Ivors Academy and Apple Music announce Rising Star shortlist

Ivors Academy and Apple Music announce Rising Star shortlist

The Ivors Academy has announced the five artists nominated for its new Rising Star Award, in association with Apple Music.

Recent Music Week On The Radar star Griff (pictured) features on the list alongside soul singer Amahla, Manchester composer Carmel Smickersgill, Irish multi-instrumentalist lullahush and Mysie, who recently released a new track called Gift.

To find out everything you need to know about the new award, read an exclusive interview with Apple’s Dan Adams in the new edition of Music Week, out now.

The Rising Star Award was created to help discover and elevate new songwriters in the UK & Ireland. It is the first new category to be introduced at The Ivors – which is now in its 65th year – since 2010. This year’s ceremony was recently pulled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Public submissions for the Rising Star Award opened last year, resulting in the most applications for any category in Ivors history. The Academy reported that 60% of entries were made by female musicians. 

As part of a new scheme with Apple, all nominees receive a year-long mentorship from an Academy member. The mentors are: Ivor Award-winning composers Anna Meredith and David Arnold, plus former Music Week cover stars Fraser T Smith, Camille ‘Kamille’ Purcell and Nile Rodgers.

The nominees will also receive Logic Pro X and GarageBand workshops, along with support from Apple’s Music Publishing division.

I can’t wait to see the nominees grow and give the world many great songs

Nile Rodgers

Nile Rodgers, who is mentoring Amahla, said: “The Ivors, in my view, offer amongst the most prestigious accolades that a songwriter can receive anywhere in the world. To be able to get this acknowledgement at such an early stage in your career will be an important catalyst for this incredibly diverse range of new talent. I can’t wait to see the nominees grow and give the world what I hope will be many of the great songs of the future."

Helienne Lindvall, chair of The Ivors Award Committee at The Ivors Academy, said: “I’m delighted that The Ivors Academy is working with Apple Music on the brand new mentorship programme to empower young songwriters and composers. Right now, there are more opportunities but we are also facing more challenges than ever, so it’s more important than ever to support and champion music creators. Starting out in the music industry is notoriously difficult, so it really matters that we nurture songwriters and composers at the beginning of their careers.”

The nominees offer such an interesting mix of style, genres and expressions

Camille ‘Kamille’ Purcell

Griff’s mentor, Camille ‘Kamille’ Purcell, added: “Feeling part of a musical community is such a strong catalyst for having the confidence to really explore where your music can take you This group of nominees offer such an interesting mix of style, genres and expressions, it’s really exciting to be a part of their journey.”

Fraser T Smith, who is mentoring Mysie, said: “It’s such an important and challenging time for music creators in the UK. Supporting emerging artists is vital to ensure that we remain such a vocal and diverse community. It’s wonderful to be working with Mysie on her journey and being part of a mentorship program that is focussed on fostering musical potential and helping it flourish.”

David Arnold, who is mentoring lullahush, commented: “The introduction of a new award with the purpose of nurturing the next generation of music creators is a brilliant way of genuinely supporting new talent. It gives them a platform to develop, mature and realise their talent and ambitions at a time when so much help is needed. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it and seeing more from all the nominees."

Anna Meredith, Carmel Smickersgill’s mentor, said: “It’s wonderful to see the potential and talent that the next generation of composers and songwriters are bringing to the table. I’m excited about getting to work with the incredibly talented Carmel over the coming year.”

This year’s Ivors nominations will be announced on Monday, July 20. Winners across all categories will be announced on Wednesday, September 2. 

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