply at this link from Wednesday May 15th.

The submission deadline is 23:59pm Friday May 31st.

Successful Step Up applicants will be decided by a panel of independent industry professionals, and announced in July 2024.

David Martin, FAC CEO, says: “It's an incredibly exciting time to be making and performing music, but the financial pressures faced by artists have never been greater. The entire industry is grappling with this dilemma, but thanks to the continued support of Amazon Music, the FAC's Step Up Fund has demonstrated the positive impact of targeted, early-stage support. We are absolutely delighted with the track record of successes we've established over the last two years of the fund, and look forward to welcoming another diverse cross-section of applicants in 2024."

Laura Lukanz, Head of Music, UK / ANZ, Amazon Music, adds: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Featured Artists Coalition for a third year in support of the Step Up Fund 2024. The fund serves as a wonderful stepping stone for emerging artists, offering much-needed resources and financial support to propel them to the next level of their careers. The talent and diversity of artists who apply for the fund never ceases to amaze us, and we can’t wait to hear from another remarkable group of artists this year.”

The Step Up Fund’ is one of many ways Amazon Music continues to support and nurture new musical talent. Amazon Music’s global developing artist programme, ‘Breakthrough’, provides long-term, customised global plans for emerging artists during crucial moments in their careers. This support includes;: video and audio content, global marketing, increased visibility across Amazon Music playlists and programming and high-profile Amazon Original tracks available only on Amazon Music.

May 10, 2024 3:00am ET by Newsdesk  

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