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Dëra, Nat Powers and Tony Burrata among the 6 latest songwriters and producers to receive Hitmaker fund support


  • Latest round of grantees features a Grammy Award winner, a producer with multiple syncs across BBC, E4 and Sky One, and songwriter producers who have worked with top artists such as Nile Rodgers, Ayra Starr, Run-DMC, Niall Horan, Janet Jackson and Bad Bunny

  • Conversations with the sector have begun to increase women and gender diverse songwriter and producer applications in 2024 onwards


PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development announces today the latest producers and songwriters to receive support from the ground-breaking Hitmaker fund are:

Dëra – receiving Hitmaker support for: International writing sessions
Dëra kickstarted his career in Nigeria, where he honed his beat-making and production skills while pursuing an engineering degree at university. At 23, Dëra has crafted hits in collaboration with a diverse array of artists and producers, including Major Lazer, Bad Bunny, Majid Jordan, Ayra Starr, Joeboy, Guiltybeatz, and Sarz and achieved the remarkable milestone of becoming a Grammy award-winning producer.

Jamal Woon – receiving Hitmaker support for: Studio equipment upgrades and an international writing camp

Jamal Woon’s impressive portfolio includes producing music for renowned artists such as FLO, Bad Bunny, Sauti Sol, Joeboy, Oxlade, Major Lazer, Victony, Ayra Starr and more.

Johnny Madden – receiving Hitmaker support for: UK-wide sessions and equipment purchases
Johnny Madden is a highly sought after songwriter and producer who has become a trailblazer within the Scottish music scene and has had sync placements on FOX, Champions League & Europa League (BT Sport), Valentino, Brassic (Sky One), The Syndicate (BBC), Made In Chelsea (E4) and worked with bands such as Spyres (LAB), Gallus (Marshall Records), Uninvited (LAB), Voodoos, Joshua Grant (Ditto Music / Opulous), Cameron Hayes and Dillon Squire (LAB / 7 West).

Nat Powers – receiving Hitmaker support for: International studio sessions
Nat Powers’ work has spanned multiple countries worldwide having worked with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Run-DMC, Wu Tang Clan, Giggs, Kano, D Double E, Idris Elba, Janet Jackson, Greentea Peng, Skepta, Professor Green and many others. He also produced the World’s first Grime Ballet in partnership with The Alexander Whitley Dance company, Boxpark London and Red Bull.

Robert Shields – receiving Hitmaker support for: Studio time
Scottish songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Shields aka ONR counts Nile Rodgers, Jake Bugg and Phantogram amongst his collaborators. His unique brand of alternative power-indie-pop combines the sensibilities of 70s UK singer-songwriter-throwbacks with the pop ambition and scale of the huge American productions. Shields spends his time working between his studio in South Scotland, London and Los Angeles, working with producers and mix engineers such as Spike Stent (Ed Sheeran, U2, Madonna), Doc McKinney (The Weeknd, Drake) and Mark Crew (Bastille, Rag'n'Bone Man).

Tony Burrata – receiving Hitmaker support for: Studio hire and piano course

Tony Burrata began his musical journey as an engineer under the stewardship of Jamie Scott, earning engineering credits on four #1 chart-topping records by artists Niall Horan, Tom Grennan, Westlife and Coldplay. Having honed his skills on major releases, Tony transitioned into the indie and alternative music scenes. His recent collaborations with Dolores Forever, Sophia Alexa and Carpark have cemented his reputation as a versatile and innovative writer/producer. 

Hitmaker supported producer and songwriter Nat Powers said “Being able to have support from PRS Foundation’s Hitmaker fund is allowing me to not only pursue bigger ambitions, but to leverage my career to a new unprecedented height at a time of intense attention, demand and possibility…This couldn't have come at a better time, and I'm extremely grateful to the fund for seeing the value in me and my work.”

John Hendrickse, Grants & Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation said, “Congratulations to all the excellent songwriters and producers receiving Hitmaker Fund support in this latest round. We’re delighted to be able to support those talented professional songwriters and producers, at crucial moments in their careers to ensure they can continue to develop and take that vital step up.

We recognise that this is the second round in which our Hitmaker fund has not received as many applications from the many talented and eligible women and gender diverse songwriters and producers that we know are out there in the UK today. It was fantastic to see in 2021 so many talented women and gender diverse songwriters and producers come forward and apply to our targeted Hitmaker round and access and benefit from this support. We have begun conversations with the sector and will expand and develop those into 2024 to ensure women and gender diverse songwriters and producers consistently apply in future rounds.

The next Hitmaker deadline to apply will be announced in the coming weeks and will be open for application submissions in 2024. PRS Foundation has already connected with existing partners and will be working more closely with key stakeholders in the sector over the coming weeks and months to address the known underrepresentation in the short and long-term. We encourage in the meantime women and gender diverse behind the scenes songwriters and producers to find out more about the Hitmaker Fund through our webinar with award winning songwriter Michelle Escoffery and through the information and guidance on the PRS Foundation website. Potential applicants can also get in contact with the team to ask questions via

Hitmaker support offers songwriters, producers and music creators working behind the scenes in popular music genres to further develop their careers and writing/production credits with grants of up to £10,000. Under the previous guise of the pilot Writer Producer Fund, Hitmaker has supported talent that has worked with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Paramore, Stormzy, Kylie and many more.

Additionally, supported songwriters and producers have developed into a community of behind-the-scenes music creators, through Hitmaker events and a unique online network designed to connect talent and encourage collaboration.

PRS Foundation’s Hitmaker fund is open to UK based behind-the-scenes songwriters, producers and music creators that have had at least three commercially exploited works, whether performed live, received media coverage, radio play, streams or released via commercial channels.

Hitmaker applicants can apply for support for:

  • Time to create
  • Training / Skills courses at places such as Point Blank / SSE
  • Creative / Professional development
  • Studio hire
  • Purchase of equipment / software / hardware (covers up to 25% of costs)
  • Tracking
  • UK writing space rental / lease
  • Maternity leave and childcare

Applications can be made through the PRS Foundation website. Applicants will need to submit at least two tracks with registered cuts. 

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