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Help Musicians UK launches £200K Do It Differently fund

The independent music charity introduces a £200,000 fund to support individualistic music creators

Music charity Help Musicians UK has launched the £200,000 fund Do It Differently to help support independent music creators.

The Do It Differently fund was founded by Help Musicians UK following a considerable qualitative research into the funding gaps of the UK’s independent musical talent. Applications are now open through the HMUK website.

Do It Differently will award 20 music creators in its first round, whether they’re a producer, composer, songwriter, musician, vocalist, DJ, or beatboxer at any stage of their career and in any genre. The fund will offer the individuals or bands, a grant of up to £3,000, which is focused on building experience in touring or recording. A further £2,000 is also on offer for applicants, which will go towards business planning and wellbeing services available directly from HMUK and its industry partners.

The fund will allow music creators to retain their independence in touring or recording and aims to help artists access funding for a range of opportunities such as songwriting, composition, recording, releasing, touring and live development.

Do It Differently is targeted at those who show interest in entrepreneurship, with the fund working in conjunction with Jonathan Robinson, programme director of non-profit information hub for music businesses, MusicTank. “MusicTank is delighted to be involved with this innovative funding model from HMUK, which goes beyond grant-giving, to provide business development advice and guidance that is truly impactful, in the pursuit of longterm, sustainable careers,” Robinson said.

Claire Gevaux, programme director at HMUK, added: “This year we’ve been listening to music creators and representatives from across the industry and have gained invaluable insights to inform our thinking about the need for a truly holistic package of support for independent music creators. The Do it Differently fund is a direct response to what we heard and by working with our partners we have now been able to create something completely unique where the health, welfare, creative and career development of music creators are of equal importance. We look forward to reading and watching your applications because, as a charity, we’re really committed to doing it differently too.”

Community manager at The Rattle, Jessica McCarten, also commented: “Having participated in the development of Do It Differently via a series of round tables, it’s exciting to see Help Musicians UK listening and acting on the needs of creators in the current climate. Carving a career in music isn’t one dimensional and as well as honing your craft, it’s crucial to also be in tune with your health, demonstrate an entrepreneurial spark and have an understanding of business. Do it Differently will empower musicians in all these areas, allowing them to be confident and in control. We at The Rattle look forward to seeing the fund benefit not only some of our members, but the wider artist community also.”