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Home > Funding > Funding for Music Creators > Early Career > Steve Reid Innovation Award

Steve Reid Innovation Award

Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award


An innovative creative development project, supporting outstanding emerging artists through expert mentorship and vital bursaries.

What this scheme is about:
This partnership between the Steve Reid Foundation and PRS Foundation provides an opportunity for emerging artists that make outstanding music to receive support in the form of:

  • a grant of up to £1,500 to assist you with creative goals and career development
  • mentoring from an experienced, successful working artist (i.e. a trustee or friend of the Steve Reid Foundation)

It is open to anyone that is writing and performing their own music and is currently unsigned and unmanaged.

Steve Reid Foundation trustees and previous mentors include Gilles Peterson, Four Tet, Floating Points, Emanative and Koreless, and the Foundation’s network of industry experts, producers and artists will be helping to select and support artists for 2019-20.

Winners from previous years are:

Nubya Garcia (internationally acclaimed saxophonist and composer, Jazz FM Award 2019)
Moses Boyd (2 x MOBO Award winning drummer, composer and producer)
Nwando Ebizie (aka Lady Vendredi) (Winner, The Oram Award 2019)
Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective) (Pioneering chief beatmaker in Ezra Collective, drummer for Jorja Smith)
Ola Szmidt (Multi-faceted musician, mentored by Four Tet)
Wu-Lu (South London-based producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist; recent recipient of PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Music Creators)
The Little Unsaid (“Entrancing… songwriting of a real rich quality, all held together by an intensity of approach, by a focus on the emotional weight music can carry” Clash)
Sarathy Korwar (US-born, raised in India, and fusing jazz, folk and electronics, Sarathy’s new album ‘More Arriving’ released in July through Leaf Label)
Hector Plimmer (Designer, producer and DJ whose new album ‘Next to Nothing’ is released this summer. “It’s the soundtrack to joining a really great cult, that’s somewhere warm and pretty.” Tom Ravenscroft, 6 Music)

Click here for more info on previous grantees.

Watch Nubya Garcia perform a live track, filmed ahead of our showcase at Total Refreshment Centre in 2017:


Please note the maximum artists can apply for is £1,500. Please only apply for what you need.

We are looking for music that pushes the boundaries, not limited to a specific genre, but that embraces sounds and rhythms from all worlds. Our trustees’ vast expertise is spread across genres so feel free to explore the musical landscape.

Steve Reid Foundation founder, Gilles Peterson says, “It is so exciting to be involved in a project that encourages and develops new talent and gives opportunities to artists who might otherwise never get a break. Steve Reid would be smiling!”


  • Applicants can apply for anything that they can demonstrate will have a positive and significant impact on their creative development
  • Applicants must have some experience of writing/producing music for an audience, e.g. have tracks released online, played live, etc.
  • They must present a clear case as to what they would do with the grant and how it would benefit their development
  • They must also present a clear case as to how the mentoring sessions will enable them to develop their skill set
  • The fund should be spent on areas that will directly develop the artist rather than management commission, PR fees, legal fees, etc.

4 emerging artists will be funded per deadline.

How to apply:

Applicants must record a three-minute video that responds to the following questions:

  • Your music career/background to date – here you can include what you have achieved so far in terms of writing and performing music; collaborating with other artists; achieving coverage on blogs, etc; interest from small labels in releasing your tracks; airplay
  • What you would like the funding to cover and what the end product will be – examples could be recording costs for a single, EP or album; vinyl manufacture for a release; website development; making a music video; etc
  • How you think the mentoring sessions will benefit your development – here you could include areas you feel mentorship would benefit your development as well as reasons this is a good point in your development to receive support
  • How would you like to see yourself develop as an artist?
  • What you hope to achieve over the next two years?

Please set YouTube or Vimeo links to unlisted (YouTube) or private (Vimeo) and share at application stage. Applicants will also submit relevant music and web links.

How your application will be assessed:
Your application will be assessed based on the quality of your music submission and how well you provide clear evidence on how both the grant and mentoring will contribute towards your creative development and towards the end product mentioned.  Successful artists will be notified by mid-September.

About Steve Reid Foundation:

 I started the Steve Reid Foundation as a tribute to a legendary musician, an inspiring human being and a good friend. Steve Reid was a phenomenal jazz drummer from New York, who worked with many of the music greats like Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Sun Ra. His illustrious career was also marked by innovation, experimentation and breaking frontiers, especially through his collaborations with Keiran Hebden (Four Tet).

In 2009, Steve was diagnosed with throat cancer, and it was during one of my visits to New York that I became aware of the extent of his suffering. I was horrified by the conditions he was living in during his last days. He was practically living in near poverty, and he couldn’t afford the medical treatment he needed that might have saved his life. Steve died on 13 April 2010.

Steve is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. Aside from having enormous talent, the most incredible stories and a zest for life, he had a big heart and a generous spirit, and to this day I feel humbled when I remember how modest he was. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Steve Reid’s life than to start a charity to help other musicians in his name. If you love music like I do, please support the people making it.” – Gilles Peterson

Applications open soon

Next deadline TBC