May and June this summer saw Paco Rabanne and NTS host a series of radio shows and an intimate London gig series showcasing a diverse range of UK musicians and DJ talent. The Paco Rabanne ‘A Million Ways to Make It’ 2021 Fund is delivering an artist development platform celebrating the passion across the industry by offering support and mentorship to up-and-coming, independent artists in the UK.
Working with NTS and creative agency, Impero – Puig’s global fashion and fragrance house, Paco Rabanne is promoting the Paco Rabanne Fund that aims to provide new independent musicians with financial support and mentorship from NTS and industry experts and help them navigate the complexities required to make it in the music industry.
Paco Rabanne’s ‘A Million Ways to Make It’ is in its second year – supporting up-and-coming music talent, whilst also embedding the Paco Rabanne brand further into the UK music scene. Last year’s initiative also went towards helping mitigate the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on UK talent and music.
Meet the 2021 fund artists
The 2021 Paco Rabanne ‘A Million Ways to Make It’ events were free to the public and showcased a diverse range of UK-based talent including, Mansur Brown, Goya Gumbani, Ego Ella May, Aqwea, Tarzsa, Selassie TBC, Errol, Alex Rita and Fauzia – alongside the following were recipients of the 2021 Paco Rabanne Fund:
● Harleighblu is a singer-songwriter striking out in the bubbling UK neo-soul scene with her distinctive sound and touching vocals. This singer from Nottingham has a mellow fusion of soul, hip-hop and jazz cross-referencing her myriad influences, matched with straight-talking, empowering lyrics. The Paco Rabanne Fund allowed Harleighblu to travel overseas and collaborate with Detroit rapper/singer/songwriter Illa J on an album due to be released this year.
- Anaiis is a French-Senegalese artist who occupies a transcendent musical space, using her voice for self-reflection, solace and empowerment. A child of diaspora, Anaiis sings in multiple languages, and writes with a global outlook, channelling her experience as a young black woman. The Paco Rabanne Fund has helped Anaiis to focus on the next steps in her career, experiment with her craft and expand her skills and interests to ultimately elevate her work.
- Mom Tudie is a 24 year old producer from South London who has been making music since childhood: jazz, pop, hip-hop and soul, guided by his family and friends. A self-taught producer, Mom’s craft eventually evolved into the distinct sound it is today. Straddling jazz and R’n’B, Mom’s music often blurs the line where live music ends and electronic production begins. The Paco Rabanne Fund has given Mom a sense of security as an artist, enabling him to invest in equipment and focus on more live performances.
2022 Paco Rabanne fund opening soon!
Applications for the ‘Million Ways to Make It 2022 Fund and Artist Development Programme’ will open in August, with three successful finalists set to receive a £5,000 grant, as well as a bespoke mentorship scheme that will include committed support from industry experts and NTS’ experienced in-house team. Recipients will get sessions with mentors well-versed in all the ups and downs of the industry, who will run the prospective artists through the full spectrum of what being a musician in today’s climate looks like – from music production, live shows, marketing, radio, live performances and more.
- In August, the platform will open applications for the 2022-23 ‘A Million Ways To Make It Fund & Mentorship Programme’ directed at emerging artists based in the UK
- Each winner will receive a £5,000 grant from Paco Rabanne to invest in their career, as well as a bespoke mentorship package delivered by NTS and industry partners
- During 2023, there will be opportunities for finalists to host radio shows on NTS and perform at live events as part of the programme
The aim of the fund is to facilitate a sense of freedom for artists to explore and experiment within their chosen medium, by offering the space and support to immerse themselves fully in the experience. Applicants must be aged 18 or over and based in the UK, but there’s no expectation of style or approach – anyone with a passion to succeed in the music industry is welcome.
The creative focus for this year’s entries is for artists whose sound is reflective of the UK’s rich sonic heritage. Whether an artist’s music is rooted in dub or drill, soul or soca, jazz or jungle, they’ll be focusing on artists making original work that ventures into new territories.
Celine Gilg, Managing Director, Puig UK said: “Paco Rabanne has built a strong reputation over the past year for helping exciting rising artists to access the resources and support they need to take their careers to the next level. It is so exhilarating to see the myriad talent coming through yet again as the Paco Rabanne Fund celebrates its second year.
After the success of last year’s fund, we were keen to develop its offering to include practical mentoring from established industry professionals. This year we received some fantastic feedback telling us how Puig through Paco Rabanne has helped artists’ musical journey ‘really take off’ with one singer telling us that the initiative has ‘literally changed the course of my career’. So, I’d say watch this space – the Paco Rabanne Fund is set to change the UK music scene for good!”
Charlotte Willcocks, Head of Strategy, Impero, said: “We are delighted to be able to play such an integral role in a campaign that is helping support so many up and coming artists. This year the MWTMI initiative has grown to support more UK talent through the Paco Rabanne Fund, giving up-and-coming artists even greater exposure through the NTS ecosystem. The addition of the IRL events has meant we can bring consumers along on the MWTMI journey with us – can’t wait for next year!”