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Tidal launches $1 million Unplugged initiative to support musicians

The streaming giant is looking to invest in developing artists.


As JAY-Z's TIDAL enters its fifth year as a subscription-based music, podcast and video streaming service, the company is looking to invest in creatives in a new way.

On Thursday (Feb. 21), TIDAL announced the launch of a million-dollar artist grant program designed to support emerging acts. The program, titled TIDAL Unplugged, is being funded in partnership with venture capitalists and philanthropists Mark Lampert and Robert Nelsen.

"The TIDAL Rising program is incredibly special to everyone at TIDAL -– from the interns to the artist-owners -- we recognize the power of streaming and the importance of supporting and encouraging emerging musicians," Jason Kpana, TIDAL's SVP of artist relations, shared in a statement. "Being able to expand the program to support musicians in an authentic and substantial way is truly an honor."

According to a press release, the program will kick off in Detroit on March 1, where Lampert's grandfather began his own musical career.

Artists in the Motor City who are selected for the program will work closely with the TIDAL Unplugged team to continue developing their careers. The program, which will be personalized for each participant, will utilize a variety of resources that include covering living expenses, equipment, studio time and more. Artists will have access to recording and creative experts, too.

Local artists from all genres are encouraged to apply to the program and submit their music. However, submissions must be performed a capella or acoustically and must not rely heavily on digital elements.

Once the artists are selected to participate in the first stage of the program, they will then go on to work on four songs. TIDAL will assist with distribution and promotion. Additionally, artists will be able to maintain full ownership of their recording masters. The program will offer a TIDAL Unplugged showcase concert in November.

Detroit residents can apply here beginning on March 1. Finalists will be announced in May.

To learn more about the initiative, see below.

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