Music charity Urban Development and Island Records have partnered to support artists with development funding.
In addition to funding, the partnership will also provide exceptional young artists with mentoring and expertise at a crucial stage in their career.
The partnership is led by Urban Development’s Pamela McCormick and Island Record’s Alex Boateng, who simultaneously worked at both organisations at the start of his career.
Urban Development specialise in encouraging young talent and their collaboration with Island Records is designed to support and fund emerging artists at the beginning of their careers prior to potential label deals.
Island Records will have the choice to fund talent referred by Urban Development’s nationwide development programmes.
This includes the organisation’s flagship education programme Urban Artist School, which supports 18 to 25-year-old artists and producers.
Alex Boateng, president of Island Records Urban Division, says: ‘As someone who has received support from Urban Development myself at an early stage in my career, I know how scarce opportunities are and how game-changing it can be to get funding and support. Young people will always need opportunities to grow as artists and I want this new partnership to play a role in developing talent from the outset of their careers. My vision for Island Records’ Urban Division is to spot and bring in the best artists from the scene, so I’m really excited about the new partnership with Urban Development and hope it will evolve into a programme that will ultimately bring people through into a proper recording deal.’
Pamela McCormick, founder and director, Urban Development, adds: ‘Across the 19 years since inception, Urban Development has become a key industry player, championing, supporting and promoting talent, as well as expanding the opportunities for underprivileged, diverse youth. With a track record providing early support to artists such as Labrinth, Little Simz, Paigey Cakey, The Compozers and more. Our new collaboration will extend Urban Development’s talent pipeline into Island Records and I would like to thank Alex and his incredible team. We are so honoured to be part of Alex’s career beginnings and the future success of the label. The need is bigger than ever to support the next generation, in the face of cuts to music education, austerity and lack of opportunities. As part of our commitment to create lasting change, the aim with this deal is to create the talent pipeline that bridges the gap, so that more young diverse artists come through nationwide and fuel the creative industries of the future.’