Capitalising on the momentum that the UK's music industry has had over the past few years, thanks in no small part to Adele, Mumford & Sons and The Arctic Monkeys, the BPI and Department for UK Trade have joined forces to help export some of the most promising homegrown talent to overseas locales.

Funding a wide array of endeavours, from songwriting workshops to Coachella slots, Lord Livingston has divvied out over half a million bob to 14 acts, each receiving up to £50,000. Included among them are Metronomy, Bo Ningen, Slow Club, Band Of Skulls and Skinny Lister. You can find out more here.

However, it's not all peachy keen. Los Campesinos! and Johnny Foreigner were especially perturbed:

Regardless of where it's coming from, any funding for music in this day and age when, as LC! and JF have so aptly stated, so much is being cut - principally to the arts - can't be a bad thing, right? Right? At least it's not blood diamonds. Crikey Moses.

It's been a pretty divisive scheme for many reasons, not least Livingston's choice of artists. Did you think Skinny Lister deserved the dosh? How about Young Fathers? Metronomy surely did though, didn't they? Well here's who we thought definitely could do with a hot cash injection.


It's positive to see our government starting to acknowledge the economic value that UK music has, and putting their money where their big ConDem mouth is. However, the list of acts who will be receiving funding so far - as 'hand-picked' by former BT chief executive and now Trade Minister Lord Ian Livingston - makes for interesting if slightly uninspiring reading. PR pro-tip for UKTI, the brains behind the snazzily-titled Music Export Growth Scheme: go with an all-embracing, progressive and self-deprecating choice, and get the bloody tremendous Sleaford Mods on board. Yes, so they might criticise a certain milk-snatching politician in their material, they swear like Malcolm Tucker and generally draw attention to the awful mess of consumerism and conservatism we're heading into, but they are real, they are different, and they are musical innovators...of sorts. UKTI, help the Nottingham Agit-Electro Two get to Japan, Britannia deserves it. - Lyle

I'd normally have nominated Blackburn rock band Sky Valley Mistress or folk trio Troubadour's Grave, but Glasgow's Rick Ross has caught my attention recently with a new album, Christ of St. John of the Cross. The music Rick Ross creates is nothing like I've heard before, even if the production does remind me of Madlib a tiny bit - it has that dusty, claustrophobic quality to it. It's like refreshing a constantly updating webpage: each time you go back the design is the same, but there's always been a subtle change.

It's quite a lot to handle on first listen, but close analysis reveals so much beauty and those very subtle changes I talked about. Without paying attention the entire album can pass you by, but it's the unconventional approach to building textures that makes it so entertaining for me. So my UK Music Exports nomination goes to Rick Ross. - Mike

Surely utilising the internet is the way forward for promoting British music. YouTube is dominated by Vevo but Twitter is the platform where pure 'quality' of Tweet leads to recognition. Plenty of British artists use Twitter to promote new releases, to share tour updates, and to rant about Glastonbury (@WileyUpdates - I'm looking at you here). I would happily support the government if they decided to donate £50,000 to Zomby for 'continual manical Tweet support'. Zomby, the electronic producer signed to 4AD, is notorious for showing up late (or not at all) for gigs. His Twitter feed is a tidal wave of fury which is heading for the music industry, fashion, other artists and also the repercussions of fracking (@ZombyMusic -England's too small to "frack" you'll end up breaking Scotland off it'll float over to Africa the scots would love that). Nothing promotes true Britishness like a talented musician constantly moaning about absolutely everything; occasionally touching on some quite genius observations. ZOMBY (r) @ZombyMusic: How come Ukraine can have a total revolution in 3 months and overthrow the government but were still stuck with brostep and edm - Joni Roome

Death and the Penguin: This band deserve a few bob from the government, not only because it would allow them to alter their already-printed promotional material to change the dreadful name but also as they have obvious potential. They do a good line in soft verses and harder choruses, with a bit of oddness and time changes and all that thrown in. There's something of the Kerbdog about them in songs like 'Strange Times', which must be applauded. Cough up Cameron. - Chris Lockie

Deptford Goth! With his debut album, Life After Defo (released last year), Daniel Woolhouse initially got compared to James Blake but the more you played the record the clearer it became that the niche in which his Deptford Goth project resides is very much his own. There is wide scope for how to interpret his understated lyrics yet there's a an unmistakable streak of heartbreak, loneliness but also strength coming through, which - matched with the bleepy sometimes-ambient electronica of the musical soundscape - grabs hold of your ear and never diminishes in beauty. Woolhouse has undertaken some international touring in support of Life After Defo but, while he is rumoured to be working on a follow-up, it would be good for this album and its parent to get more worldwide renown and showcase one of South London's finest new artists. - Doron Davidson-Vidavski

Following on from the news that the current UK Government has actually done something worth writing about - granting funding to fourteen UK indie acts as part of a new project aimed at supporting our music exports - there is one lad I would of given some of that money to: Jay Prince. Fellow writer Russell Thomas for The 405 recently described Jay's new single 'Long Run' (produced by Cali-based S0ul Unreal) as a "new step for hip-hop in the UK" and I couldn't agree more. The East London hip-hop artist and producer has a certain je ne sais quoi that saturates his music, making it instantly likeable. The quality of his EPs: Lounge in Paris, Voyage (produced by Maloon TheBoom) and the most recent Mellow Vation - which Annie Mac spun a track off on Radio 1 - pays testament to the dedication Jay has gone to as an unsigned artist in perfecting his craft and obtaining the attention his music deserves. Jay's bio on bandcamp describes his music as a mellow nostalgic vibe, influenced by hip-hop of the '90s and today; and yes Jay's warm soulful vocal-style is reminiscent of The Native Tongues Posse with at times a Kendrick Lemar dictation, (check 'All From Here'), but his music is distinctly home-grown. This is London City - UK hip-hop of the same calibre as Ty, Rodney P or Roots Manuva. Coincidently I actually met Jay out in Toronto in 2013, where he was out on holiday with his boys and self-shooting a music video for 'All From Here'. From the fair amount of time I spent chatting to him he never once mentioned his music, his lyrics, the music-video; there was no bragging or posturing; there was no credibility attention seeking. - Jake Wright

Oxford's eccentric savant Salvation Bill. The only artist I've seen play a saxophone whilst donning a rubber wolf head, and one of the best young songwriters working in the UK by my estimation. Give him some money, and he'll probably spend it on sex dolls for stage props. And why not? - Tom Jowett

One of the most amazing things about having money is that you can actually make stuff happen: take George Harrison, who invested in Money Python's Life of Brian (among many other things) simply because he actually wanted to see the film. So the reason I'd invest in a band was simply because a) I had the money to do it, and b) I was way too impatient for them to put out a proper release. My first instinct was the weird-psych trio The Wytches, but since those guys already have their debut album Annabel Dream Reader ready to be released this summer (and with Bill Ryder Jones as a producer!), my investment would go to Scottish band The Merrylees - Ana Leorne

Outfit are a genuinely ambitious and forward-thinking British group who, since their debut EP, have been unswayed by the often-consuming pressure of compromising their material for short-term gain. From searching through case after case of dusty compressors to hours on end with pen and pad in hand, their angular, innovative sound is as endowed as it is simple. They don't shy from any aspect of what they conjure. I would throw a load of money at them and hope it inspired further hubristic optimism, keeping my fingers crossed at the prospect of an album campaign even more unusual and suggestive than the one for their first record Performance. - Oobah Arthur Paul Butler

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