The $1 million American Express Music Backers Fund is helping the music industry get back on its feet

The $1 million American Express Music Backers Fund is helping the music industry get back on its feet

Words by Tom Parker

In early August, American Express announced the next instalment of their Music Backers Fund, revealing a new $1 million initiative looking to revitalise the Australian music industry during its time of need.

Over the months since, AMEX have rolled out three components of the fund, encompassing a Nominate A Mate initiative, three tiers of grants – eligible to all Australian permanent residents and citizens over 18 years of age (you don’t even need to be an American Express Card Member) – as well as their American Express Music Backers Studio Week.

The Nominate A Mate initiative has seen AMEX team up with Support Act to give away $1,500 to 100 individuals in the music industry who have used music to spread joy during the difficult days we’ve seen this year.

The recipients have already been announced with some of the people recognised including rising artist Jaguar Jonze, Merch Desk founder Joseph Knox-Wheeler and Brad Hurle, the creator of Roadies who Cook – an Instagram page celebrating roadies who also double as accomplished chefs.

Then there’s the three grants which apply to the following categories: Back on Track, Transformation and Growth, and Innovation and Community Impact.

The Back on Track grant is positioned to help businesses and individuals get back on their feet following COVID-19 with successful candidates eligible for between $2,000 and $10,000.

Next up, the Transform or Enhance grant will provide up to $25,000 for selected applicants who have shown to be diversifying or growing their business or career as a result of the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Thirdly, the Innovation and Community Impact grant has been created for those within the music industry who have big ideas. Grants up to $50,000 are on offer for innovators who can present initiatives that could stimulate growth and positively impact the music industry.

To round out this year’s American Express Music Backers Fund comes the Music Backers Studio Week, which will provide 50 Australian musicians sought after access to some of the best recording studios and industry experts in Australia.

Opening up access to ten renowned Australian recording studios for one week for free, successful applicants will spend a day in the studio alongside a producer to record a song and help bring their vision to life.

The Victorian studios involved include Head Gap Recording Studios in Preston, Sing Sing Studios in South Yarra and The Mill located on the Bass Coast.

The successful candidates will also be invited to attend a Virtual Mentoring Workshop, hosted by industry leaders that will ensure they can get the most out of their time.

What’s more, each of the 50 artists involved in Music Backers Studio Week will be given the opportunity to submit their recorded song to a judging panel. From there, the panel will select one artist who will receive $5,000 to go towards releasing and promoting their song.

With the Nominate A Mate recipients already announced, the applications for the three grants and the Music Backers Studio Week close on Monday November 9 at 9am.

Eligibility, criteria and, terms and conditions do apply for all initiatives, so check these out to ensure you are applying for the grant or initiative most suited to you.

Find out more about the program via

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