English Folk Expo runs an annual Artist Mentoring Programme which supports selected artists to develop their careers in the music industry.
Given the explosion of interest in live music, it’s more important than ever for musicians to professionalise, understand more about the industry and to prepare for international export. To this end, English Folk Expo offers an artist mentoring programme, giving carefully selected artists from the folk, roots and acoustic music genres a tailored and extensive training opportunity.
Over 12 months, participants on the English Folk Expo Artist Mentoring Programme will study selected areas of the music industry, developing their awareness, widening networks and creating a strategy tailored to suit their own business needs. By the end of the course, participants will have a firm understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different parts of the sector, developed new contacts and networks within the industry and have a clear road map for them to follow in the next stage of their careers.
Full programme details can be found here:
2019 / 2020 Participants
This year, we have selected five participants:
Harri Endersby is a songwriter and musician whose music blurs the lines of the folk genre, drawing inspiration from both contemporary and traditional music, as well as the rugged landscape of County Durham, the place that she calls home.
Hollie’s live performances consistently receive outstanding reviews, with regular reference to the level of candour in her lyrics and power in her voice. With the backing of BBC Introducing and two stunning studio albums under her belt, Hollie has supported acts like Suzanne Vega, Midge Ure, Ralph McTell and Ben Howard.
Jordan Price Williams
Jordan is a member of VRï (recent winners of two Welsh Folk Awards and nominee for BBC R2 Folk Awards), NoGood Boyo (this year’s winner of the Trophée Loïc Raison at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient) and super group Pendevig. As one of the leaders of a new generation of traditional style cellists in Wales, Jordan has carved a niche for himself as the main exponent of cello playing within Welsh traditional music, reinventing the fiddle style to fit the cello.
Katy Rose Bennett
Katy Rose Bennett has been writing and performing her idiosyncratic brand of Americana-tinged folk for more than 20 years. The themes of her songwriting have developed over the course of her five solo albums: explorations of all kinds of love, obsession and depression; songs telling stories of people – both imagined and real; songs about the challenges and delights of being a parent and songs about the struggles of life with a mind and body which don’t always do what you want them to do.
This Bristolian Singer-Songwriter fills your heart with words and melodies likened to a rich fusion of musical greats, bearing velvet tones of Joan Armatrading and Nina Simone adding a heady, folk-jazz splash of John Martyn thrown in. Her tender soulful voice will make you feel as if she’s an old friend. You’ll find yourself transported to places you have never been to, and you will feel nostalgic for times you have never had.
Partners and supporters
This programme is only possible with the support of a strong range of partner organisations.
Unlimited – This year, we are delighted that Unlimited have provided support for an artist who identifies as disabled to participate in the full programme. It is vital that opportunities are available to support those artists who may need additional support and we are grateful to be working in partnership with Unlimited to help diversify our stages, supporting disabled artists.
PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations – Thanks to the PRS Foundation for supporting this project through their Open Fund. It would not be possible without this funding.
Arts Council of Wales – Continuing the partnership from EFEx 2018, the Arts Council of Wales are supporting a continued Welsh presence on this programme. We are extremely grateful for their help in supporting the ongoing partnership between England and Wales.
Cambridge Folk Festival – Building on the opportunity for the artists to perform at Cambridge Folk Festival 2019, we’re pleased to continue this partnership and look forward to presenting the participants at Cambridge Folk Festival 2020.
FOCUS Wales – We’re grateful to the team at FOCUS Wales for enabling the artists to participate in their conference as well as showcase to delegates in Wrexham this May.
Americana Music Association UK – Participants will also attend the annual AmericanaFest UK, three day Conference and Showcase Festival to network within the industry, attend panel discussions and see a showcase from the point of view of a delegate first hand.
Manchester Folk Festival – to finish the programme, the selected artists will perform at Manchester Folk Festival 2020.
Featured Artists Coalition – Participants will start the programme by taking part in the FAC Artist:Entrepreneur Day in Manchester.
Applications will open in Summer 2020 for the next programme to begin in October 2020.