“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
As a music development organisation, based in Kings Cross' Tileyard Studios, Urban Development plays 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 charity arm, focuses on educational work. We lead with a hands on approach to opportunities and nurture young artists, as well as 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, back in 2012 we announced a new publishing partnership with the Bucks Music Group, a move that has allowed Urban Development to grow its 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 17-year history, artists we have helped and worked within their early careers are now household names.