Paramount’s Music Showcase Initiative, powered by MTV, provides mentorship and opportunities for historically underrepresented individuals in the music industry. Its goal is to amplify marginalized voices within the music community and elevate them. Music is a critical medium for artistic self-expression. It drives public exposure to diverse multicultural sounds, ideas, and issues.
The Music Showcase Initiative selects artists at the start of their musical career and pairs them with experienced music industry veterans, who will help develop and mentor the artists. At the end of the mentorship, the Paramount Talent & Music Team will host an exclusive live music showcase for industry insiders to help launch the artists’ musical journey. The 4-week mentorship phase of the program will take place in October 2023, culminating with the musical showcase.
MEET THE MENTORS
Mel Rudder - Radio Plugger, Music Consultant & Artist Manager
Mel started her career on the street team at Atlantic (formally East West Records) in 2000 and soon became head of the London team, while studying marketing at university. After graduation, she built her craft in club promotions for Warner Music Artists, working with various club promoters and DJs across the UK. She moved to the national promotions department at Atlantic Records, where she managed the specialist radio & TV strategy for campaigns, contributing to the team's consecutive Music Week 'Best Promotions' Award wins. After 15 years in-house at Atlantic, Mel set up her own company, Three Thirty Music, radio plugging and consulting for major & independent artists, both domestically and internationally. In 2016, Mel started a new London-based management company and independent record label, Salute the Sun, developing and supporting new UK Talent.
Mohammad Qazalbash – Vice President, Publicity at Live Nation Entertainment.
Mohammad’s entertainment PR career spans over a decade. He has orchestrated numerous worldwide tour publicity campaigns for both emerging talents and internationally acclaimed artists. He boasts a demonstrated history of crafting impactful campaigns that ignite discussions on a global scale, and is a pivotal force in fostering the growth of diverse artists.
Taponeswa Mavunga - Director of Africa, Sony Music UK
Zimbabwean-born, Taponeswa Mavunga started her career, spanning over two decades, as a receptionist at Warner Music UK. She worked her way into the publicity department at East West Records, then Atlantic Records. For over 12 years, she worked with international and homegrown talent, spearheading award-winning campaigns for Ed Sheeran, Puff Daddy, Estelle, Jay Z, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul, Rudimental and Wiley. In 2014, she moved to South Africa to run talent and music at Viacom Africa, based in Johannesburg. She then moved back to the UK to head publicity at Columbia Records, overseeing a roster of formidable talent including Calvin Harris, Koffee, Davido, George Ezra, Rag n Bone Man, and Wizkid. She was promoted to the role of Director of Africa, Sony Music UK in 2020.
Taponeswa was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the Zimbabwean community at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards in 2016 and is part of the executive steering committee of Power Up, a program set up by the PRS foundation, to support Black music creators and industry and tackle anti-Black racism in the UK music industry.
Victor Aroldoss - Senior Vice President, International Marketing, Warner Music UK
Victor was named Senior Vice President, International Marketing, Warner Music UK in July 2020. In this role, Victor leads the international marketing strategies for WMUK’s frontline labels which are home to artists such as Anne-Marie, Blur, Coldplay, Clean Bandit, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foals, Fred Again, Liam Gallagher, Muse, Royal Blood, and Tion Wayne. He’s also responsible for breaking a host of fresh talent outside of the UK and onto the world stage.
Victor climbed the ranks of Warner Music, playing a pivotal role in the success of acts such as Biffy Clyro, Clean Bandit, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foals, Muse, and Royal Blood. He was named VP, International Marketing in 2013, before taking on the role of General Manager, International Marketing at the start of 2018.
The current submission window for the Paramount Music Showcase Initiative begins 12:00 AM ET on Friday, September 8th, 2023 through Sunday, September 24th, 2023.
Open to unsigned music artists, You must be 18 years or older as of Friday, September 8th, 2023 to apply. If applying as a group act, all members must be 18 or older as of Friday, September 8th, 2023.
No, program participants will not receive any compensation. Paramount will contribute to travel to the showcase only.
Artist already signed with a major label or one of their subsidiaries are not eligible. Artists signed with an independent label will be considered on a case-by-case basis, entirely at the discretion of the Talent & Music team.
Yes, applicants from the UK and Ireland are welcome to apply. Paramount will cover travel expenses for the day of the showcase.
Please do not telephone or email Paramount. No phone calls or emails regarding the Paramount Music Showcase application process will be accepted.
A total of 4 acts (solo or group) will be selected for the showcase.
If selected, participants are expected to commit to multiple (3-4) 30 minute meetings with mentors during the mentorship phase. These meetings may be either virtual or in-person. Additionally, participants will perform a 2 song set-list on the night of the showcase. Expectation is that the set-list should be sufficiently rehearsed prior to the showcase.
Paramount’s Talent & Music team will oversee the showcase.
Absolutely not! Submission links are review purposes only.
1 song of your choice, an original recording lasting 3-5 minutes. Can be in the format of a YouTube, Soundcloud link or something similar.
2 tracks which can be original recordings or covers, subject to clearance. Paramount will film these tracks and use in social and internal content.
Mentorship meetings will begin in October. We are currently looking at the Showcase taking place on October 26th, 2023 If this changes due to any circumstances we will inform selected participants. Paramount reserves the right to change the terms of the Contest at any time. All changes will be published on this website as soon as possible.
The Paramount Talent & Music team will internally review submitted applications and select 4 finalists (solo or group artists). The selection will be independent, fair and chosen by internal music stakeholders in Paramount. The decision is final and cannot be appealed. If selected participants break the rules or are unable to continue to participate in the project, they will be replaced by another artist. All selected participants are required to sign the agreement provided by Paramount.