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Tidal Launches Unplugged, $1 Million Program to Support Emerging Musicians

Tidal, the streaming platform headed by Jay-Z, today announced the launch of a million-dollar artist grant program intended to support emerging musicians. Called Tidal Unplugged and funded by a donation from venture capitalists and philanthropists Mark Lampert and Robert Nelsen, the program will kick off March 1 in Detroit, where Lampert’s grandfather started his musical career. Local artists will have the opportunity to submit their music through Tidal to receive part of the million dollar grant.

According to the announcement, the selected artists will each work with the Tidal Unplugged team to create a personalized program aimed to cover resources needed to further their musical career. The grant can cover living expenses, equipment, studio time, and more as well as access to expertly guided recording and creative resources.

Beginning March 1, 2019 Detroit residents can apply on TIDAL.com/Unplugged. According to the announcement, “artists from all genres are encouraged to submit, but music must be performed acapella or acoustically and must not rely heavily on digital elements.” The finalists will be announced in May. Following a pilot run in Detroit, Tidal aims to expand the program into other markets.

“We recognize the power of streaming and the importance of supporting and encouraging emerging musicians,” said Jason Kpana, Tidal SVP of artist relations. “Being able to expand the program to support musicians in an authentic and substantial way is truly an honor.”

Working with Tidal and utilizing the resources provided, the finalists will develop and finish four songs for distribution. Once the tracks are complete, they will exclusively premiere on Tidal and receive promotion through the platform’s Tidal Rising program; finalists will perform their songs at a showcase in November. Artists will maintain 100% ownership of recording masters.

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