We are a social enterprise dedicated to musicians in Nottingham & Notts. Going since 07/08, like a relationship it’s hard to nail down the precise start. Was it the first date, first snog or when you finally put it on Facebook?
We evolved out of Notts Unsigned, which itself evolved out of the Trent FM New Music Podcast. The podcast was born out of the fusion of the ‘We Want To See A Nottingham Artist At Number One‘ campaign and ‘Nusic’ student radio show (on URN1350).
When we started, we dreamed of seeing a Nottingham artist top the charts. In October 2012 Jake Bugg’s debut album went to Number One and we all got very drunk.
After recovering from the mother of all hangovers, we listened to Billy Bragg telling the nation the story of Jake’s rise – including how supportive Nottingham was (we were Notts Unsigned then). You can hear Billy tell that tale here.
Freed from the shackles of ‘the whole number one thing’, pondering Billy’s words, we realised our dream was actually very simple: to see as many Nottingham musicians as possible make a living doing what they love, be that selling out arenas or playing DIY shows in abandoned warehouses.
And that our job was to try our best to help. To contribute to Nottingham being one of the most supportive places in the UK to be a musician. A place acknowledged nationally and internationally for its vibrant music scene. A scene so highly regarded that musicians from elsewhere specifically moved here to be part of it. This clip here implies Hoodtown is getting there.
Embracing all genres, our primary focus is on musicians 25 and under. Where we can, we also help musicians who have been doing this a while longer, but haven’t necessarily got the support they deserve. A key question for us is always, ‘can we make a difference?’ It is always going to be challenging for a team of mainly twenty somethings, to help a guitarist who’s been playing for three decades.
Whatever your age, all the ways we can help are in our FAQs. All our ‘musician helping’ resources are in our Academy pages. We hope that with just those two links, we can help quite a bit, particularly if you’re just starting out.
With musicians our clear focus, we also try and help young Nottinghamites with aspirations in the creative industries. As such we offer life-changing work experience opportunities for those dreaming of getting into music and/or media. We realise that sounds a bit big-headed, but if you check out the testimonials from previous interns here, you’ll see it’s true. Honest Mum.
WHAT WE ACTUALLY DO (And how we do it)
Nusic has a four-point approach to helping make Nottingham a great place to be a musician:
– ALWAYS EVANGELISE – shout loudly, positively and proudly from the rooftops about the Nottingham music scene. This ranges from going into local schools to lobbying the local, regional and (increasingly) national media.
– CREATE CONTENT – consistently put out New Music content and programming, focused 100% on New Notts Music, enabling young musicians to reach new audiences.
– OFFER OPPORTUNITIES – create unique opportunities for musicians in front of the mic, and for aspirational music/media types behind it. Plus raise awareness of similar opportunities offered by others, and work with them to create new ones.
– GIVE SUPPORT – take direct action to support local musicians. This includes our Nusic Academy Workshops, Fairs and Surgeries, where we offer advice on specific musical issues.
This seems an apt moment to say big up to the organisations that help us do all this. You can read about them here.
After nine years of DIYing it, in August 2016 we went legit – becoming an official not-for-profit social enterprise. We are now a legal entity called a CIC, which is a not-for-profit structure with ‘community purpose’ that embraces the spirit of charity, but with the lower bureaucracy levels of a company.