Hi Natalie, congratulations on Small Green Shoots being made the A&MA’s charity partner, can you tell us what your organisation does?
We do two things: we support independent managers and artists in their development phase with planning and access to funding and support. And most importantly we provide access for disadvantaged young people to the arts and training for the creative industries. In 2017, we facilitated more than 40 projects in towns and cities across the UK.
What kind of projects have you been working on recently?
The Young Shoots [young people we work with] decide on the content of our programmes. We’ve just completed a development support project for exciting new artist Hamzaa and the Shoots have been leading outreach sessions with artists Rodney P and Floetic Lara for their mental health & young people focused project “FundaMentals”.
What are the goals for Small Green Shoots and the young people you work with?
We have two goals, to provide long term careers for our Young Shoots. And to support amazing new music talent.
What have been your biggest successes?
Some might think providing access to start-up funding or support to new managers and artists like Jorja Smith, Mahalia and Mullally, but really it’s placing our Shoots in businesses like Virgin Records or Hoxton Hall. Especially when you just know its going to transform their lives (and the lives of their families) and that they’re going to really add value there…
There’s going to be a silent auction on the night of the awards, but what more could the industry do to support young people from difficult backgrounds?
Take them into your offices and venues and put them to work! Seriously. We are always looking for secondments where we can place our young people for a few weeks to learn about the business from the inside. Take a bit of time to show them how things work; the admin, the planning meetings, the online research or posts… That experience is priceless and helps them to create the vital network they maybe missing.
Looking into your crystal ball, which artist do you think will break big in 2019?
Everyone we have supported of course! But if I had to mention any specifics it would be Hamzaa and M Huncho as performing artists. I think Alyss will start to blow as a songwriter. She’s gone to LA to refine her already calm skills, I think she’s only going to get better…
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