“Urban Development, a charity which provides support and advice to young people trying to make it in underground music, has spent 12 years proving that a strong social conscience doesn't have to mean governmental do-gooding. While its foundations are philanthropic, it's become a serious music industry player.” The Guardian, 2012
A music development organisation based in Stratford, Urban Development play an integral role in the growth of urban music in the UK. Combining business acumen with an understanding of youth culture, we stand at the crossroads where the creativity of underground new music meets the music industry.
The Urban Development Music Foundation, our new charity arm, through educational work and hands on opportunity, nurtures and supports young artists and emerging professionals to prepare for sustainable careers in an industry where audiences have the appetite, and critical faculty, to appreciate the best that urban culture has to offer. We present quality events that encourage young people to become consumers of live music as well as enabling grassroots talent to hone their craft and derive inspiration from established artists. We support emerging artists and professionals through mentoring and work experience, access to resources, showcasing and networking. We deliver innovative education projects that equip young people with relevant skills and resources to make, perform and record new music.
Our vision is to be the premier agency for spotting and supporting new UK urban music talent - recognised by the public sector for the social and cultural impact of our work, and respected and rewarded by the private sector for the value we add to the commercial music industry. As evidence of this, in 2012 we announced a new publishing partnership with the Bucks Music Group, a move that will see Urban Development grow it’s own roster of intent and purpose.
We believe that many talented emerging artists – including those from disadvantaged backgrounds - will not achieve the support and public profile to develop sustainable careers without intervention. Across our 12-year history, artists we have helped and worked with in their early careers are now household names.