Music conference debuts in Leicester with support from PPL PRS and De Montfort University

Leicester-based social enterprise HQ CAN CIC are hosting Leicester’s first music conference with support from local music licensing company, PPL PRS, and De Montfort University (DMU). The conference is expected to bring music and creative sector professionals together to support the music, arts, and media industries in the East Midlands.

The event, which will be held at 2Funky Café on Friday 16 February, promises a programme of discussions, knowledge sharing, creativity and live music – with a schedule packed full of industry experts and artists.

Delegates at the conference will be able to hear how to make a career out of making music, and how to access funding. The Association of Independent Music (AIM) will be holding a roundtable discussion about the diverse pathways for rightsholders, along with focusing on the music scene within Leicester and the East Midlands and how it can be supported better.

There will also be a workshop from music experts at TikTok to help understand the role that the social media platform has to play in launching a music career.

PRS for Music and PPL are hosting an interactive workshop to help artists understand how copyright affects their work, and how they can protect it and get paid for its use.

BBC Introducing Music East Midlands are hosting the live stage alongside HQ Familia at the event, with live music late into the evening from award winning saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch plus plenty of emerging local talent.

Tickets, which are priced between £10 and £15, and are for over 18s only, are available on the Leicester Music Conference website.

The driving force behind the conference is Dr Yasin El Ashrafi BEM, a multi-award winning mentor and entrepreneur from Leicester. He is the Owner of HQ Recording Studio, HQ Familia record label and a Director of HQ CAN CIC. Yasin currently manages 8 artists who are being developed by HQ Familia. Yasin is passionate about helping people reach their full potential, especially deprived or unemployed young adults.

Speaking about the conference, the first of its kind for Leicester, Yasin said: “I’m so happy to have been able to bring this event to fruition. This is well overdue for our city and will grow into a multi-day/venue conference and festival over the coming years, creating many opportunities for our creatives and industry. Both the conference and showcase event will be top tier and an event not to be missed.”

Andrea Gray, Managing Director at PPL PRS commented about the partnership: “We are delighted to be able to support this conference, bringing some excellent industry experts into the city to share their knowledge and experience, pathing the way for our stars of the future. We have been working with Yasin and his team at HQ for a number of years now, and what is really evident in the work they do is their passion and commitment to not only the music and creative arts industry, but also the people they support and work with. Not everyone has access to the facilities they need to express themselves, or make a career from their talent, but Yasin and HQ provide that much needed bridge for young and disadvantaged people in the area.”

Fi Donovan, Head of Partnerships & Engagement at DMU, said “DMU proudly supports the inaugural Leicester Music Conference in partnership with Yasin and all at HQ. This event will  showcase the city's musical expertise, and provide our students with invaluable knowledge and awareness of careers across the music, arts and creative sector. We look forward to nurturing the growth of this festival over the coming years and amplifying our collective impact on the creative heart of Leicester.”