We are more than just an awards ceremony. We are a community.
A collective of musicians and music industry professionals rallying together to make things happen.
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Despa Robinson is Founder and Director of BE83 Music Group, a proud Birmingham music management, recording and publishing company. Despa started his career as a music producer, running his own recording studio, and then began StayFresh Entertainment, an independent record label and artist management company.
Despa was also the host and executive producer for his own interview series, ‘Meet The Artists’ which was broadcast weekly on Birmingham’s Big Centre TV.
Through BE83, Despa manages the careers of Jaykae, Dapz on The Map, Grim Sickers, Remtrex and Smoke Boys. He is a driving force behind Birmingham’s prominence in British Grime.
Despa: “I am proud to be patron of the BMAs, primarily because it’s great to see the city come together to celebrate the Birmingham scene as a whole. It’s important for us all to unite as a music community, to collaborate and network, so we can all build on what we have already achieved.”
Welcome to the music revolution!
Our mission is to bring together the Birmingham music scene and create opportunities for musicians and music professionals alike. We want to see young musicians and all those responsible for our music landscape thrive and be rewarded for their achievements, hard work and dedication. We provide a platform for emerging artists, and we introduce people to create the epic collaborations of the future.
This is more than just an awards ceremony; this is a community: A collective of musicians that rally together to make things happen.
Birmingham is bursting with musical talent and ambition, but yet to be properly recognised for its efforts. That’s where we come in. That’s why we strive to change the game. Whatever your vibe, we’re here to support you, and watch you succeed.
Join the tribe. Empower each other. Support each other. And more importantly, take risks. Let the world see who you really are.
Let’s make it happen. Together.
Our ambassadors help us make IT happen.
Individually, they are world-renowned artists, producers, songwriters, publishers, agents; the list goes on. Together, they are a powerful force, committed to making the Birmingham music scene thrive and creating the musical icons of the future.
We’ve created a kick-ass collective that want to empower, educate and inspire musicians. Just watch how the doors open when you join the music revolution.
Jaki Graham is one of the most appealing Soul entertainers to emerge from the UK. Born and bred in Birmingham, Jaki has gone on to be a true pioneer having paved the way for many a black British female solo artist who followed. Jaki achieved international success with a string of hits from ’85 onwards, including Could it Be I’m Falling In Love?, Round and Around, Set Me Free, Step Right Up and Breaking Away, also making the Music Guinness Book of Records in the 80’s as the first black British female solo artist to have 6 consecutive Top 10/20 hits.
Her career excelled in the 90’s, with her album Real Life selling more than 800,000 copies in less than four weeks. Her cover of Ain’t Nobody reached No. 1 in the US Billboard Dance charts for 5 weeks as well as achieving gold in Australia, Japan and the USA.
Jaki is officially a Motown artist, as one of less than a handful of British females to hold this credential. Jaki also holds a Doctorate from the University of Wolverhampton, for which she was also made Pro-Chancellor due to her outstanding contributions to the music industry and was awarded her very own Star on Birmingham’s Broad Street!
Jaki Graham firmly maintains her position as one of Britain’s most revered ladies of soul following the release of her long awaited studio album When a Woman Loves which topped the UK Soul Charts and produced a US Independent Chart No.1 single! Jaki now celebrates over 35 years since the release of her albums Heaven Knows and Breaking Away with an Anniversary Collection 4 CD Box Set.
As someone who is proud of her Birmingham background and continues to fly the flag for the City on an international scale, Jaki also feels a great sense of pride for new and emerging artists who share her Midlands roots, being a big advocate of fresh talent, especially those who help to put Birmingham on the musical map!
Fast-emerging British singer, songwriter and pianist Reuben James’ virtuoso jazz techniques and soulful, evocative voice have led him to be widely regarded as one of the most exciting and creatively assured artists to have emerged in recent years.
Although perhaps best known for his ongoing collaborations with Sam Smith, which have included co-writing songs for Smith’s 4 million-selling album The Thrill of It All, James has written for and performed with an array of international star acts including the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Brandi Carlile, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Tori Kelly, Little Mix, Disclosure and Liam Payne amongst many others.
Henry has worked across various shows on BBC Radio WM, including BBC Introducing and the Saturday Breakfast Show, taking any opportunity to shine a light on the huge amount of musical talent in Birmingham and beyond. Whether it’s pressing play on new music at 7am or 7pm, or involving emerging artists in silly games and features, Henry’s enthusiasm for new music is always a constant.
Recently signed to SONY, Birmingham born, multi-talented artist, Dapz OTM is more than your average Grime MC. He has a philosophy towards his art that moves the listener and has gained him the respect of fans, artists and media alike. Dapz OTM has had a steady rise up the ranks in the urban UK music scene, featuring on BBC Radio 1xtra and Rinse FM. He’s also supported the likes of Kano and Skepta on tour before going on to selling out his first headline show at the O2 Academy Birmingham.
Mike is a UK based Producer, Musician and Engineer. Based in Warwickshire, he has travelled extensively to bring artists’ ideas to reality. From the dark, seedy days of the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ for Disney, via Black Metal, Reggae and Classic Rock, to the inventors of Heavy Rock and Metal, Mike has achieved international success with a variety of Top Ten and Number One records. He works with the artist from an early age to ensure the songs and performances are in great shape before capturing them in the studio. Notable achievements include recording Black Sabbath’s ‘13’ resulting in Multiple International Number Ones and a Grammy. Producing and engineering Judas Priest’s ‘Redeemer of Souls’ and ‘Firepower’ respectively, the two highest charting records in their 40-year career, and co-producing the final record by the late Ronnie James Dio with his Sabbath bandmates 2009’s ‘The Devil You Know.’ Still topping off his many highlights is mixing the final show of Black Sabbath’s outstanding final world tour, ‘Black Sabbath – The End’ for album and cinema release, and working with producers and artists including Rick Rubin, Andy Sneap, Eddie Kramer, Kit Woolven, Tony Iommi, Jean Beauvoir, Ronnie James Dio, Jeff Beck, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Cradle of Filth, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, UB40, The Specials, Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, Jon Lord… Mike is particularly inspired by Andy Wallace, Bob Clearmountain, Quincy Jones, George Martin, Bruce Fairburn and Peter Gabriel, all musicians who, in their ‘main’ careers, have respected the needs and goals of the song and, in doing so, continually raised the bar for what we do.
Simon is a multi-million selling and multi award winning Producer, Composer, Songwriter and musician.
Simon has been producing, writing, recording and mixing music for more than 30 years. He has made records for many top international artists including Shania Twain, Maxi Priest, Erasure, Apache Indian, China Black, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Beat, Luciano, Desmond Dekker, Dillinger and many more.
Simon has composed music for numerous TV and viral adverts for Pepsi, Intel, Toshiba, Etisalat, Etihad and many more, and he has songs featured in Hollywood, Bollywood and British movies. Simon has also composed, produced and directed music for numerous theatre productions including sell out shows at Birmingham Symphony Hall, The REP Theatre and The Drum.
Records produced by Simon have been nominated for 2 Grammy Awards, 3 Brit Awards, a Mercury Music Prize, and he was nominated for a highly coveted Ivor Novello Award for songwriting in the category of Best Contemporary Song, alongside Take That and M People.
Simon is also an MA Speciialist Mentor in Music Production at BIMM
Birmingham born & bred, rapper Lady Sanity’s hard-hitting flows have earned her a string of accolades including GRM Daily’s ‘Get Rated’ (2017), Birmingham Music Awards’ ‘Best Solo Female’ (2018 and 2019), and Urban Music Awards’ ‘One To Watch’ (2018). After playing Glastonbury, BoomBap Festival, The Great Escape, MADE and Shardfest, and supporting Hip-Hop heavies KRS-one, Lowkey & Roxanne Shante, Sanity embarked on her first UK tour, culminating in a hometown sell-out. She also proudly represented Birmingham at the 2018 Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Australia, and has the world at her feet.
Ace is the guitarist in UK rock phenomenon Skunk Anansie, formed in 1994. They went on to be one of the biggest rock bands in Britain and Europe throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, selling over 6 million records and playing sold-out world tours. They still continue to tour today 25 years on, and successfully release new music through their own independent record label. Ace owns ‘The Ace Guitar Academy’ – his own group of part-time schools in Italy, teaching rock guitar to teenagers. Ace is also the Director of Creative Industry Development across all campuses at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).
Sue is a renowned radio plugger who has worked for all the major record companies including Jive, Sony, Virgin and V2 with many of the biggest artists in the world. She now works freelance across radio and television at Plug and Play and helped Ditto Music build their radio offering as Head of Radio.
Natalie Graham is a BBC radio presenter, manager, executive producer, backing vocalist, writer and compere.
As manager and daughter of British soul music pioneer Jaki Graham, Natalie’s experience and network has developed from her years within business, touring and learning from some of the most influential and key players within the industry; from those behind the scenes at management and executive levels to 80s, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop and Motown icons of the past and present.
Aside from management, with her knowledge and personal relationships with numerous musical greats, Natalie has gone on to become a radio presenter for various areas within the BBC including BBC Radio WM and BBC Across the Midlands, as well as venturing into TV.
Natalie is someone who has taken the examples set by her mother and become a role model to others within her own right. Working closely with a number of Midlands based charities and cementing a solid relationship, where both herself and her mother can in some way give back to various causes.
Natalie fully intends to lead by example and expand on her platform, knowing how imperative it is to highlight and showcase local talent, having herself become a voice and future face of the UK and beyond.
Industry veteran, friend to the stars, DJ and all-round top bloke. Birmingham-born John Saunderson has had an awesome career with global independent publisher Notting Hill Music, representing writers and pitching songs worldwide to major and independent labels.
Songwriter and producer, signed to TG-Management, Jonny has penned songs for UK X Factor winner Shayne Ward, Miss D (Number #1 in Portugal for six weeks) and Maria Lawson, amongst many others. Jonny has worked as a session musician for acts such as Don Henley (The Eagles) and All Saints, and he was a recording artist himself for thirteen years. Jonny is also the Creative Director of Birmingham-based pop production company The SongLab and Songwriting Course Leader and Lecturer at BIMM Brmingham.
Kieron Pepper is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer; previously performing and recording with the likes of: The Prodigy / Paul Hartnoll (Orbital) / Ginger Wildheart / Dead Kids and touring extensively across Russia in live improvised collaborations with EDM DJs. Currently performing and recording with Radiophonic Workshop and Sleeper. Kieron has a PGCertHE in Teaching and Learning and has worked in Music Education for 17 years, including a role as Head of Artist Development at the Academy of Contemporary Music.
Meldra is Managing Director of The Song Lab, based in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. She has worked in the music industry since the age of twelve, as an artist (she is a household name in her native Latvia), a session musician (for the likes of Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green and more), and she is also a songwriter at TG Publishing (Denmark). At The Song Lab Meldra mentors up and coming artists through numerous artist development programs. She is also a songwriting tutor at BIMM Birmingham, and dedicated to helping aspiring artists to thrive.
Multi-instrumentalist, Musical Director and Producer, Iwan is a world-respected musician who has worked with the likes of Sister Sledge and The Pointer Sisters. He has been a member of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials for nearly twenty years and we are privileged that he has chosen Birmingham as his base. He has a world class recording facility in the Jewellery Quarter.
Gavin is a UK music producer with multi-platinum, gold and silver production, engineering and writing credits.
Gavin is a multi-instrumentalist, he has produced International number one single and album releases, and was the proud recipient of two BMA awards in 2019.
He came up through the London big studio route, working in Olympic, Air, Manor, Battery, Abbey Road and Sarm and learned his craft from assisting sand watching one of the greatest musical minds in existence.
Gavin works with artists in every genre from all over the world, based out of his own Magic Garden Studios in West Midlands which has been operating for over 30 years!
Gavin is passionate about the area he lives in, taking part in mentoring and education, employing local staff and overseeing masterclasses in record production at BIMM, ACU, The Conservatoire and Manchester SAE among others.
Spanning an impressive 38 year career so far, Gavin has worked with the likes of:
Robert Plant, Editors, Ocean Colour Scene, The Twang, Tony Christie, The Cult, Grace Jones, Sly and Robbie, Jimmy Somerville, Aswad, Elvis Costello, Terry Hall, Kirsty MacColl, Femi Kuti, Jah Wobble, Meredith Brookes, Goldblade, Nizlopi, Scott Matthews, Lemmy, The Destroyers, The Sherlocks, The Blinders, JAWS, and an absolute host of bright, and flourishing current artists with the world in front of them
Rebecca Delmore is a multi-award winning Brummie businesswoman who grew up in Northfield and, while attending the local schools, spent her early years supporting her family business which was a popular public house and music venue in Northfield.
Rebecca is now the Commercial Director at Millennium Point, where she is responsible for commercial revenue streams to include property, events and the charitable trust.
Her remit is raising the brand and profile of a public building in the heart of Birmingham city centre to ensure they maximise commercial opportunities with the view to gift a large amount to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) organisations within the West Midlands.
They have successfully donated over £20 million over the past 5 years.
Rebecca also manages all marketing and sales streams, Press and PR, Crisis management and Brand awareness and runs the operations and sales of the events business.
She has won multiple business awards in the city for herself and with her team and is a renowned ambassador for the region with many key contacts.
Rebecca cares about the community she lives in which is why she is a non-executive director for Rubicon Leisure who run Redditch council’s leisure venues and is a parent governer at a local school.
She also sits on the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Fund-raising committee.
DJ Biggoss a self-certified “music fiend” who has been a firm fixture on the local DJ scene for over a decade. His career began as a Bassline producer but quickly he felt stifled. DJing became the perfect release for his creativity, and dancefloors the perfect playground for dropping bangers! Driven by audience reaction to his sets, he decided to focus his energy on pushing homegrown talent in UK Hip Hop, R&B & Grime. He is hellbent on being a Birmingham pioneer.
Biggoss continues to push the UK sound globally and DJs in Amsterdam, Atlanta & Cancun as well as all over the UK. He has toured with some of the countries biggest artists, including Lotto Boyzz, Mist and Dapz on the Map.
Biggoss is also super-connected in his genre, he’s a studio engineer, promoter, artist manager, and curator of his own ‘Producer Exchange’ – a bi-monthly event to introduce and encourage collaboration between producers and artists.
Jo started her music career as an original member of chart-topping girl band Atomic Kitten twenty-five years ago. Recording and publishing deals followed; she had a number 5 with Darude in November 2000 and wrote songs for artists including Holly Valance and Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus. Since then she has extended her experience to radio, television and talent management and is Founder of the Birmingham Music Awards, in an effort to celebrate and develop the next generation of artists across the region. She continues to write songs, collaborating with the most successful songwriters and musicians all over the world.
Nik has been involved in the Birmingham music scene for the last 35 years as a performer, producer, promoter, DJ, educator and many other roles and guises.
Producing and performing electronic music with his long-term musical partner, Neil Harvey under the name PCM, they were one of the first Jungle/Drum & Bass artists to focus on performing live, improvised shows since the early 90’s. Remaining resolutely underground throughout the years, PCM have had many releases while their stunning live sets have gained rave reviews and seen them perform with artists as diverse as Hawkwind, Test Dept, Scorn and many others. Last year saw them celebrate their 30th anniversary and with new projects in the pipeline, they show no signs of stopping just yet. As well as performing with PCM, Nik is an occasional member of Bentley Rhythm Ace and the mysterious Brummie psyche band, Blackash.
In addition to this, Nik is also a well-respected DJ having performed worldwide including several European tours, festivals and residencies under his belt since the early 90’s.
Co-promoter of the legendary House of God which is currently in its 27th year and one of the longest running club nights in the UK, Nik has also promoted many other Birmingham club nights such as Circles, Grindhouse, Chaos and The Source as well as being involved in many festivals including Lunar Festival, Artsfest, Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul, Moseley Folk Festival and the Supersonic festival. He also was co-owner/editor of the now defunct free clubbing/nightlife newspaper, The Night Times.
He has worked in further and higher education for the last 18 years at South & City College Birmingham where he lectures in various music areas on Level 3 and the Foundation Degree & BA (Hons.) Popular Music franchised programs from Birmingham City University as well as being the Technical Manager for the Music & Media departments. He was also responsible for the design and project management of the recording studios, rehearsal spaces and the 600 capacity The Crossing venue (which he currently manages) at the colleges Digbeth campus.
Pete is a musician, producer, podcaster and record label owner. Best known as Head of Music at Brum Radio where he has gained invaluable experience discovering new talent and presenting it to the World on flagship show, the Brum Radio A-List. Always on the lookout for exciting new talent from Brum, Pete recently set up Catch The Buzz Records – a label focused solely on artists making their name in and around Birmingham. CTB will cement Pete’s mission to put his home city back on the musical heritage map.
Paul is an Artist Manager and business manager working predominantly for Birmingham Indie rock sensations ‘JAWS’. Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Paul has been midlands based for over 30 years during which time he has held management positions in a number of fields including the Royal Air Force, IT and Service Delivery. A brilliant stage/tour manager, organiser and planner, Paul doesn’t mince his words and knows a good tune when he hears one!
Priya is an award winning presenter from Birmingham. She hosts Switch Radio’s Monday Breakfast and Desi Beats, championing emerging South Asian artists and producers. Priya has also presented on BBC Radio 1 and BBC WM, hosted several live events and featured on BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live’s montage promoting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
Music entrepreneur Ammo Talwar started life selling vinyl at his specialist record shop, which became a local hub for DJs and artists. His leadership and vision built the company into an award-winning music agency; working internationally and in partnership with leading private and public sector companies to support music and innovation. He received an MBE for contributions to music.
A recipient of the International Cultural leadership award, Ammo’s professional acumen is in demand by organisations facing both new business opportunities and challenges.
Currently Chairman of UK Music Diversity Taskforce he recently helped shape and lead on the innovative 10 Point Plan to rebalance the UK diversity deficit – A major music industry intervention to drive change, with accountability, metrics and audit. He is also a BPI Council Board member and NED for Sound City UK.
Brum champion George has been in the Music, Broadcast & Film industries for over 20 years.
He’s worked for the likes of Lady Leshurr, Sony, JVC, Grass Valley, Queen Brooklyn Tankard, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Adobe, Formation Records and Atomos.
Recent accolades include winning Best Editor at the prestigious 2019 & 2021 Nelas Awards.
He is a proud mentor and manager for Birmingham artists and a widely loved and respected personality on the music scene