BMG Production Music (BMGPM)—the world’s fastest-growing production music company, servicing the film, broadcast, games and advertising industries—has announced its partnership with educational organisation Expand Music. The collaboration will see BMGPM provide work and development opportunities for ‘Expand Access’ participants aged 16 to 19 from underrepresented backgrounds as part of its access-to-industry initiative.
Expand Music is a London based organisation facilitating interactive music workshops and coaching for schools and businesses in the UK. The initial aim of the collaboration is to offer new and emerging talent in the Expand Music network the opportunity to get their music onto the BMGPM catalogue.
The ‘Expand Access’ project links young artists from diverse and often economically disadvantaged backgrounds with tangible means to earn money from their art via professional relationships in which they are treated with respect and paid fairly. It also celebrates the significant contribution that young musicians and creators make to the rich cultural tapestry of the UK.
The partnership is ongoing with more to come from BMGPM’s continuing commitment to innovation and proactively feeding back into the talent ecosystem in positive and progressive ways, opening access to the music industry and continuing to represent ‘Hidden Hitmakers’.
This month, two albums have been released as part of the Expand Music partnership. Named after the artists, Chiles and OT showcase talents influenced by grime and neo-soul, respectively.
Tobias Silvester, Co-Founder at Expand Music, says: “We’re dedicated to broadening understanding of, and access to, music-making and the music industry. In collaborating with BMGPM, we share the vision and commitment to bringing opportunities to young talent in a meaningful and realistic way, ensuring a better future for as many of our young people as possible.”
Niall Lavelle, Co-Founder at Expand Music, adds: “Through a wider programme of work experience, internships and supported employment opportunities, we are hoping to help break down the social, cultural and classDan Pounder, EVP & Commercial Director at BMGPM, comments: “The work that Tobias and Niall do at Expand Music is vital in providing their network with access to music facilities, knowledge and encouragement. Working with them, we aim to provide valuable work opportunities, in addition to mentoring and support so they can create music to release. These recent albums are a small part of a wider plan of activity that we look forward to working on with the Expand Music network.”
The partnership also forms another pillar of BMG’s ongoing global fairness initiative to support diversity and inclusion and fight inequality, as announced by BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch in 2020. In the UK, the initiative includes the BMG Future Talent Programme that provides the next generation of music talent with a unique, high quality, paid opportunity to work for BMG, as well as a partnership with the Black Young Professionals (BYP) Network to diversify its talent pipeline and entice Black professionals to the myriad of opportunities.
Expand Music was founded by Tobias Silvester and Niall Lavelle in 2018. They are working musicians and educators with over 25 years’ combined teaching experience. Their work broadly covers music and content creation, work experience and employment, with strong links and collaborations with industry, venues, exam boards and colleges, music services, online content and charities.
Their multitude of successful music education projects includes an incubator programme, mentoring, showcase hosting, a specialist record label and releases, structured work experience schemes, corporate music creation workshops and more.
From the Expand Music roster, Chiles (pronounced shi-leece) signed to its Rawfire label with numerous releases and placements, wrote a bespoke track for the pilot show of BBC Three’s Fight Dirty, gained professional work experience at a leading production music label, mentors at Progression Sessions and has created an album of production music. Another successful Expand Music network graduate is Hindoloh. Now a talent manager and producer of music and videos, including ‘No Hook’ by Zone 2 that has 1.5 million views on YouTube, he also mentors on Progression Sessions projects and is employed at BSix College as a music technician and workshop teacher.