ICMP Reviews | Unsigned and Gifted artist development programme

ICMP alumna Inbal Colley-Croitoro attended the opening Unsigned and Gifted event at ICMP...


We were delighted to host the launch of the Unsigned and Gifted progamme at ICMP. 

Led by Yannis Iliopoulos, Senior Programme Manager for ICMP’s Music Business and Entrepreneurship degrees, the project aims to enable grassroots musicians to identify, trigger and claim early revenue streams and provide them with a platform to enhance their careers.

Here we learn from attendee, alumna and Tuniverse founder Inbal Colley-Croitoro on the first event… 

The Unsigned and Gifted programme was created to educate and empower grassroots artists, songwriters and producers towards monetising their creativity as early as possible in their career.

The goals of the project include:

  • creating a thriving community,
  • educating creatives on how to administer their rights,
  • encouraging collaboration,
  • showcasing talent via live music events,
  • generating licensing opportunities through sync. 

With this ambitious mission and vision in mind, the Unsigned and Gifted core team, consisting of Yannis Iliopoulos (ICMP, Abbey Road Institute, The Sound Of Everything), Neil March (Trust The Doc Media, Fresh on the Net), Mauro Lacandia (ICMP, Tarantola) and Monica Lambies Sanchez (BMG), have embarked upon the development of the programme, with support from industry leaders and key organisations such as the Arts Council England, PRS for Music, Atlantic Records, BMG and ICMP.  

The first event took place at ICMP, where I was a BA Songwriting student during 2013-2016!

The physical changes that ICMP went through since I last visited are impressive – from fully equipped rehearsal rooms, to lecture halls filled with all the tech that staff and students could need. The football tables put a smile on my face as I was reminded of fierce competition back when I was a student! It was good to be back. 

Yannis began his introduction by emphasising the importance of guidance in setting up artist businesses in multiple levels of detail. Key aspects included elaborating upon the importance of grassroots artists setting themselves up as micro businesses targeting attainable, deliverable goals."

Jataneel Banerjee (Relationship Manager Asia, PRS for Music) delivered a workshop where he gave an overview of PRS, its various divisions, and shared a number of interesting stats (27 trillion uses of music processed by PRS!). Mr. Banerjee also shared particularly helpful insights into how to utilise the different aspects of copyright for tangible protection of artist rights. 

Ian Ramage (VP, Repertoire & Marketing (UK), BMG) shared his insights regarding changes in the nature of deals that record labels and publishers now offer to new talent.

In his talk, Mr. Ramage elucidated upon the landscape in which artists now operate in and concluded with his optimistic and down-to-earth views on the craft of songwriting:

“Songs are a long-term investment … a song should be treated as a precious thing… it’s your gold dust”.  

This was followed by an A&R Panel with Mali Emeka (A&R Manager, Atlantic Records UK), where artists in the audience had the opportunity to share their drafts and finished songs. Many rather impressive pieces were showcased! 

Jeremiah Gogo (Head of Data & A&R Analytics, Atlantic Records UK) shared the incredible art of A&R analytics and its potential uses in all levels of decision-making.

Jeremiah's lively chat featured very valuable information on mitigating risk, forecasting models, the playlist journey, the importance of self-drive, and concluded with helpful tips for the artists in the audience." 

This was followed by the final segment of the day; a creative exercise in which the audience participated in a Video Game Music Jam with Cory Lawrence (Video Games Composer, Everything Fantasy)

The project’s goal of helping musicians gain clarity and direction by providing them with much needed tools is one that we at Tuniverse identify with strongly.

In an era where many DIY artists are already well-equipped with tools and are somewhat tech-savvy, practical guidance from individuals who have “real-world” and insider experience is often the missing ingredient needed to lower the barriers of entry to a financially viable music career."

For those seeking to enter the ever-evolving music business and fast-paced creator economy, Unsigned and Gifted offers DIY artists invaluable and readily actionable information, helps them to set clear and achievable goals, and provides them with a community and support system that can be leveraged for considerable advantage. 

To follow, support and join Unsigned and Gifted on socials and visit unsignedandgifted.com to learn more.

Equally focused on Music Business & Entrepreneurship

The music business is an incredibly competitive environment – and over the last 30 years, ICMP has developed and refined a cutting-edge degree that now focuses equally on entrepreneurship. We’re the first music school in the UK to recognise that you need to understand not just marketing, management, finance, digital, creativity and all the structures and quirks that make the industry unique, but also how to forge your own path, create your own job, and change the future for the better. With access to ICMP’s fully equipped music facilities, exclusive industry events, masterclasses and a peerless contact network, we have it all covered.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, email our friendly Admissions Team at enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or call them on 020 7328 0222.

School of Music Business
by Inbal Colley-Croitoro
February 22, 2023
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