– Hothouse Flowers member and singer-songwriter Fiachna Ó Braonáin joins BELEM to translate his body of work, while Polish indie artist Misia Furtak puts forward works to be translated
– BELEM announces its second Open Call for co-production, which will see artists and labels produce translated works for cross-border promotion
Paris, France and Berlin, Germany — 10 January 2024 — BELEM, the Creative Europe EU-funded co-operation project focused on the monetisation, export and promotion of European lyrics and lyric translations, has announced two major European artists have won grants from the programme’s first Open Call, as it also launches its second Open Call to the industry.
Misia Furtak is a renowned Polish indie artist and songwriter, both as part of international group Très.B and as a solo artist with a body of work, including the incisive socio-political WYBORY. Misia has joined the project to put forward her catalogue of work for translation in order to achieve the key goals of the project — to open up works to new audiences and better monetise lyrics through licensed distribution.
“The industry today is incredibly exciting, but also quite a scary place, regardless if you are just starting out, or an established artist like myself,” said Misia Furtak. “Lyrics are one area that is underserved. BELEM represents a solution to all of it — the monetisation, the exposure, and for highlighting the importance of both language and lyrics in music. BELEM means I can keep control over the process and the work, while managing the translations.”
With a storied career both as a founding member of Hothouse Flowers and as a solo artist, Fiachna Ó Braonáin has joined the programme as a translator. Working with programme partners, Fiachna will work to translate his own body of work for meaning, ensuring they can be more widely understood and appreciated.
“Lyrics are the emotional core of a song. So, translation — when done for meaning — is essentially interpretation,” said Fiachna. “You need to be able to work with the writer so you can make sure you are true to the message they are conveying in a song, and ensure it is just right. This can only ever be truly done as a collaboration. Through BELEM, we can collaborate to make translations really work for artists.”
The news of the two artists joining the programme comes as the project announces its second Open Call, focused on co-production of translated songs for cross-border release.
Open to applications from artists and record labels from today (Wednesday, 10 January), BELEM is inviting artists and labels to submit applications for the recording of translated works. A total of 20 projects will be selected; 10 projects will be awarded in 2024 and the remaining 10 awarded in 2025. Once released, all co-produced tracks will be distributed globally, along with both the lyrics and their translations available in different languages. These works and the lyrics — including all translations — will be distributed through BELEM partners LyricFind, Deezer, .Music and other platforms.
To be applicable, each project application should have a minimum budget of €5,000, including fees for artists working on the project, studio costs, and travel or accommodation fees, and any additional expenses. BELEM will provide funding up to €3,000 towards the project, with the remaining 40% investment being made by the artist or label. Applications will then be judged by a jury composed of board members from AMAEI, RUNDA and IMPALA.
“Fiachna and Misia are exactly right — lyrics are the beating emotional heart of songs, yet are still massively underserved, with translations and availability still poor,” said Florian von Hoyer, COO at MusicHub and BELEM Lead on behalf of Zebralution. “We are honoured to have artists of their calibre join us on this project, especially as we launch our second Open Call to the industry to produce translated works. Working hand-in-hand with artists and labels, we will be able to better promote the integral role lyrics play, while ensuring both greater protection over both lyrics and their translations, and more opportunities for artists, labels and rights holders to monetise them. We are excited to be working across geographies to build the future of lyrics and break down cultural barriers to understand music.”
Applications will close on Saturday, 10 February 2024. To apply for the second BELEM open call, please visit the website.