Initiative Continues Its Support of Musicians Despite Pandemic Challenges
Radio Facts: Backline announced a new cohort of Milwaukee musicians Thursday for its 12-week accelerator program with $20,000 grants despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The cohort is the fourth selected by Backline, a grant and educational initiative of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor, since the program began in March 2018.
The Spring 2020 Backline Artists are:
• Bisca Rae (FKA Liza Jane) is an Anti-pop singer-songwriter. Though music has been a part of her life for many years, she started taking a career as a performing artist more seriously two years ago with the release of her first EP “Internet Girl No 1.” She’s currently working on her next project that’s tentatively scheduled for the fall of this
• Cameron Jarrell Henderson, better known as Lorde Fredd33 (pronounced “Lord Freddy”), has made a name for himself by releasing a fusion of work that touches the
bases of Folk, Alternative, and Hip-Hop. Focusing on showcasing black life, particularly within his home community of Milwaukee’s North Side, Lorde Fredd33’s music provides a voice to those who have not had a chance to speak and empowers those who search
for someone to understand their story.
• Cameron Williams, also known as Cam Will, is a Rap/Hip-Hop artist who left behind his full-ride D1 athletic scholarship to channel his work ethic and determination into his passion for music full-time. With cosigns from some of the music industry’s best up and coming producers such as Bizness Boi, Syksense, Ninety4our, and more, Cam is set to have a huge start to his career.
• So Zuppy is the solo music project from multimedia artist and producer Micah Foust. He cut his teeth playing in the local DIY scene and recently graduated with a BFA in music composition & technology from UWM.
Program Director Mag Rodriguez said Backline decided to go forward with the new cohort despite Covid-19, in part because musicians are struggling during the pandemic. The program has been modified because of the pandemic.
“We’re trying to maintain as much normalcy as we can despite the pandemic,” he said. “The program had to make adjustments, of course, all meetings switched over to virtual, including what would have taken place during trips to New York and Los Angeles in past programs.”
Backline in April offered a virtual two-week emergency response program designed to help musicians identify, understand and secure resources to help them withstand this crisis, Rodriguez said.
Due to the pandemic, Backline has decided not to hold a fall cohort and instead will run a program for alumna of all the accelerators. The alumni program will include one-on-one staff meetings, virtual connections with new mentors and other resources, he said.
The four artists were selected from 300 applications. Finalists were selected by a national panel of judges. The current session began last month and runs through July 24.
88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor developed Backline to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, improve Milwaukee’s recognition as one of the country’s most vibrant music cities and assist companies in attracting and retaining employees.
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