PRS aids Unsigned music initiative

Ruth Gillespie

Entertainment retail chain Fopp has joined with the Performing Right Society Foundation and manufacturing company Clear Sound and Vision to launch a new initiative promoting up and coming musicians in the UK.

The scheme, entitled Unsigned, will offer emerging acts the chance to record their material at a professional studio free of charge and have the resulting CD distributed through Fopp’s 14 stores nationwide.

More than 400 acts have already benefited from the Fopp Unsigned Network, a similar project which was launched in February 2003 to help bands without recording contracts sell their music.

Peter Ellen, the company’s managing director, said: “The United Kingdom is awash with musical talent but due to prevailing market conditions and the reliance on manufactured pop it is harder than ever for new acts to secure a record deal. The Unsigned initiative can’t promise stardom but could help bands to push through that glass ceiling.”

The PRS Foundation is the UK’s largest independent funder of new music of any genre and, since it was founded four years ago, has given more than £5 million to support almost 1,000 new projects.

Manager David Francis said: “The PRS Foundation is strongly committed to supporting and stimulating emerging musical talent in the UK. We are pleased that this initiative will spotlight the creativity and innovation we know is out there among new bands and songwriters and that it will provide practical opportunities for them to progress their professional careers.”

Further information about how to apply to Unsigned will be available from February 9.

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