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January 24, 2020
News List

Keychange and MUTEK

Machine woman 1

74 artists and music industry professionals from 12 different countries have been selected by industry and export experts as the future leaders that will take part in the Keychange development program in 2020, after an open call that received over 650 applications. Participants include Estonian experimental singer and violinist Maarja Nuut, whose delicate and melancholic releases have received praise from the likes of The Quietus, The Guardian and Vice, Berlin-based Lo-fi pop artist DENA who has been tipped by some of the biggest media in Europe and worldwide (Der Spiegel, Guardian, Dazed, Fader), as well as wowing audiences at SXSW, clubs and festivals around Europe, and London alt-soul singer Anaïs who released her breakthrough track ‘Nina’ in 2018 and has already received critical acclaim from iD, Fader, and Pitchfork.

Launching with a full network meetup in Stockholm on February 13th, this extensive program led by Reeperbahn Festival in partnership with PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst will give the 74 women and gender minority participants all the skills and opportunities they need to get to the next stage in their career. This is the first of three cohorts that will take part in the ambitious and future-facing four-year program that was announced in Summer 2019 when Keychange was awarded €1.4m from the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

Alongside the full network meet-ups and mentoring, participants will take part in a ‘Creative Lab’ at one of the 13 festivals that are partnered with Keychange. The Creative Labs will offer showcasing opportunities to Artists, public speaking opportunities to Innovators, plus workshops, seminars, studio sessions, masterclasses and more. International collaboration lies at the heart of the program, and Polish company Chimes have been recruited to oversee all training.

The participants will get:
- Participation in full network meet-up in Stockholm in February 2020
- Participation in full network meet-up at Reeperbahn Festival in September
- Mentoring via SheSaidSo
- For Artists: showcase and Creative Lab activity at one of the 13 partner festivals
- For Innovators: participation and Creative Lab activity at one of the 13 partner festivals
- Promotion via the Keychange database
- Capacity building with a bespoke training program

The announcement comes at an exciting moment for Keychange; the number of organizations that have signed up to the gender balance pledge has passed 300 and Talent Norge (Norway), Norsk Tipping (Norway) and Musicians’ Union (UK) - who have lead important research and resources for cases of harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power - have joined the movement as Sponsors.

Canadian partners FACTOR, SOCAN Foundation, and festivals MUTEK Montréal and BreakOut West are the first outside of Europe to commit to the talent development element of the Keychange program. Canadian artists and music industry professionals will get access to international opportunities and progression routes that would not be available to them otherwise, as well as training and participation in a valuable network. Many Canadian festivals have signed the Keychangegender pledge, and the investment into individual development is a concerted step towards meaningful and long-lasting change for the Canadian music industry.

A core value of Keychange is to break down the barriers that people face because of their gender, and from listening to the feedback from the 2018 edition of the program, the new team put a specific budget in place to support all childcare needs. Therefore, in this first year of 2.0, Keychange has pledged a percentage of their funding to the participants, specifically for childcare, in order to facilitate their participation in the program, and ultimately aid their development.

See the list of participants

Listen to the Keychange 2020 artist playlist:
Here (Soundcloud) Here (Spotify)

Read more about each participant on the new Keychange website here, which will also serve as a database that will be used to promote all Keychange participants to festivals and the Keychange signatories.
60 participants took part in the Keychange program in 2018, including Poppy Ajudha, who has since been named as one of Barack Obama’s favorite artists, Kat Frankie, who was nominated as ‘best producer’ at the notorious ‘Preis fur PopKulture’ awards in Germany, Harriet Moss who has been promoted to Managing Director of publishers Manners McDade, and IMAN, who has written a multi-million streamed track with Zara Larsson.
For further information, please contact or

About Keychange

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative that transforms the future of music whilst encouraging festivals and music organizations to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. 74 emerging artists and innovators each year from across Europe and Canada will take part in international festivals, showcase events, collaborations and a program of creative labs. Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better, more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.
Keychange is led by Reeperbahn Festival, PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, in partnership with Tallinn Music Week, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Oslo World, Linecheck/Music Innovation Hub, Ireland Music Week, SACEM, Liverpool Sound City, Way Out West, Spring Break, MAMA, MUTEK and Breakout West.

Learn more about Keychange here

Keychange is sponsored by FACTOR, Fundación SGAE, GEMA, Gorwelion Horizons, IMRO, the Musicians’ Union, Norsk Tipping, Roskilde Festival, Smirnoff Equalising Music, SOCAN Foundation, Songtrust, SoundCloud, STEF, STIM, and Talent Norge.

Credit photo: Machine Woman - UK

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