International Trade

Following Glastonbury visit, business secretary Sajid Javid backs Fearless Vampire Killers

4 min read

06 July 2015

Former deputy editor

Sajid Javid, the David Cameron-appointed business secretary who replaced Vince Cable, has revealed the government has invested in 19 rising British music acts to help them take their talents overseas.

The move is part of the Music Export Scheme (MEGS), which funds artists from the UK’s small independent music companies in order to help them achieve global recognition and, in turn, boost the sales of British music globally.

Indeed, June figures from music body BPI revealed that British music achieved its highest sales to date with the help of Ed Sheeran and One Direction.

“Music is a defining part of British culture, from the British Invasion in the 1960s to 90s Britpop. I joined the music faithful at this year’s Glastonbury, witnessing first hand our country’s musical talent and the passion of festival-goers come rain or shine,” said business secretary Sajid Javid.

“Through the Music Export Growth Scheme, the government is banging the drum for the UK’s fledgling music stars and promoting the UK’s world-class sound in overseas markets. The scheme highlights the strength of the UK’s creative industries and the benefits they deliver to the UK economy.”

Read more on the music industry:

MEGS is run by the UKTI and BPI, and 89 music SMEs nationwide have received support from the programme in the past 18 months – this has resulted in a ROI of £8.50 for each £1 invested, according to the BPI.

This latest funding round marks the sixth, and the 16 groups and three songwriters chosen will receive grants of between £8,000 and £15,000. The music companies manage the capital and pay for overseas marketing, tour support, booking agents and so on, while songwriters are sent to writing camps to boost publishing revenues.

Artists to benefit from investment can be found in Suffolk, Manchester, Bristol, Sheffield, Derry, Cardiff, London and beyond, while acts include the likes of Fearless Vampire Killers and While She Sleeps.

“The Music Export Growth Scheme has played a pivotal role in launching the music careers of artists overseas. Since its launch, it has seen alumni such as Public Service Broadcasting, Young Fathers, and Catfish & the Bottlemen sell out shows in the US, Australia and Europe,” said BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor.

“With one in seven artist albums around the world now accounted for by British acts, we know the UK’s independent and major labels are at the top of their game in finding the most promising acts to develop. It’s an exciting time for British music and the BPI is backing it all the way.”

The likes of Arctic Monkeys and London Grammar have been highlighted as acts flying the flag for British music, with popularity in the US and France respectively.

The full list of artists and songwriters to secure funding can be seen below:

65daysofstatic (Sheffield)
Ciaran Lavery (Belfast)
Dr Meaker (Bristol)
Eska (London)
Fearless Vampire Killers (Suffolk)
Låpsley (Merseyside)
Lonelady (Manchester)
Maribou State (Hertfordshire / Leeds)
Marika Hackman (London)
MONEY (Manchester)
Oh Wonder (London)
Songwriters Paul Drew (Croydon), Pete Barringer (Isleworth), and Pete Boyes (Essex)
Sam Lee (London)
SOAK (Derry, Northern Ireland)
The Temperance Movement (London)
Until The Ribbon Breaks (Cardiff)
While She Sleeps (Sheffield)