Manchester is known around the world as a great music city, from musicians, DJs, and producers to record labels, gig promoters and venues. Like the rest of the cultural sector, the music scene has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MIF Sounds was set up to help those involved in Manchester’s music scene to continue to create in this difficult period, with successful applicants receiving £1,000 from MIF as well as advice and guidance in areas such as production, PR & Marketing and licencing.

With over 150 applications from across the region, MIF today announce the successful musicians, artists and collectives – chosen by a panel from MIF which includes Jane Beese Head of Music, Ciaron Wilkinson Cultural Connector, Curatorial Consultant Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Festival Square Producer Rivca Burns.

• DJ collective All Hands On Deck will run digital production workshops for 25 women, non-binary and trans musicians, in collaboration with Equalize Music Production

• Balraj Samrai – Producer, DJ and co-owner of record label Swing Ting will create a new piece of music in response to COVID-19

• Farah Ahmad will make a spoken word track from audio histories of migrant key workers

• Hurguf will create a DJ mix combining Buranbuur, a form of Somali poetry with electronic music

• A collective including artist and musician Magpahi, composer Sophie Cooper, Maryanne Royle of the band Prangers, experimental sound artists Lone Taxidermist and Gibbon will create sound installations in a church in Rochdale with a local historian

• Melodic post-punk band Loose Articles will record and release their new EP

• RnB artist Vzion will launch a record label and regular gig night championing Manchester creatives

• Rapper and vocalist OneDa will record and release their new EP ‘Da One’ with Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey

• Chris Massey – DJ, producer and owner of record label Sprechen will mentor 2 local producers and release their music through his label

• Currently unable to go to a studio SAF-S2E, a rapper and poet, will be able to purchase equipment and software to home record their upcoming album ‘INK IS BLOOD’

• Composer Jacob Connor will create a piece of music in response to events in 2020 using audio clips and working with local musicians.

Jane Beese, MIF’s Head of Music said “We are all conscious of the devastating effects that the pandemic is having across the creative sector. With the closure of music venues and rehearsal studios in Greater Manchester, this support will help those in our community continue to create and pursue projects that have been put on hold by COVID-19.

We were completely overwhelmed with the number of applications and the breadth of talent that they represented and are really excited to reveal our successful applicants today. We are also very grateful to one of MIF’s donors whose generous support means we were able to include an additional project in the scheme.”

We look forward to working with the wider music sector over the coming months and years as we move towards the next Manchester International Festival in July 2021 and the opening of The Factory.”

With the creative community seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis, MIF has been finding ways to offer support to artists and creatives based in Greater Manchester. Other initiatives have included online Remote Residencies, digital workshops and regular online drop-in sessions for freelancers and creatives to offer advice and build networks. This month also saw the selection of Festival in My House… And Yours creatives, chosen by a community panel of 12 Greater Manchester residents, who will be supported by MIF to host digital events in their own homes over the next six months.

MIF has also continued to actively support and be part of GM Artist Hub, offering advice and resources to the independent practitioners, artists, and companies of Greater Manchester.


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