Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 11.33.4930 of the best acts you’ve never heard of emerge from 2,000 applicants in just 4 weeks.

Music talent development programme giving artists everything they need to break in 2018 is now whittled down to 30, backed by huge list of industry heavyweights.

  • 2,000 artists applied for Pirate Studios talent development programme in only 4 weeks, making it the largest talent development programme in the UK this year
  • Artists are competing for the chance of a lifetime, with everything they need to break in 2018, including unlimited rehearsal, recording, industry mentoring and more
  • 30 artists from across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland now remain to go through to the public vote
  • What makes this programme different is Pirate Studios ethos of being on the side of the artists, waiving the rights to any ownership of the winning acts or their material.
  • The programme has been backed by Brit & NME award winner Kate Nash and the teams behind Liam Gallagher, Charli XCX, The Libertines, The Zutons and more

———— Pirate Prodigy Programme———-

4 weeks into Pirate Studios ground-breaking Prodigy programme to discover the UK’s top emerging artists, over 2000 acts have applied across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  With the help of their expert industry judges mentors and partners, Pirate Studios will announce their top 30 talented artists that have made it through to the public vote on Monday 9th April (closing 20th April). The finalists, their tracks and the voting page can be found at here.

Unlike some other talent development programmes, Pirate Studios are rightfully looking to give everything back to the artist as part of their continuing ethos of being on the artist’s side.  All rights and ownership of any of the winners’ material produced as a result of the competition or before, will be waived by Pirate Studios as they push the artists through the programme towards success.

An expert panel of industry mentors and judges will support, develop and promote the careers of the three winners. Across the programme, artists will receive one-to-one mentoring and masterclasses that cover every aspect needed to help launch a career from management to publishing, A&R to radio-play, song-writing to PR, festival slots, unlimited free use of Pirate Studios “impressive and innovative rehearsal facilities” (Clash Magazine), studio time with top engineers, free video production, expert branding & marketing advice and more…In short, these artists will be given EVERYTHING they need to take their career to the next level.

  • A list of bands in the top 30, bio’s and graphics can be found here
  • A full list of mentors and judes and celebrity endorsement can be found below in the editor’s notes

———— Pirate Studios ———-

Pirate Studios operates 200 studios across 17 UK locations. As the network of studios has grown, a thriving Pirate community of 25000 bands, musicians and DJs has flourished, all utilising an innovative self-service model. In 2018 Pirate will launch another 10 UK locations, as well as move into Germany and the USA.


———— Quotes ———-

“We have 25,000+ musicians in our community. A lot are producing amazing music. We find it incredible some of these guys aren’t already household names so we thought it would be awesome if we could be the ones to give them a helping hand.” 

David Borrie, Co-Founder Pirate Studios 

“I’m so excited to be a part of this. What Pirate Studios are doing for the music scene is the most supportive/coolest thing I’ve seen in years! Get involved.”
Kate Nash, Brit and NME Award Winner

“It’s refreshing to see genuine opportunities for bands, like Pirate Studios’ Prodigy programme, and time and effort going into young people making good music instead of just wanting to be famous for its own ends. It’s proper, the way it should be.”

Jon McClure, Reverend & the Makers

‘Pirate Studios are a blessing to bands right now’ 

Carl Barât, The Libertines

“This is the kind of place that’s great … for bands that want to speak to each other and be part of a scene.”
Dave McCabe, The Zutons

Editors Notes

The 30 acts that made it through to the public vote:


Mentors providing support and masterclasses:

  • Chris Cooke (Co-Founder, MD and Business Editor, CMU)
  • Clive Drew (PR Manager, PPL)
  • Craig Evans (Managing Director, Flying Vinyl)
  • David Bianchi and John Dawkins (Various Artists – Clients inc. Charli XCX, The Libertines, Bill Ryder-Jones)
  • Katie Gwyther (Fear PR – clients inc Public Enemy, Liam Gallagher, Gary Numan, The Sherlocks)
  • Will Spencer (Account Manager, Music Glue)
  • Gordon Smart (Presenter, Radio X and Red Stripe’s This Feeling TV)
  • Lyndsey Boggis (Former Creative Director, BBC – Now booking The Great Escape)
  • Mark Bennett (United Talent Agency Clients inc Fickle Friends, Milburn and Saint Motel)
  • Mikey Jonns (This Feeling)
  • Mike Walsh (Head of Music, Radio X)
  • Simon Pursehouse (Director of Music Services, Sentric)

As well as the above, judges include:

  • Kate Nash (BRIT & NME Awards Winner)
  • Adam Read (New Music Editor, MTVUK and MTV Rocks)
  • Becky Ayres (COO, Sound City)
  • Darren Broome (Radio plugger, Lost Agency PR)
  • Elspeth Pierce (Writer, Metro – Presenter on Radio X and Soho Radio)
  • Jacob Rickard (Producer for Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1)
  • John Doran (Editor and co-founder of the Quietus. Writer & broadcaster for VICE, the Guardian & BBC radio and TV)
  • Jude Rogers (Journalist, The Guardian, Observer, New Statesman)
  • Shannon Cotton (Deputy Editor, Gigwise)
  • Shell Zenner (Presenter, Amazing Radio)
  • Yaw Owusu (Artist Manager, Creative Director, A&R – NBTM, LIMF Academy, Playmaker Group)

Competition timeline:

  • Monday 9th April: The top 30 artists will be put to a public vote at
  • Friday 20th: Close of public vote
  • Monday 23rd April: The top 6 artists, as chosen by the public, will be announced
  • Monday 23rd + Tuesday 24th April: The top 6 artists will be invited in to record a professional video at Pirate Studios
  • Monday 30th April – Wednesday 16th May: The 6 finalists’ video performances will be judged by both the public and industry experts
  • Friday 18th May: The 3 winners are announced
  • Thursday 31st May: Invite-only show with guaranteed A&R presence at Pirate Studios, London
  • Friday 1st June: Invite-only show with guaranteed A&R presence at Pirate Studios, Bristol
  • Saturday 2nd June: Invite-only show with guaranteed A&R presence at Pirate Studios, Manchester

Voting Details:


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