PRSMF X Black History Month – Jaelee Small
Here at the Fund we want to honour the enormous contribution that black songwriters and composers have made and continue to make to the music industry and society.
This year we’re remembering the great Jamaican singer-songwriter Millie Small, who died last May. Her hit single ‘My Boy Lollipop’ reached number two in both US and the UK chart in 1964 and it remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all the time, with more than seven million sales.
To celebrate the virtual edition of PRS Presents: celebrating Black History Month, we interviewed our beneficiary and Millie’s daughter Jaelee Small.
PRSMF X Black History Month – Mike Lindup
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the enormous contribution that black songwriters and composers have made and continue to make to the music industry and society.
We asked our trustee Mike Lindup, also known as the founder and keyboard player in platinum band Level 42, to share his story with us.
Here at the Fund we will continue our efforts to better support all PRS members, while doing our best to deal with all forms of inequality within the music industry.
Our support for classical music
Before the pandemic started to take its toll we interviewed classical composer and violist Sally Beamish, and classical and media composers Paul Patterson and Nigel Hess, who are also two of our trustees.
We hope that their messages will encourage other fellow PRS members who are experiencing hard times to find the courage to get in touch with us.
Our aim is to raise awareness of the support available for PRS composers working within the classical music field and where to find it.
PRS Members’ Fund 2020
During the year so far many things have happened, notably the global pandemic which has put a strain on all our lives. We are continuing to work hard as we aim to be of greater service to the PRS membership community.
Here are two stories from writers we’re proud to have supported, Andy and Kate. Take a look at some of the things we can help PRS members with and hear about the impact our support can have.
Our grateful thanks go out to our trustee Paulette Long and our beneficiaries Andy and Kate for allowing us to tell their stories.
This is your Fund, for you.
Songwriter, producer and dj
Ashley Beedle started his career DJing in the early 80s and in the middle of the 90s was among the first British artists to achieve notoriety in the house music community in the United States. Ashley has been affected by bipolar disorder since 2013, when symptoms began to impact his work and financial situation.
With the input of our crisis fund and a home visit we stopped the downward spiral Ashley and his partner were in.
“The Fund gave me back my confidence, which is very important. Things are tangible different now because I have regained my confidence, I have got back into making music in a very productive way and enjoy myself again, which is really where it’s at!”
Lead singer and songwriter
“The Fund helped me in my darkest time. That’s why I’m here.”
Eugenie Matthias, better known as Jennie Bellestar Matthias, started her career as a songwriter and lead singer of the all-girl band The Belle Stars. After the band split up, Jennie started to co-write and record tracks with various artists and to perform solo. When her father died she didn’t have the money to pay for the funeral and got the help of the Fund.
Inspired by her experience, Jennie started to refer PRS members to the Fund and she is still using her poetry to raise awareness of issues that are important to her.
PRS Members’ Fund 2019
The PRS Members’ Fund is dedicated to supporting PRS members experiencing difficult times. We do this through the provision of grants, information and signposting, as well as through our work with partner organisations.
Sometimes all people need is a kind, attentive and listening ear. Get in touch!
Dan shares his experience with spiraling financial situation due to bad physical health, which was affecting his mental health. His honesty about his situation started with the acknowledgement that he couldn’t do it alone. The Fund helped Dan with crisis fund and, through our partner organisation, with debt management.
“It’s OK to ask for assistance, there is no harm in asking at all.”
Singer and songwriter
After a triumphant career slowed down, Anthony found himself drinking, with addictions and was homeless. In desperate need he approached us to see if we could help. With our crisis fund we found him emergency accommodation in a bed and breakfast whilst he settled and got into rehab within a week. With our help and support he got away from an inevitable downward spiral that he was in. Anthony is 6 months sober and has regained his independence and self-esteem. He is currently assessing whether to go back into songwriting or to find a new career path.
Folk musician composer
In need of space to re-find her creativity and to take a break from the pressures of everyday life which were becoming overwhelming, we helped Kirsty with obtaining a place on a retreat for musicians and songwriters which led her to go back to her career renewed.