Band called Kokoroko playing a gig

Musicians

Are you an up-and-coming artist in the early to mid stages of your career? Or do you support the UK music scene as a promoter, label or manager?

If you are, we’d love to hear from you as we run an exciting career development programme to help you get ahead in the industry.

You can apply for our career development scheme to receive personalised coaching, mentoring and career strategy sessions. You’ll get support for 12 months up to 24 months.

Since 2012, we’ve worked with more than 200 performing artists, helping them secure label signings, distribution deals, album and LP launches, high-profile performances and multiple awards and nominations. Our artists have gone to sign with Sony Music, Brownswood, Scenic Route, Decca, New Soil, jazz re:freshed, ETLWRecords, the Orchard and AWAL. They have also been nominated and received a number of prestigious industry awards including the Mercury Prize, the Jazz FM Awards, Worldwide Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, Guardian Album of the Year, Steve Reid Innovation Awards, and Youth Music Charity Awards.

Our 2020 to 2022 Career Development cohort included 12 emerging musicians who were 75% female and 43% from global majority backgrounds. During their time with us we helped five mentees to self release and another two to sign with a label.

Our programme supports you by providing access to industry professionals and live showcases, along with opportunities to develop your skills as a music educator, giving you additional income streams. 

You will benefit from:

  • Quarterly 90-minute strategy sessions led by Fred Bolza, Abram Wilson Chairman, Founder of New Soil, Music Industry Consultant & former Sony Music VP Strategy.
  • Monthly one-hour coaching and mentoring sessions, led by our founder, Jennie Cashman Wilson an experienced certified coach and member of the Association of Coaching and strategist for people working in music.
  • One-to-one session on your marketing strategy.
  • Industry expert series: previous sessions have been about music and the law, from top entertainment firm Clintons; songwriting from multi-award winning songwriter Jamie Hartman; and how to diversify your career from Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement recipient Nitin Sawhney, OBE.
  • Networking and collaboration with a close community of like-minded peers.
  • The opportunity to access full training and support on how to deliver workshops for our music education programme.

Applications are now closed until 2023

To apply for the Abram Wilson Career Development Programme in the future, please sign up to our artists mailing list for funding opportunities and industry advice and we’ll keep you posted.

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What our current emerging artists are saying

“I always feel like I have more purpose and a clearer plan of action after our coaching sessions.”

Shereece Storrod, artistic director of Black Voices all-female acapella quintet and building coordinator at Grosvenor Road Studios. 

“Thank you so much for today’s masterclass. It was awesome to hear Jamie Hartman’s insights and experiences, the information was so helpful. Excited to see how things can grow from this!”

Nina Fine, singer-songwriter and Women In Jazz co-founder 

“I’ve reached my Kickstarter goal, and wanted to say thanks so much for your help, support and advice in the last session especially. You really helped me focus on the important people to target and gave me a real boost to go ahead and do that confidently.”

Emma Johnson, saxophonist and composer 

“Thanks so much for your time and support. I’m so excited about the direction it feels like things are headed and about how much I’ve learnt from you. I can’t wait to learn and do more.”

Verushka George, singer

Who is the programme for?

Musicians of any age, who are in the early to mid stages of their careers: 

  • with a jazz background. 

or those in the early to mid stages of their careers who are

  • involved in supporting the wider jazz scene, especially if they have a musical or music education background. 

Our focus is on creatives from underrepresented groups who face barriers to the music industry. This might be because of gender, race, sexuality, disability or financial resources. We understand that since March 2020 musicians have really suffered due to COVID-19, and as a result many have considered leaving the profession. This means that the industry as a whole is potentially looking at a loss of musicians from underrepresented groups who are inspirational role models for the next generation of musicians – it’s a vicious circle that we’re on a mission to help counter.

To apply, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • Excellence in music.
  • Potential to substantially develop your career.
  • A commitment to taking part in our music education programme as a workshop leader, paying it forward to the next generation.

artist outcomes:

Here’s what the artists on our 2018 and 2020 programmes achieved:

Artist outcomes

project with spitfire audio

Eight of the 2020-22 cohort of musicians worked alongside our partner Spitfire Audio to develop their own bespoke LABS sounds, which together were launched as an ethereal collection called ‘Astral Forms‘. LABS is an infinite series of software instruments, made by musicians in London that anyone, anywhere can use to compose music. The sounds come as a free plugin for your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

The artists were: Naima Adams; David Austin Grey; Joe Downard; Emma Johnson; Daniel Kemshell; Plumm; Sans Soucis; and Shereece Storrod.

Watch the trailer to explore the sounds:

Artists on the 2020–2022 programme

Naima Adams

Photo: Naima Adams

Singer and songwriter.

Joe Downard

Photo: Joe Downard by James Drew Turner

Bassist, composer and Royal College of Music scholarship graduate.

Nina Fine

Photo: Nina Fine (R) by Ayshe Zaifoglu

Singer-songwriter and Women In Jazz co-founder.

David Austin Grey

Photo: David Austin Grey by Iza Korsak

Composer, pianist and educator.

Amy Gadiaga

Photo: Amy Gadiaga by Jonathan Trotman

Bass player and Trinity Laban student.

Sans Soucis

Photo: Sans Soucis by Chiara Bruschini

Singer-songwriter and producer. 

Emma Johnson

Photo: Emma Johnson by Page & Pixels

Saxophonist and composer.

Daniel Kemshell

Photo: Daniel Kemshell by Olivia DaCosta

Jazz guitarist and composer.

Lou Paley

Photo: Lou Paley (R) Women In Jazz

Co-founder of Women In Jazz and artist manager.

Plumm

Photo: Plumm by Jamie A Waters

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer.

Emma Smith

Photo: Emma Smith by Monika Tomiczek

Double bassist, producer and lead trainer for Musicians without Borders.

Shereece Storrod

Photo: Shereece Storrod by Nzinga Gardner

Singer-songwriter, educator, Artistic Director of Black Voices and Grosvenor Road Studios manager.

ARTISTS SUPPORTED IN COLLABORATION WITH HELP MUSICIANS UK

Alex Bone

Photo: Alex Bone

Saxophonist, producer and composer. 

Lara Jones

Lara Jones
Photo: Lara Jones by Jess Rose

Saxophonist, composer and educator. 

Verushka George 

Photo: Verushka George

Singer and producer.

Olivia Murphy 

Olivia Murphy
Photo: Olivia Murphy by Ellie Koepke

Composer and saxophonist.

Shirley Tetteh

Photo: Shirley Tetteh by Gomez de Villaboa

Jazz guitarist.

Clara Serra López

Clara Serra Lopez
Photo: Clara Serra López by Karolina Wielocha

Vocalist, composer and pianist.

Where are they now?

Our Alumni

The following organisations have supported the Career Development Programme: