Today, global music streaming and entertainment platform TIDAL, along with philanthropists Robert Nelsen and Mark Lampert have announced the inaugural group of winners of the grant program, TIDAL Unplugged. After combing through thousands of submissions spanning across different musical genres, backgrounds, and experience level, TIDAL selected five Detroit-based artists – Emma Guzman, Laurie Love, Olivia Millerschin, Raye Williams and Sam Austins – as the recipients of the first TIDAL Unplugged grant.
- Emma Guzman: Described by the Detroit Metro Times as a “songwriting prodigy,” and one of their top 15 artists to watch in 2016, the singer/songwriter has quietly amassed a substantial collection of songs.
- Laurie Love: Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Love has a fresh and modern R&B sound which, combined with her songwriting, embodies the spirit of the city all while exhibiting a uniqueness.
- Olivia Millerschin: As a multi-instrumentalist, Millerschin plays the ukulele, piano and guitar to enhance her folk and modern pop songwriting. As a member of National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), Millerschin travels across the country to play countless shows on college campuses.
- Raye Williams: Mixing the nostalgia of Motown-inspired grooves with Nashville’s songwriting sensibility, this powerhouse vocalist effortlessly weaves a sound and a story that not only stirs the soul but moves the feet.
- Sam Austins: Sam never fit between boundaries, so it’s not surprising he’s breaking all of them. His debut EP, ‘ANGST,’ was dubbed “project of the year” by Alt Weekly and he’s previously shared stages with Post Malone, 21 Savage, Pusha T, Vince Staples, and Black Milk.
Launched in February 2019, the pilot grant program is dedicated to supporting tomorrow’s emerging musicians. The recipients of the grant will receive professional one-on-one training and access to personalized resources to hone their craft to most effectively grow their careers— studio time, training lessons, equipment, marketing, tour expenses, and more. Throughout the length of the program with support of TIDAL’s handpicked industry experts, each artist will produce three songs released through Equity Distribution and premiere exclusively on TIDAL. At the end of the program later this year, the five artists will perform at a TIDAL Unplugged showcase and each artist will retain full ownership of his or her masters.
“Detroit has been home to so many iconic musicians, and the TIDAL Unplugged search gave us a glimpse into the multitude of bright, new talent in the region today. While we received many compelling entries, our winners, whose sounds range from R&B to folk to rap, rose to the top,” said Jason Kpana, TIDAL SVP of Artist Relations. “We’re honored to be able to provide these talented artists with the tools and mentorship needed to develop their craft creatively and professionally.”
Following the completion of the Detroit initiative, TIDAL aims to expand the Unplugged program to other markets to help foster emerging artists.
More information about the artists, how they’ll be using the grant, their submission videos and more can be found on TIDAL.com/Unplugged.
TIDAL is an artist-owned global music and entertainment platform that brings artists and fans closer together through unique original content and exclusive events.
Available in 53 countries, the streaming service has more than 60 million songs and 250,000 high quality videos in its catalog along with original video series, podcasts, thousands of expertly curated playlists and artist discovery via TIDAL Rising. With the commitment of its owners to create a more sustainable model for the music industry, TIDAL is available in premium and HiFi tiers—which includes Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) recordings.
In the US, Sprint customers with the Unlimited Plus plan are able to access a “free-forever” TIDAL membership. For more information, please visit www.tidal.com.
About Robert Nelsen
Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than 100 companies, including twenty-one which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion. His seed and early-stage investments include Illumina (ILMN); Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY); Juno Therapeutics (JUNO); Unity Biotechnology (UBX); Hua Medicine (2552:HK); Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (SNNA); Vir Biotechnology; Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO); Sage Therapeutics (SAGE); GRAIL; Gossamer Bio (GOSS); Ikaria; Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH); Receptos (RCPT); Aviron (AVIR); Denali Therapeutics (DNLI); Rubius Therapeutics (RUBY); Syros Pharmaceuticals (SYRS); Sana Biotechnology; KSQ Therapeutics; Beam Therapeutics; NetBot; Bluebird Bio (BLUE); R2 Technology; XenoPort (XNPT); Fate Therapeutics (FATE); Caliper Life Sciences (CALP); Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN); Adolor (ADLR); deCODE Genetics; Array BioPharma (ARRY); Editas (EDIT); IDUN Pharmaceuticals; Classmates.com; Hua Medicine; Fate Therapeutics (FATE); WuxiNextCODE; and Everyday Learning Corporation.
Mr. Nelsen is a director of Vir Bio, GRAIL, Sana Biotechnology, Beam Therapeutics, Unity Biotechnology, Denali Therapeutics, Arivale, and serves as Chairman of Hua Medicine, among others. He previously served as a Trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and was a director of the National Venture Capital Association. Mr. Nelsen holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in Economics and Biology.
About Mark Lampert
Mr. Lampert is the founder and General Partner of BVF Partners L.P. (“BVF”), a San Francisco-based, private biotechnology investment firm established in 1993 that manages the Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. and related entities. Mr. Lampert has been active in the biotechnology industry since 1984, having served on the boards of directors of numerous public and private companies. Prior to forming BVF, Mr. Lampert was a Vice President at the investment banking firm Oppenheimer & Co and the founder of Biotechnology Royalty Corp., aimed at pooling university biotechnology patent royalties. Mr. Lampert was previously employed by Cambridge NeuroScience, G.D. Searle & Co., and the Boston Consulting Group. He is a founding donor to the Lampert-Byrd Foundation and GiveDirectly.org. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mr. Lampert holds an A.B. with honors in Chemistry from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.