For a short while, the renowned River Studios in Totton has been working alongside MAS Records, a government-funded music development scheme, to offer an Artist Development Programme for artists aged 16-30. The programme lasts for 11 months, in that time giving successful applicants - be it soloists or bands - the opportunity to work towards releasing a single or EP, earning themselves a diploma all the while gaining invaluable expertise from industry professionals.
Musicians are gifted 2 guaranteed hours of studio time at River Studios every week; mixing and mastering sessions; mentorship from industry professionals on releasing music, marketing, developing and engaging with a fanbase, developing revenue streams, booking festivals and more; optional rehearsals; access to networking events; masterclasses, and; a tailored plan for each individual musician to work towards releasing a product at the programme’s end.
The best part is that the entire thing is state-funded and free, is flexible, has a few places remaining for the coming academic year and takes just minutes to sign up!
MAS’s programme is usually only for groups and bands, but - of all 16 locations nationwide - Southampton is just one of the 3 that offer the programme for solo artists too. This is the perfect opportunity for an artist local to Southampton to jump on and gain some unbeatable real-world knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful in the music business. With 1-2-1 guidance and support from the not-for-profit founded by the likes of Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs/The Voice), Karen Harding, and Robert Plant (ex-Led Zeppelin), as well as tutoring with professionals ranging from sound engineers to qualified lawyers - for free - this programme is a no-brainer.
(Below: Part of the River Studios set up - images courtesy of riverstudios.co.uk)
MAS Records is by no means a record label, so artists are free to work with whoever they please while on the programme. What’s more is that royalties of the final single or EP produced at the end of the programme are left entirely in the musician’s intellectual property as MAS is state-funded and not-for-profit.
You know what we call that? Straight cash, homie.