Applications open today for the American Express Music Backers Studio Week, which will give 50 Australian musicians sought after access to some of the best recording studios and industry experts in the country. This is the third initiative announced as part of the $1 Million American Express Music Backers Fund.

Music Backers Studio Week launches in response to fresh insights from American Express that found while four in five (79 per cent) Australian musicians said lockdown has allowed them to focus more on their music, almost seven in ten have been unable to access the expertise (68 per cent) or equipment (67 per cent) required to record music because of COVID-19 restrictions. On top of this more than a quarter (27 per cent) said that mentoring from industry experts would be valuable to them in order to continue making music during COVID-19.

Successful Music Backers Studio Week recipients will receive:

Studio access: Each artist, band or group will have a full day at one of 10 recording studios during week commencing 9 November, across the country to enable them to produce their latest demos with some of the nation’s most renowned producers such as Simon Cohen, Rohan Sforcina and Anna Laverty.

Virtual mentoring workshop: Ahead of Music Backers Studio Week, industry leaders in artist management, producing and music media will host a mentoring workshop.

The pandemic has created many new challenges for artists with 64 per cent of them releasing no or less music than originally planned since March. As a result, the industry is facing a gap in new music. Following the week in studio, the Music Backers Studio Week judging panel will review all recorded tracks and select one recipient artist, band or group to be awarded a $5,000 grant to go towards releasing and promoting their new track.

Nick Yates, Senior Artist Manager, Unified Music Group and Studio Week workshop host comments: “The pandemic has impacted artists hard; it has made creating and releasing music, and connecting with fans, more challenging than ever. This latest initiative from American Express will provide signed and un-signed artists the opportunity they need to keep doing what they do best, and in turn ensure the country is able to continue to listen to new music.”

Music Backers Studio Week recipients will gain access to the some of the most valued resources they need to help them continue making music during the pandemic. When asked where funding support would be most valued, artists listed recording studio time (43 per cent), marketing/ publicity (37 per cent) and access to producers (32 per cent) as their top three.

Simon Cohen, Studios 301 SYDNEY, Producer and Engineer says: “For an artist, time in a quality studio to create and collaborate is priceless, especially during these current times. Due to pandemic restrictions, many Australian musicians have been unable to access the expertise they need to create and finalise their music. The American Express Music Backers Studio Week will give artists a much-needed boost by providing them with full access to equipment, sound engineers and producers, like myself.”

The pandemic is not only impacting artists but music lovers too, as two in five (43 per cent) Australians are concerned the impact of COVID-19 will cause their favourite artists to release music less frequently, and three in ten (30 per cent) are concerned their favourite artists will stop creating music.

The $1 Million American Express Music Backers Fund, the next evolution of the 2018-19 American Express Music Backers Program, launched earlier this month with two initiatives; Nominate a Mate who has been doing something great for music to receive $1,500*, and Grants between $2,000 to $50,000designed to support music businesses and artists. Both initiatives are still open for applications.

Applications for Music Backers Studio Week are now also open and close on Sunday 13 Sept 2020, 11.59pm AEDT. To get involved and to learn more, visit:

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  • Dom DiSisto
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