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Music is in our DNA – it’s always been at the heart of the Virgin brand. We’re going back to our roots and bringing music and money together in a way that only we can...through our very own Virgin Money Emerging Stars programme.

Our mission: to help grow the UK music industry by identifying, supporting and promoting the best emerging talent it has. There’s never been a tougher time for the live music industry in general and emerging artists in particular, as the coronavirus pandemic has effectively closed down live music venues across the country. So, over the next 12 months, we will shine a spotlight on eight really exciting new artists that we feel embody the Virgin Money spirit – original, creative entrepreneurs who are pursuing their passion no matter what, but who would benefit from a helping hand to reach the next stage of their career.

Each artist that’s chosen will receive amazing support to help propel them towards stardom. This includes a £10,000 development fund to help each artist follow their dreams by easing the financial pressure on them at this crucial point in their careers. We’ll also give artists a stage to perform on – they will have the opportunity to play live at Virgin Money’s newly opened retail stores across the UK and at the brand’s iconic partnership venues, The O2 and the SSE Hydro, enabling them to grow their fan base and connect to new and existing fans across the country. They will receive mentoring by AEG Presents music executives and Virgin Money representatives on navigating through the music industry, as well as financial support and forecasting.

The programme has officially launched with our first three incredibly talented Emerging Stars Aaron Link opens in a new window, Dylan Link opens in a new window and Mosa Wild Link opens in a new window.

How we chose the Emerging Stars

We are working with key figures from the UK music industry to identify artists that are already starting to make waves but could do with an additional leg up to help push them to the next stage of their careers. Our Emerging Stars programme panel were tasked with choosing the first three Emerging Stars based on a number of different factors, including artists’ music credentials, ‘It’ factor (think charisma, potential, spark), anticipated career longevity and much more. We want to make sure that our Emerging Stars include a range of different genres and are a true reflection of the brilliant music that is being played and developed right across the UK.

Meet the Emerging Stars programme panel:

Toby Leighton-Pope, Co-CEO of one of the world’s leading live entertainment companies, AEG Presents

Toby is the co-CEO of AEG Presents, the live events arm of global entertainment company AEG. He is responsible for the strategic direction of AEG Presents with a focus on developing new live event opportunities and leading a team who in 2019 staged over 800 shows. In short, very few people know more about the live music scene than he does.

Currently listening to: Arcade Fire, Disclosure and Florence and the Machine.

Nicholas Douglas, Managing Director of music magazine Notion

Nicholas, from Glasgow, Scotland, lives and breathes music as the managing director of Notion Magazine - a leading London-based independent music and culture-focussed platform, magazine and production company with a global audience of tastemakers and opinion-formers.

Currently listening to: Pink Sweat$, Lauv, MARINA, Tate McRae, SZA, Griff, Khali.

Louise Hodges, Head of Consumer Communications at Virgin Money

Louise runs all Virgin Money’s customer-facing comms including media relations, social media/digital content, consumer events and sponsorship and partnerships. Her ambition is to completely redefine how consumers view Virgin Money and to challenge the norm at every possible opportunity.

Currently listening to: Lianne La Havas, The Weeknd, GoGo Penguin and Miles Davis.

Meet Our Partner: Notion

Notion is the music platform that knows who and what’s next, and tells you about the sounds that you’re yet to discover. Their digital destination and quarterly print editions are celebrated for pioneering talent, while Notion’s creative hub – Studio Notion Link opens in a new window – builds bridges between brands and the music business.

With one ear to the ground, Notion is dedicated to creating space for contemporary culture, bringing you closer to the new generation of exciting international music talent.

We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Notion on the Emerging Stars programme to create bespoke content for our artists, helping to build their profiles by putting each artist in the spotlight across its digital, social and print channels through this partnership.

Meet the Virgin Money Emerging Stars Ambassador: Laura Whitmore

We’re thrilled to welcome TV and radio presenter and long-term music enthusiast Laura Whitmore Link opens in a new window as our Virgin Money Emerging Stars programme ambassador.

Laura Higgins