One of the key ideas behind Agitate was to form a socially conscious music project that allowed space for young artists to develop and market themselves in their own time. We wanted to move away from the model of many mainstream music charities where sessions are dependent solely on meeting funding requirements and providing academic qualifications. Whilst these projects are obviously important, we felt that promising young musicians who had found their voice through charity initiatives lacked the support to take the next step into the music industry.
We wanted Agitate to fill this gap by connecting young musicians who lack a stable home or support network with high-quality professionals, with whom they can collaborate and seek advice from as they build their portfolios of material.
Taking inspiration from the hugely successful visual art collectives of the 1990s and the self-reliance of contemporary grime collectives, we want to create a hub of young artists that inspire and support each-other’s development. As well as providing sessions where young musicians can hone their craft, we’ll provide an online platform where they can market their material directly to those in the industry. We are currently taking referrals from charities and social services for targeted work. However participants will soon be able to self-refer to the project so long as they are 16-24 and have experience of homelessness or social exclusion. Already, the collective is shaping up to be brilliantly diverse – we’ve heard from artists interested in everything from folk to techno.
As a new non-profit initiative, we are busily preparing for our launch event in December 2017. We’ve managed to secure some really exciting partnerships with some major players in the music industry and are currently writing funding bids and seeking out alternative investment. If you think you would like to get involved or have something to offer, whether it’s rehearsal space, production expertise, or if you’d like to be a mentor to one of our young people, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.