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FAC boost their community with 20 new Artist Ambassadors including Duran Duran, Nia Archives, Girli, Elkka, English Teacher, Guvna B, OneDa and Alt-J's Gus Unger-Hamilton

The new cohort means more than 140 artists have agreed to act as Ambassadors for the UK's artist organisation 

 

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) today reveals a boost to our growing community, with 20 new Artist Ambassadors coming onboard to help amplify our collective voice. 

Our Ambassadors play an important role for the FAC. 

Already numbering more than 120, these individuals are drawn from the widest range of genres and backgrounds - from bona fide superstars such as Annie Lennox, Johnny Marr, Robbie Williams and Nick Mason, through to culturally important figures like Carl Cox, Larry Heard, Shaun Ryder, Beth Gibbons, Brix Smith, Cradle of Filth, Mogwai and Pauline Black and rising artists including Big Joanie, Kelly Lee Owens, Billie Marten, Rina Sawayama and Porridge Radio. 

All have agreed to stand up to support the key principle of a trade organisation that represents the specific rights of music artists. 

Many have also become actively involved in the FAC's work to reshape the music business into a more equitable and artist-friendly environment, such as our 100% Venues campaign to end outdated commissions on merchandise sales, and our ongoing work to reform the music streaming market and make live touring more economically sustainable.  

 

David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition said:
"FAC Ambassadors play a vitally important role in reminding the wider world that artists are at the absolute epicentre of what should be a creative-led industry. I'm delighted that we continue to attract such an amazing diversity of talent, from individuals we recognised at last year's Artist & Manager Awards through to four awardees from Step Up, the development fund we co-founded with Amazon Music. I'm really honoured to have their collective backing, and look forward to having their support to drive forward the FAC's goal of a more artist-friendly music business." 

To our Ambassadors' illustrious ranks, we now welcome four acts recognised at our Artist & Manager Awards: Duran Duran, Nia Archives, Becky Hill and Murray Matravers

Duran Duran need little in the way of introduction. A powerhouse of creativity since the 1980s, the band has sold more than 100m albums worldwide. Always on the cusp of technological and cultural change, they remain a hugely successful live act and headline 2024's Latitude Festival. Since first emerging in 2020, Nia Archives has already put a stamp on the future of jungle, taking over Glastonbury and the Warehouse Project with her Bad Gyalz project, and remixing artists including Jorja Smith and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Nia's debut album, Silence Is Loud, entered the UK charts at number 16 last Friday. Becky Hill, meanwhile, is one of the UK's most streamed artists (10bn and counting!) and one of dance music's most influential voices, whose forthcoming 3rd album - Believe Me Now? - promises to incorporate drum n bass, techno, house and trance. With his band currently on hiatus after a widely reported legal action from easyGroup, former Easy Life frontman Murray Matravers has used his voice to speak out on a range of issues, including Brexit and the challenging economics of live touring.  

Adding their support are two artists who have actually performed at our Awards: Baby Queen and Girli. Breaking the UK Top 5 last November with her debut album, Quarter Life Crisis, the former is one of the UK's most exciting new voices, with her latest single, Ride Or Die, dropping at the start of April. The latter releases her second album, Matriarchy, in May 2024 and, following a string of shows in North America and Australia continues to build a global fanbase for her future-tinged pop music. 

We are also delighted for the support of four awardees from year one of the FAC's Step Up Fund: CheriseElkkaFriedberg and Joel Culpepper. Powered by Amazon Music, Step Up was established to help upcoming independent artists expand their creativity, and it has been incredibly gratifying to watch these hugely talented individuals continue to grow their horizons. 

Last year, Cherise embarked on her first UK headline tour, following festival appearances at Cross The Tracks, A Love Supreme and Elbjazz. Rising performer and producer Elkka, who currently graces the front cover of Disco Pogo, curated an album for the iconic DJ-Kicks series in 2023 will release her debut album for Ninja Tune in May 2024. Friedberg have recently released a new single (co-written and produced by Dan Carey) and will perform as support to Placebo across three outdoor uk shows in June 2024. Meanwhile, Joel's career continues to go from strength to strength. Releasing a Tom Misch-produced EP in September 2023, he has also recently collaborated with Jimmy Snapes and Eddie Chacon, and finished last year with a sold-out show at London's Lower Third. 

And we don't stop there. 

Also joining the FAC's list of Artist Ambassadors - and taking us to a grand total of 142 - are Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly), English TeacherKeane's Richard HughesEckoesGuvna BOneDa, CJ PanditSOAK, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Alt-J's Gus Unger-Hamilton

Releasing music since 2004, Sam has been at the forefront of music and activism ever since -  co-writing and producing an EP with Afrobeat legend Dele Sosimi last year. Meanwhile, currently in the UK Top Ten with their highly anticipated debut album, This Could Be Texas, English Teacher served as Ambassadors for Independent Venue Week. In March, lead singer, Lily Fontaine, joined the FAC in Parliament for an inquiry into the challenges of touring at grassroots venues. Richard is the long-time drummer for Keane, where he continues to enjoy phenomenal global success. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band's debut album, Hopes and Fears, which has sold an incredible 2.8m copies in the UK alone, Keane will embark on a major UK arena tour in 2024. As a two-time MOBO winner, Guvna B continues to enjoy a multi-faceted career as an artist, author and broadcaster - accumulating more than 30m streams, and becoming the first rapper to top the Official Christian & Gospel Charts. 

 

Commenting on becoming an FAC Ambassador, Guvna B said: 
"Music transformed my life completely and as an artist the main thing I want to do is focus on the art. Thankful that the FAC are there to cover my blind spots and think about my rights and interests. Buzzing to be able to contribute to this collective voice." 

Having served as a board member until 2023, Eckoes (aka Dilys Uwagboe), is already hugely respected throughout the FAC's community. She is joined as Ambassador by OneDa, one of the most iconic voices on Manchester's current music scene, and fast being recognised as one of the UK's most distinctive rappers. Now signed to Heavenly Records, OneDa's Pussy Power EP was released in October 2023, featuring the anthem Rude Girl - Flex. Also on the rise is CJ Pandit, whose debut album One Lost English Boy arrived this month, ingesting influences as diverse as Aphex Twin and Carole King. 

OneDa added: "It is vital to support an organisation like the FAC that are there to stand up for artists rights. As an artist it is important for me to have a seat at the table and join other amazing ambassadors as we fight to protect our art."

Finally, we are delighted to welcome SOAK, who has now released three ambitious folk-tinged albums via Rough Trade Records, and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (aka Orlando Higginbottom) who continues to operate at the cutting edge of electronic music - releasing a string of acclaimed and eclectic tracks since 2011, while remixing artists including Jessie Ware, Little Dragon and Lady Gaga. 

Completing our announcement is Gus Unger-Hamilton, keyboardist and co-founder of Mercury Prize-winners Alt-J. Releasing their 4th studio album, The Dream, in 2022, the band recently concluded the US leg of a world tour, celebrating the tenth anniversary of An Awesome Wave

"I'm delighted to join such a wide-ranging and illustrious list of Ambassadors and to bring my support to the FAC's campaigning," said Gus. "Issues such as streaming reform, venue merch commissions and Brexit impact all of us, and in what's such a complex and fast-changing business, it's fantastic to have an organisation that can speak out and represent on our behalf."

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28 May 2024

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  • What the General Election could mean for the music business, ticketing, AI and big tech (see Analysis)

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  • Is the music business too afraid of big, bad AI? (see Opinion)

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20 May 2024

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16 May 2024

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15 May 2024

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14 May 2024

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  • A perspective on the health of the UK's live industry (see Features)