English Folk Expo runs an annual Artist Mentoring Programme which supports selected artists to develop their careers in the music industry.
Given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for musicians to understand more about how the industry works and how to prepare for future 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:
2021 / 2022 Participants
This year, we have selected four participants:
Since being nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards, Teesside’s Amelia Coburn has travelled and worked in Mexico, France and Russia and used the inspiration of the places and people she encountered to inform her beguiling original compositions. Drawing on European folk music and Tin Pan Alley jazz, Amelia’s distinctive voice is a captivating tool in her musical storytelling and she writes highly lyrical and evocative, narrative driven tales of, amongst other subjects, vengeful widows, sleep paralysis and staying up all night in Dublin. Voted as UKE Magazine’s Best Breakthrough Artist 2021, a string of single releases through lockdown gained national airplay in the UK and beyond, including BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and RTÉ 1.
Ben & Dom
Ben & Dom are a singing duo from London. Ben takes the high notes and Dom takes the low notes (most of the time). The intricate blend of their harmonies comes from a close friendship and shared love of singing together. Ben & Dom weave their voices around song olds and new, performing original material alongside new interpretations of folk songs. Their lyrics touch on friendship, nature and what it means for two men to sing together in this modern day.
Singer, harpist, story spinner and community artist, Georgie Buchanan is a unique voice in the folk scene dedicated to creating music that that tenderly invites the listener to connect more deeply with an ancient sense of place, community and relationship with the natural world.
Throughout her career she’s built a diverse audience and performed around the UK. Highlights have included performing with Show of Hands on the main stage of Sidmouth Folk Festival with her folk duo Georgie and Phoebe and performing a duet with Olympic medallist figure skater Gary Beacom.
Manchester singer songwriter Izzie Walsh has a unique sound that blends country, bluegrass, folk and Americana, Izzie Walsh has built an impressive organic fanbase over the last couple of years. Not only does she have two BCMA Awards and an Indie Week UK award under her belt, Izzie is also a former BBC Introducing Artist of the Week and has even performed on ITV’s Cold Feet.
Partners and Supporters
This programme is only possible with the support of a strong range of partner organisations.
The Peter Sowerby Foundation – We are delighted to have received the support of The Peter Sowerby Foundation to deliver this programme. It was established in 2011 to direct the personal wealth of Dr Peter Sowerby as grants to organisations that met the philanthropic objectives of Peter and his wife, Ann. The Foundation awards grants in the areas of healthcare innovation; education & learning; and, community & the environment.
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.
Cambridge Folk Festival – Building on the opportunity for the artists to perform at Cambridge Folk Festival 2019 and Cambridge Folk Festival At Home 2020, we are pleased to continue this partnership and look forward to presenting the participants at Cambridge Folk Festival 2022.
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 2022.
Featured Artists Coalition – Participants will start the programme by taking part in the FAC Artist:Entrepreneur Day in Manchester.
Previous participants on the project include: Katherine Priddy, Danny Addison, Lizzy Hardingham, Dominie Hooper, Harri Endersby, Hollie Rogers, Jordan Price Williams, Katy Rose Bennett, Lady Nade, Angharad Jenkins, Gareth Bonello, Jack Rutter and Chloe Foy.