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Home > PRS Foundation congratulate Mercury Prize 2023 winners Ezra Collective

PRS Foundation congratulate Mercury Prize 2023 winners Ezra Collective

  • 5 out of the last 6 Mercury Prize winners have been music creators PRS Foundation has proudly supported through various programmes (Wolf Alice, Dave, Arlo Parks, Little Simz and Ezra Collective)
  • During that same period (the last 6 years) over half of all nominees have received support during their career
  • PRS Foundation support for Ezra Collective has included PPL Momentum Fund, International Showcase Fund, Steve Reid Innovation Award and BBC Music Introducing partnership support and the win highlights the importance of PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Partner organisations 

PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development is delighted to congratulate Ezra Collective on winning this year’s Mercury Music Prize.

Band leader and drummer, Femi Koleoso first received direct PRS Foundation support in 2016 as a recipient of the Steve Reid Innovation Award, through a partnership with the Steve Reid Foundation.

Ezra Collective went on to receive support in 2017 through the PPL Momentum Music Fund – which this year celebrates 10 years of supporting tipping point talent – before taking their sound to new audiences around the world with support through the International Showcase Fund for SXSW 2018, and through the BBC Introducing and PRS Foundation showcase at Winter Jazzfest 2019, hosted by Gilles Peterson.

Our focus on creative and career development, inclusivity and sector-wide collaboration means the Foundation, our partners and external advisors have been able to consistently attract and support exciting, emerging talent from all backgrounds. Through timely grants and talent development support – often available to creators at different key career moments – the music creators we support are able to fulfil their potential, grow their fan bases, sustain careers and garner critical acclaim, including through awards nominations and wins.

Ezra Collective’s deserved recognition demonstrates the important role organisations play in nurturing and developing talent. Whether on stage at Glastonbury or during last night’s inspiring acceptance speech, the band never fail to use their platform to highlight the importance of supporting youth and emerging talent-focussed organisations, stating:

 “This moment we’re celebrating right here is testimony to good, special people putting time and effort into helping young people to play music … let’s continue to support that.”

PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner organisations supporting Ezra Collective’s journey – many of which still work closely with the band as they support the next generation- include Tomorrow’s Warriors, Jazz re:freshed, Audio Active, Serious, British Underground, UD Music Foundation and the Roundhouse.

Joe Frankland, CEO, PRS Foundation says:

“Many congratulations to Ezra Collective for this historic win and for the deserved recognition. I am so pleased for Femi, the band, manager Amy Frenchum and the wider team involved in this incredible album.

PRS Foundation and our partners are proud to have played a role in supporting the band’s journey as creators, and especially pleased to see the band shining a light on the transformational role of non-profit organisations and the people dedicated to nurturing emerging talent. We’re proud to support these organisations as well as creators directly and it feels like an important moment to encourage the music industry to go further to support the talent pipeline.”

The Mercury Prize 2023 nominated artists that received PRS Foundation support were: Young Fathers who received Open Fund for Music Creators support for the nominated album, ShyGirl who received PPL Momentum Music Fund support and Ezra Collective.

Since 2011, 52 artists that have had PRS Foundation support received Mercury Prize nominations including recent winners, Little Simz (PPL Momentum Music Fund, International Showcase Fund and PRS Foundation & BBC Music Introducing Showcase support), Dave (International Showcase Fund), Wolf Alice (International Showcase Fund) and Arlo Parks (PRS Foundation & BBC Music Introducing Showcase support).

Each of these music creators have accessed PRS Foundation support targeted to meet specific career development needs (including creating, recording, UK touring or showcasing internationally).  Most supported artists received this vital and timely support prior to signing deals, including several who have gone on to work with major labels and major publishers – and many credit the Foundation support as being integral to their career development and give back to the Foundation in various ways.

All of these programmes are made possible thanks to PRS for Music’s ongoing core donation to PRS Foundation, plus ongoing support from partners including PPL, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, Creative Wales, Invest NI, The MU, Department for Business and Trade, the British Council and BBC Music Introducing.