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Fraser T Smith launches Future Producer Academy

By | Published on Friday 28 April 2023

Fraser T Smith

Producer Fraser T Smith has announced the launch of the Future Producer Academy, in partnership with collecting society PPL and the Music Producers Guild.

The initiative was formally unveiled last night as Smith was presented with the Outstanding Contribution To UK Music prize at the MPG’s annual awards in London. The academy aims to boost the careers of emerging producers from under-represented backgrounds through a combination of financial and educational support.

“I’ve had an unorthodox career journey and there have been many times when I’d loved to have a more experienced hand in the business sit down and help me understand how things work”, says Smith.

“The idea of the Producer Academy is to do just that”, he explains. “To be the trusted friends who can open their networks and provide sound guidance when it matters most. We work in an amazing, but uneven, industry, and I am excited about this venture with PPL and the MPG to play a part in bringing more diversity into production”.

Natalie Wade, PPL’s Director Of Music Industry Engagement, adds: “Working closely with industry partners to build a better music industry is core to what PPL stands for. Partnering with Fraser to support his vision to bring a bespoke programme to life for deserving producers has been a joy”.

“It is on all of us to make the music industry a more equitable, diverse and inclusive place in which to work and do business”, she goes on. “This programme gets to the heart of making that happen, and we are delighted to be the founding contributors, bringing the expertise of our teams out of the office and into the studio”.

Meanwhile, Cameron Craig, Executive Director of the MPG, comments: “The MPG is proud to be associated with the Fraser T Smith Future Producer Academy announced when Fraser received his Outstanding Contribution To UK Music Award at the MPG Awards 2023. We look forward to working with PPL and Fraser to make this a lasting success, to inspire and champion diversity and creativity for those who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity”.

The academy will particularly attempt to address the lack of female producers working in the music industry – research published by USC’s Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism in February finding that men currently outnumber women in this area by 34 to one. Meanwhile, just 26% of the female producers identified in its sample were women of colour.

Another report earlier this month by the US-based We Are Moving The Needle initiative confirmed that lack of diversity in the recording studio, crunching detailed credits data to further assess the problem and help inform possible solutions.