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Opportunities for musicians with Merseyrail Sound Station

AN all new music development programme has unveiled the artists who will take part in the first semester of the innovative new project. Merseyrail Sound Station will provide a wide range of artists from different genres and backgrounds the opportunity to develop their creative skills, links to the music industry and learn from successful Liverpool musicians.

The cohort of Merseyside artists, who responded to a call-out earlier this month, includes the African-Irish rapper Breezy Ideygoke, electro pop artist Niki Kand from Tehran and Birkenhead singer songwriter Bill Nickson. 

The first round of Merseyrail Sound Station, which launches next month, will be based around three core components including studio workshops, artist-led masterclasses and industry one-to-one sessions with representatives from across the industry (including record labels, publishers and PR).

Participating artists will enjoy an exclusive artist masterclass with Becky Hawley of established Liverpool band Stealing Sheep at the Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room in August.

Hawley said: “It’s great to work with emerging artists in Liverpool who are always bubbling with energy and ideas. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the programme Merseyrail Sound Station have put together and seeing the musicians develop as a result of these ses- sions.”

Following the two-month structured programme of support, the acts will enjoy a range of live performance opportunities, including the Merseyrail Sound Station Live Festival which takes place at Liverpool Central Station on the 28th September.

This year Merseyrail Sound Station Live will take place in partnership with BBC Music Day. The show will be part of a nationwide programme of activity bringing people together through the power of music. 

Now in its sixth year, the festival is the only event of its kind, which sees a busy commuter railway station transformed into a free concert hall, brimming with exciting new undiscovered musical talent. 

There will also be other exclusive opportunities for the acts to play at high-profile slots with touring artists in Liverpool and beyond.

The second semester of Sound Station will take place in November, with registration opening in October with the project set to continue into 2019.

Bido Lito! founder and Sound Station project lead, Craig Pennington, said: “Music is hugely important to the DNA of our city and this project is about ensuring the next generation of mu- sicians are equipped to excel in the modern music environment. 

“The music sector has changed hugely over the past decade, with the decline of record sales and the rise of new models around streaming that place artists in a great position of power and opportunity. But it is hugely important that our aspiring local musicians under- stand how best to excel in this brave new world.”

Commenting on the idea behind Sound Station, Pennington, added: “Last year we undertook research with Liverpool John Moores University which identified a real need for a more structured, city wide support and development programme for local artists and that’s exactly what Sound Station will tackle head on.

“It will give musicians a solid foundation and allow them to work with some of the most excit- ing music companies in the country, as well as providing them with the knowledge and skills they need. 

“We’re delighted to have Becky Hawley on board with Sound Station. Stealing Sheep have been a real success story for the Liverpool music community over the last few years and Becky will be an excellent voice in the project.” 

Merseyrail Managing Director Andy Heath said: “We are hugely proud to be part of such an important and progressive project which will give invaluable advice and opportunities to Merseyside’s  bustling musical talent. 

“Merseyrail has a long-standing commitment through our partnership with the Sound Station Live Festival to support the development of music in this great city. The nature of the project means participants will really benefit from the programme of sessions and I can’t wait to see that showcased at the Liverpool Central concert in September!”

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