Scratch My Progress 2014 Seeks Talent

Oh Yeah Music Centre seeks fresh talent for music development programme

The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is set to launch the third year of its talent development programme, Scratch My Progress. The scheme will again offer four musical acts the chance to hothouse their talent, learning about the business of music as well as the trades of performing and writing.

The successful participants will spend the rest of 2014 in meetings and workshops with music industry professionals, including lawyers and accountants, vocal coaches, PR experts and more. The team will be encouraged to share ideas in interactive songwriter sessions and receive mentoring in everything from business and marketing, to interview skills and stage management.

They will write and record a track professionally for a showcase EP and organise a showcase event at the end of the programme. This follows on the success of two previous Scratch My Progress programmes, which have given several hard-working Northern Irish acts an invaluable helping hand.

Former graduates include Katharine Philippa – who has performed at the Ulster Hall with the Ulster Orchestra and played at the London showcase for Belfast Music Week 2012 – synth rockers Go Wolf, and Frances Mitchell, whose song 'Who Do You Love?' reached number three in the Irish singles chart in August 2013.

'Scratch My Progress is opening the doors again to new music potential,' said Charlotte Dryden, project manager. 'It’s the third recruitment drive for this project, and it’s always an interesting time for us to see who is out there eager to develop their craft.

'We’ve had an exciting couple of years already, with a variety of artists taking advantage of the mentoring and services offered to them. We’re hoping to tap into more great talent again in 2014, and confident there is plenty of potential out there.'

The scheme is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the PRS for Music Foundation and Invest Northern Ireland. The Scratch concept was inspired by the work of Battersea Arts Centre in London, which pioneered the idea of a 'ladder of progress' using achievable steps and constant feedback. The project allows artists to test and develop their ideas from scratch with the audience, and each other.

The application process is now open. For full details on how to apply to be on Scratch My Progress 2014, e-mail Deadline for submission is Friday, May 2.