Organisation utilized: The Saving Grace Collective
Period: Jan – Aug 2022
The HF2 Development Initiative is an evolution of a project initially created by Savvy and Max DuBois in 2012 to develop and share the music of young, passionate Huddersfield-based producers with the world. Originally coming from a Hip-Hop background, as both an artist and record label manager, Savvy had long outgrown the constraints of a single genre. Highest Frequency expanded his label’s sound into new stylistic territory, while championing rising and undiscovered local and international artists.
The project culminated in the Highest Frequency listening party and the release of the digital compilation album in 2014. HF1 gave the artists worldwide exposure, and the album received support from the likes of Gilles Peterson and Big Up Magazine.
Highest Frequency Vol.2 (HF2) built extensively on the foundations laid by Vol. 1. With the support of Kirklees Council, and funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Cultural Recovery Gainshare programme, HF2 evolved into the HF Development Initiative.
This time, with the HF Development Initiative, the focus was more on cultivating the skills, talents, and capabilities of young Kirklees-based artists, and giving them opportunities to perform in the local music scene alongside established music industry artists. The aims of the HF Development Initiative project are especially relevant in the post-lockdown era, where government funding and focus on the arts has been severely deprioritized.
The HF Development Initiative was a 6 month program for aspiring musicians djs & events planners from Kirklees aged 16 to 25. The aims of the program were to nurture & mentor participants developing their skills & knowledge base by providing:
● Training on audio production and mixing with high quality equipment and facilities.
● Live performance opportunities.
● The opportunity to release tracks on all major digital music platforms.
● The opportunity to generate revenue from the project to tangibly contribute to the creative economy.
● Advice, guidance, and support with making first steps into, and navigating, the larger music industry.
● Inspiration for the next generation of home-grown music makers.
● 31 aspiring artists were taught new skills and capabilities.
● 11 new producers were mentored and had their tracks mixed and mastered.
● 2 professional producers provided tracks for the project.
● 1 part-time semi-pro provided a track for the project.
● 8 part-time aspiring producers provided tracks.
● 2 professional DJs performed.
● 3 semi-professional DJs performed.
● Future live performances are planned.
Global Digital Release
● The HF2 album is planned for release later this year and will be available on all major digital platforms.
● 1 HF artist has also signed an EP deal, and is now receiving airplay on BBC 1Xtra and Selector Radio (British Council).
Employment & Revenue Generation
● 11 artists signed to the record label, with the potential for future commercial releases.
● 14 businesses were engaged.
● 3 FTE safeguarded jobs were created.
● 2 videographers, 1 graphic designer, and 1 photographer were given paid work opportunities.
Advice, Guidance, Support & Collaborative Learning
Some of the HF artists discussed their experience of working on the project in The HF Development Initiative Showcase Interviews, which can be seen on our YouTube channel.
● HF2 will introduce DJ Marcel to the world. At 10 years old, DJ Marcel is the label’s youngest signee, and a testament to the project’s commitment to supporting young aspiring music makers.
● Working with UK bassline legend DJ Q demonstrates the positive cross pollination that happens when a seasoned artist adds their talent to a grassroots project like HF.
● Since his first solo release on Saving Grace, HF artist Mighty Funk’Houser’s recently-released music is already getting positive results and wider national exposure.
This year we achieved all of the main aims we set out to complete with the HD Development Initiative. Through an extensive evaluation of the project we identified areas for improvement for Highest Frequency Vol. 3, but overall the concept has been proven to work extremely well.