Tuesday night, Backline—a grant and educational initiative from 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and startup accelerator gener8tor—announced the recipients of its latest music accelerator and grant program. Rapper Kaylee Crossfire, multi-instrumentalist Klassik, and sister synth-pop duo REYNA will receive an “intensive, 12-week music-industry mentorship” and a cool $20,000 in grant money. All three artists are regular fixtures of the Milwaukee music scene. (Learn more about them here.) All three artists are great. Congrats!!!
The artists were selected from…you know what? Before we go on, let’s take a few minutes to enjoy Kaylee Crossfire’s “Damn Daddy,” which rules:
Anyway. The artists were selected from 227 applications. Those applications were winnowed down via five judging rounds that included “evaluations and interviews with local and national tastemakers and studio sessions.” Another Backline competition will take place this fall. A call for applications is expected in July.
The artists join last fall’s…you know what? Remember that time Klassik did “Amazing Grace” for our Public Domain video series? That was incredible:
Anyway. The artists join last fall’s Backline artists: Abby Jeanne, Lex Allen, Zed Kenzo, and Crystal Knives.
Here’s the rest of the press…you know what? Remember that time REYNA did “That’s All Right” for our Public Domain video series? That was incredible, too:
Anyway. Here’s the rest of the press release. And again: CONGRATS!!!
The current artists began their 12-week program in April. They’ve met with music industry professionals in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, including representatives of a top streaming service, label, digital distribution company, talent agency, publishing company and entertainment law firm, as well as nationally acclaimed songwriters. The artists will go to New York City in June to meet with additional music industry professionals and national recording artists. They are also working in studios to create music and develop their projects. Backline will conclude the accelerator by helping the artists develop 12-month plans to further their careers and equip them with tools to navigate the music industry.
Backline is also providing each artist with $20,000 to boost their careers, with use of funding determined by the artists and Backline. Artists also receive services such as financial counseling and personal training, aimed at holistically preparing the artists with life skills to succeed as musicians.
This year’s spring and fall Backline artists will perform together Dec. 14 at a showcase at Turner Hall Ballroom. Ticket information will be available later this year.
In addition to running the accelerators, Backline also provides free assistance to other applicants and Milwaukee musicians through its workshops and one-on-one office hours with staff. More information on Backline and its services is available at http://www.BacklineMKE.org.