The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the UK artist trade body, is delighted to announce new Artist Ambassadors from a diverse range of backgrounds, helping to grow the organisation’s community and amplify it’s message of fair representation for artists and makes special recognition of founding members, Annie Lennox and Robbie Williams.
In this release of new ambassadors, the FAC pays thanks to two artists who were instrumental in formation of the UK’s first trade body focused solely on artists, in 2009. Annie Lennox and Robbie Williams need little introduction. Celebrated as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine, Annie Lennox’s iconic musical career spans over four decades, including her work with Eurythmics and as a solo artist, winning Brit, Ivor Novello and ASCAP Awards. Having worked on behalf of countless organisations, including Oxfam, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The British Red Cross, Comic Relief and UNAIDS as a Goodwill Ambassador, she became well known for her work as a tireless HIV/AIDS activist and advocate. Annie is the original founder of The Circle: A non-profit organisation of women working together to achieve equality for women and girls in a fairer world.
Robbie Williams is one of the most decorated music artists in the world with six of the Top 100 best-selling albums in British history, a huge 80 million album sales worldwide, 14 Number 1 singles and a record 18 BRIT Awards – more than any other artist in music history. Robbie secured his 13th UK Number 1 album in 2019 with ‘The Christmas Present’ – equalling Elvis Presley’s chart record as the solo artists with the most UK Number 1 albums. Robbie’s total chart-topping albums across his solo work and records released with Take That is 17, placing him in the top three acts of all time with the most Number 1s across their catalogue. He has also raised £47 million for charity through co-founding Soccer Aid for UNICEF in 2006. We are delighted to be able to recognise their invaluable contribution to the FAC and the artist community.
As a new member of the FAC family we are excited to welcome south-London artist Loyle Carner, whose debut album “Yesterday’s Gone’ received BRIT and Mercury Prize nominations. Outside of music Loyle runs a charity cooking school for teeenagers with ADHD and is an ambassador for the mental health charity, CALM. He is joined by Deptford-based artist collective Steam Down, founded by multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Ahnansé and quickly becoming a household name in London’s music scene, and most recently receiving two Jazz FM awards. We’re welcoming Marie Dahlstrom, who since moving from Denmark to London has not only received critical acclaim for her solo project of warm, jazz-tinged, soulful R&B, collaborating with Tom Misch and Alfa Mist, but is also a member of rising collective Her Songs, an independent project, bringing female musicians from around the world to write and record together. We are equally excited to announce fellow London-based artist Joff Oddie, co-founder of Wolf Alice, whose album Visions Of A Life won the 2018 Hyundai Mercury prize, and picked up a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rock Performance. Wolf Alice released their third album ‘Blue Weekend’ last week and are heading for Number 1 on this Friday’s Official Albums Chart. Joff also released his first solo record, To Mr Fahey, a collection of folk standards in aid of The Trussell Trust – a food bank charity in the UK.
We are excited to announce Scottish musician, singer-songwriter and producer Midge Ure, who has been part of successful bands Slik, The Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy, Visage, Ultravox and of course the most famous one off group in musical history Band Aid, having written the song ‘’Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ with Bob Geldof as the industry’s heartfelt and eloquent contribution to Ethiopian famine relief. We welcome trio Elder Island from Bristol, whose UK headline tours have been a sold-out success, and 2019 saw Elder Island take The Omnitone Tour to Europe and North America twice, and Toya Delazy from London who operates in the space between rave, grime and hip-hop and offers up a truly 21st-century sound that draws from her South African heritage, having received airplay from Rinse, Reprezent and BBC Introducing and performed at Bestival, UK Black Pride, the Bristol O2, Jazz Café and more. They are joined by London based FRYARS, who has spent over a decade juggling his solo career with film scoring and songwriting and production for big-concept pop stars including Lily Allen, Pharrell, Mika and Rae Morris. We also welcome the Birmingham native Lady Sanity, who embodies storytelling as an art form, encased within a distinctive blend of grime, hip-hop and jazz, not only having taken to the stage at the 2018 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in Australia, but having made the 2020 shortlist for the BBC Introducing West Midlands One to Watch and winning the Birmingham Music Awards.
Billy Lockett, a ‘piano man’ from Northampton who went on tour supporting Birdy, Lana Del Ray and KT Tunstall, and recently performed at the Late Late Show with James Corden joins the FAC family as well as Manchester artist LoneLady, who writes, performs and records all the components of her music, building up her own soundworlds in a solitary creative process, and Glasgow’s rising star TAAHLIAH, bringing together her expansive production skills and range of influences in her latest EP Angelica and moving effortlessly between squeaky-clean hyperpop textures and the jacking hard-dance sounds. We welcome Canadian artist STORRY, whose journey took her from straight-A student, to opera-trainee, to being coerced into the sex-industry, to producing and releasing her own albums completely independently, to being nominated for a JUNO award alongside Celine Dion and Alanis Morrissette. We’re excited to announce Elle Chante and Kelli Blanchett, as dual ambassadors with our friends from Attitude Is Everything, representing their NEXT STAGE initiative and campaigning for greater inclusivity across the industry. The singer and self expressionist Elle Chante, based in the Midlands, is particularly interested in making work that explores issues of mental health, invisible illness and disability. Fellow singer and musician Kelli Blanchet who is also from the Midlands, but resides in London, has most recently worked with Self Esteem, played at Great Escape, Field Day and toured with Django Django.
We’re delighted to welcome South London artist GAIKA, who takes a multidisciplinary approach to his artwork by taking charge of everything whether related to production, vocals, digital design, video direction or a visual aesthetic, as well as artist, songwriter, performer and label owner Riva Taylor, whose new music has been held to esteem by Sir Elton John and Pete Tong and her two-years running sell-out Writing Round series at London’s Roundhouse, a songwriter’s circle in collaboration with Nashville songwriter Jeff Cohen, led to the launch of TWH in 2020 – a community that supports and connects women making a positive social impact in the arts. We are also excited to announce Reverend and The Makers, whose 2007 debut album ‘The State of Things’, including the Top 10 UK Chart and Indie Chart #1 single “Heavyweight Champion of the World” was followed by a UK headline tour, festival performances at Glastonbury and a support slot with Red Hot Chilli Peppers. We welcome writer and producer Byron Wallen, whose original scores have not only been commissioned by the Science Museum; The BBC, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, FIFA and more, but who has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones and received a coveted Paul Hamlyn award for artists.
As we announce our fourth wave of FAC artist ambassadors and recognise the incredible contribution of two iconic, FAC founding members, it is clear that the dial is shifting within the music industry. These artists are coming together, alongside others who have previously been announced, to call for change. Whether it’s about the way artists are paid, the respect our industry receives by those in power or the demand for true equality, we are coming together to fight for more fairness for music makers. I’m proud to welcome this diverse, innovative and creative group of artists, without the likes of whom our industry wouldn’t exist, and I’m grateful that they are prepared to stand together with each other and the FAC.David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition