Find links to organisations and resources that can help you get started with a career in the music industry.
DIY: Freelancing Tips & Advice
Starting a creative career on your own can be quite daunting. These resources below will help guide you in the right direction when it comes to setting up as a freelancer, self promotion, and being your own hype-man!
- Tees Music Alliance have released their Musicians Atlas to help get your head around the world of music.
- Wired4Music: How to Make Money From Your Music, an E-Guide by Estee Blue.
- Off The Record: Easy PDF guides sharing DIY tips.
- Route have a 3-part series, breaking down Music Industry Jargon.
- F*ck Being Humble is an online platform all about self promotion.
- Plan Make Do, have a bunch of resources for Freelancers, from getting clients, to landing your first contract.
No steady income and daily routine can be overwhelming, but Kate's got you sorted. Here are some ways to turn a nightmare scenario into your dream job.
Kira shares what she's learned through first-hand mistakes working freelance full-time.
As part of Commission Mission, Tina Edwards talks to music industry professionals on tips and advice for managing an artist
Funding & Financial Support
We know that in order to get your idea off the ground, you need funding. We have just launched a new fund for 18-25s who are trying to fund their own projects, who do not have the financial means to do so. Here are a few other funders you can check out.
- Arts Council England: DYCP Fund.
- Help Musicians: Record and Release Fund. They also have a useful additional support, if you're unsure what funding to apply for.
- PRS Foundation have multiple funding programmes for early-career Musicians.
- DBACE have a annual Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs aged 18-30.
The basics: advice on making sensible decisions & avoiding getting ripped off as an unsigned artist.
Need tips on writing your application? Check out these two articles below:
Electronic duo Bicep share their tips on a long career in music production, ahead of Youth Music and Charanga's new competition for electronic music tracks produced on VIP Studio Sessions.
In an industry rooted in connection, being part of a supportive network or community of fellow creatives can take an artist's career to the next level.
Access & Mental Health Support
Pursuing a career in music comes with it's challenges, but some of us have additional barriers to getting into music. Whether you're someone who needs additional support, or you want to ensure your work is inclusive, the below resources may be of help.
- Drake Music provide funding advice for Disabled Musicians.
- Disability Arts have put together A Guide for the Arts and Cultural Sector
- Communicate your support needs by creating your own access rider.
- Attitude is Everything have a useful guide for music creators about making your music events more accessible.
- Creative in Progress write how to bounce back from rejection.
- Music Minds Matter are a helpline for those who work in music.
If you identify as Disabled and need further support to make an application to Youth Music, you can apply to our Access Fund. This provides funding to cover any additional access costs required for you to make an application to Youth Music's Incubator Fund.
Discover excellent new offers for emerging music creators from some of our friends and partners at The Ivors Academy, PRS and Musician’s Union.
Struggling to stay motivated in lockdown? Bolu Bello has you sorted with her top ten tips to get yourself out of a rut.
“I have managed to do exactly what I wanted to do and I’m not a full able-bodied person firing on all cylinders. If that message could get out to anyone who needs it, that would be great."
Looking for Creative Opportunities?
Finding a career in music can be hard for even the most savvy person. Here are a few job boards we recommend checking out (including our opportunities board!)
- The Route - Entry-Mid level music industry jobs.
- Run the Check - Creative freelance roles and projects.
- Doors Open - Music industry jobs for Electronic music.
- Creative Access - Creative opportunities and jobs for underrepresented groups.
- It's always worth checking the companies job board directly, to make sure the job is still live. Universal; Sony; Warner; Kobalt; Beggars.
Youth Music also send out a fortnightly newsletter which share freelance opportunities with us, plus creative opportunities for young people across the country. Sign Up Here.
Interested in becoming a gig photographer? Check out top tips from Writer, Editor and Photographer Bethan McConnell.
"I wasn’t convinced you could realistically hold a job ‘in music’ without luck and pure talent. But there are so many wonderful jobs out there, and I’m so glad I pursued this as a career." Written by Luke Davis as part of Commission Mission.
Marketing, Branding & PR
So you've created all this amazing work and now you need to share it with the world? Here are some useful tips on how to get your name out there.
- Off The Record have useful resources on around PR, Marketing, and Distribution.
- UK Artist Handbook: Supporting artists to get the most out of TikTok
- YouTube have created a resource hub for Songwriters and Producers.
- Want more personalised advice? You can join the Music Marketing Group.
- Ditto Music have a section on their site all about promotion, including how to write a music press release.
- Don’t Be Boring: A Musician’s Guide to Branding
- Learn more about the role of a publicist to promote your music.
"Sometimes it takes a lot of guts as an artist to say, ‘I want to do what I feel’, as opposed to what might feel safe in the market." - Lorna Blackwood.
Read our guide to PR for artists who perhaps cannot afford to pay a PR company, or for artists who are just starting out in the industry.
Check out these essential marketing strategies that can help independent artists transform their promotion efforts into growth and sustainability mindset.
Do you write about music?
Working in journalism can be very competitive, as is working in the music industry. Combine the two, and what do you do to stand out?
- Lauren Martin has written an guide on How to pitch features to DJ Mag.
- How to pitch to The Guardian
- PressPad x Young Journalist Community resources for young journalists, including their Facebook page.
- Sian Meades-Williams sends out a weekly newsletter with freelance writing opportunities.
- Journo Resources: Tips, advice and stories for freelance journalists.
Nobody knows what music journalism will look like post-COVID. With eight years of freelance music writing, James shares his top tips for preparing for the aftermath.
"If you’re looking to get your name out there, here are five ways to write creatively and authoritatively about music, no fancy dictaphone necessary."
NextGen Writer Lydia Greatrix sat down over zoom with Nicholas Douglas, MD at Notion, to talk about the changing face of music journalism and hear his advice for young journalists starting out.
With the second round of the Youth Music NextGen fund open for applications, we spoke to writer Yomi Adegoke about how she'd spend a grant on a music journalism project.
Where do I find other young creatives?
Anyone who has ever offered advice about working in the industry will tell you one of the most important things you can do, is network, network, and network! Not all of us were blessed with music industry connections, but there are a ton of young creatives out there, you just need to find them. But where?
- Rising Arts - a community of young creatives aged 16–30 mobilising others for radical social, political and cultural change.
- The Entry Level Audio Network - a space for people starting out their audio careers to network and connect.
- LIVITY Community- young creatives under 30 based in London.
- Foot in the Door - Entry level music jobs and internships
- Synced In - for people looking for jobs in the UK music sync industry.
As part of Commission Mission, Founder of Alcopop! Records Jack Clothier writes about the importance of community when you work in music.
Produced and presented by the next generation of creators across the UK, Youth Music’s original podcast, The Higher Frequency, delves into the social and political issues behind the music you love. This six-part series features special guests GIRLI, Zoka the Author, [K S R], Lavs, Estee Blu, Nadia Khan, VITAL and more.
"Before the pandemic, we were already living in a world whose heart beat through the pages of social media and now that we are forced to predominantly communicate this way, we’ve realised how stagnant this can be."
Get to know Youth Music NextGen Fund recipient, Rianne Lewis, the founder of RUN IT, a music and networking events series.