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“Prehab” for musicians receives a $15,000 donation

Pressmeddelande   •   Jul 09, 2019 13:00 CEST

Porter's Call with founder Al Andrews in blue shirt.

To take action and contribute to a healthier music climate, the digital music distributor Record Union is donating $30,000 to enable projects that aim to prevent or treat mental illness among music makers. After having more than 200 projects submitted through the initiative The 73 Percent**, three projects have now been selected, by a panel of experts*, to receive the donation. The purposes of the projects are prevention, research and awareness.

200 projects were submitted, 45 of them met the pre-defined criteria and were published for the public to vote on. The ten projects with the most votes phased the panel of experts that got together in Stockholm for two days in mid-June. All ten project owners pitched their idea to the panel via Google Hangout, and their final choice fell on Porter's Call (prevention), What's Your Story (research) and The Crash and Ride podcast (awareness). Read the motivations for each project below. 

- To meet the people behind the finalist projects together with the expert panel was a truly amazing experience. I was so impressed by the panel’s richness in perspectives and expertise, yet it was still difficult to decide what projects to award with the donations. I truly wish we could have given money to all projects but we had to make a decision. So we landed on Porter’s Call, What’s Your Story and The Crash and Ride podcast. Our hope is that the combination of the three will have a widespread impact on the music climate in terms of prevention, research and raising awareness, says Johan Svanberg, CEO of Record Union. 

By The 73 Percent initiative, Record Union is hoping to put the state of artists' mental health on the agenda, before streams and commercial success, and also to have a long-term impact on the music climate.

- We’ve met so many impressive people with great projects through The 73 Percent initiative and we’re amazed and humble that so many people chose to participate. Now, our aim is to start a network where we can connect all this power, knowledge and expertise, and thereby create a new force and movement of health within the music community, says Johan Svanberg. 


Porter’s Call - awarded with $15,000
Porter’s Call offers free counseling for anyone who consider themselves to be a full-time musician. The organization has a proactive strategy to prevent mental illness and by offering psychoeducation programmes, they want musicians to learn management strategies to handle the pressures of their career. As part of this “prehab” strategy, the organization is planning a boot camp programme where musicians will be trained for a career within music.

Porter’s Call is being a role model and sets a trend for other mental healthcare providers to better equip musicians before their pressures take hold. By donating $15,000 to Porter’s Call, the organization will be able to grow and thereby prioritize to further develop the boot camp model, which in time have the possibility to be scaled and copied internationally by a digital frame work.

Watch final video here.

What’s your story - awarded with $10,000
Having completed her PhD in addiction and the music industry, by using ethnographic and narrative analysis to understand the experiential struggle of musicians falling in and out of addiction, Melanie Ptatscheck is clearly an expert in the field of mental health. Research such as this is important to generate new hypotheses and gather rich data into different ways of life and is also a long-term investment in our understanding of a problem.

By donating $10,000 to Melanie, we hope that she can continue develop her vital work in characterizing the social and psychological changes that occur when musicians are in the throes of addiction and hopefully overcome it

Watch final video here.

Crash and Ride podcast - awarded with $5,000
The Crash and Ride podcast is aimed specifically at talking about musician’s mental health via an interview format. It is run by Patrick Ferguson, who has 25 years of touring experience as a professional drummer, which means he basically has an infinite network.

Ferguson has his own experiences from mental illness which, in combination with his communication and interview skills, will be instrumental in finding out what it is like to be a musician with mental illness at all levels in the profession. For listeners suffering from mental health issues, hearing another musician’s experience can reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation and stop them from feeling that they are going through it alone.

By donating $5,000 to the Crash and Ride podcast, Ferguson will be able to increase the following of his podcast, accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and thereby bring greater awareness to mental illness in music on the road to removing stigma.

Watch final video here.

*The expert panel consisted of: 
Natalie Shamoun - Independent Artist, New York
Joe Barnby - Mental Health Professional, London
Aleksandra Avli- Founder and CEO of HON (Her Online Network)
Johan Wahlbäck - Founder and CEO of Defunc
Helena Aru - PR & Communications Manager of Record Union
Johan Svanberg - CEO of Record Union

Read more about each member of the expert panel on

**The 73 Percent initiative
On the 7th of May, Record Union launched the initiative “The 73 Percent”, based on a survey investigating mental health and wellbeing among almost 1500 independent music makers. The purpose of the initiative was to identify projects with a connection to the music industry and mental health that a) aim to prevent or treat mental illness among music makers, b) affect many music makers and c) could possibly affect the overall music climate in the industry in a long-term perspective.

Between the 7th of May and the 2nd of June, over 200 projects were submitted, 45 of them met the pre-defined criterias and were published on the site Thereafter, a public voting phase, ending on the 16th of June followed. The ten projects that received the most votes met a panel of experts who in turn selected the projects to be awarded with the donation

About the report
Between the 21st of March and the 2nd of April, Record Union conducted a survey among 1489 users and independent music makers globally, asking about their state of mental health and wellbeing. The result is presented in The 73 Percent Report

Read more about the initiative here.

Find more press images here.

For more information, contact: Helena Aru, PR & Communications Manager, +46709 18 95 01

Record Union has helped independent artists to release their music to the world for more than ten years. By providing digital music distribution we’re aiming at strengthening the independent community and making the music industry more democratic, accessible and transparent for the many, not just the few.

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