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“This scheme has changed everything” – Catching up with our Springboarders

At the start of 2021, we launched Springboard, our exciting project supported by the Youth Music Incubator Fund that’s nurturing the development of six young women and non-binary individuals through funding, coaching and 1-2-1 mentoring. 

Since then, our amazing participants have been hard at work building their own music-based projects, which range from a mixtape exploring the experiences of queer Black artists to a mixing and mastering business. 

As the programme edges towards its endpoint, we asked each of them to reflect on the journey they’ve been on over the last ten months. Here’s what they had to say…

Saffron springboard participant Sarahsson


Sarahsson is a composer, producer, performance artist and DJ interested in synaesthsesia and divine queerness. Combining different resonant processes and sonic interfaces, she flits unfaithfully between emotional textures with classical and handmade instruments on her debut album being released on the record label Illegal Data

Sarahsson said: “Saffron has afforded me not only access to equipment, software, materials to build instruments, a music video budget, the ability to pay everyone involved and much more in terms of actualising my vision through the grant – but also a really incredible amount of support and care while navigating these new realms. It has also connected me with so many wonderful people and each of their invaluable skillsets and knowledge. My independence has really been encouraged whilst also offering as much information and support when needed, opening up opportunities I’d never considered and allowing me the freedom to decide what I do.

Check out Sarahsson’s Soundcloud.

Saffron springboard participant Katriine


Katriine has been collaborating with other queer and/or black artists, writing and producing songs to create a mixtape that focuses on their experiences. Katriine presents her Mixtape called ‘Out Loud’ featuring Grove and Clara Maria.

Katriine said: “The springboard project has been a massive opportunity for me. Not only have Saffron provided amazing training sessions by diverse facilitators and trainers, but they have also put me in touch with a personal mentor who works in the industry as well. Everyone at Saffron has always been ready to offer any support I need. It has been amazing having a budget that has gone towards my creative vision but also towards paying musicians on my project that I admire. My independence has always been respected and encouraged. I’ve made some really good friends that have been amazing and super supportive throughout the project and it has been an amazing experience overall.”

Check out Katriine’s recent releases.

Saffron springboard participant Mary Waters

Mary Waters

Mary Waters is releasing her debut EP, Forest. Throughout the project, Mary has been nurturing her development through mentoring in music production and vocal training. Alongside this Mary has invested in new equipment to record her songs at home to a professional standard. 

Mary said: “This scheme has changed everything for me. I have always loved music, but never believed I would be able to pursue it at all seriously. Saffron has given me the opportunity to invest in my craft and take my music-making to the next level through funding, new home recording equipment, production mentoring, and vocal coaching. I’m now connected to an amazing group of like-minded, passionate, driven people who are all determined to pursue a career in music, and this is really inspiring. I hope to maintain these connections for many years to come.” 

Saffron springboard participant Izzy McPhee

Izzy McPhee 

Izzy McPhee has used Springboard to develop her career as a sound engineer. She has been shadowing engineers in studio and live settings, and working on mixing and mastering projects from her home studio. She has been able to buy industry-standard equipment, attend courses and training, and develop professional relationships.

Izzy said: “The Springboard scheme has been pivotal in my sound engineering journey. The grant provided by Saffron has allowed me to develop my home studio, allowing me to work continuously and sustainably, but, the most beneficial part for me has been the industry training, and the self-development and confidence sessions. These have really helped me stay motivated and give myself credit for my hard work. I am improving every day and discovering some incredible opportunities because of this. I’ve also been lucky enough to collaborate with other Springboard members, just recently mastering some of Mary’s tracks!

Check out Izzy’s website to find out more about her mixing and mastering services.

Saffron springboard participant Sian

Siany B

Throughout the duration of the Saffron Springboard project, Sian has been working on creating and producing her podcast ‘Mama’s Joint’, which showcases, and explores women within the Music Industry. Sian has been able to further develop her interview technique and production skills and knowledge, whilst also receiving mentoring and professional coaching to guide and assist her on the completion of her project.

Sian said: “Saffron has impacted my creative journey massively – they have helped me to develop my confidence as well as my transferable skills. Being part of the Springboard project and working closely with Saffron has allowed me to get a real insight into the music industry and help me establish future career paths.”

Saffron springboard participant Maria Torres

Maria Torres

Maria Torres is an artist manager and has been working on developing her business, brand and website, having participated in publishing webinars, showcase events and becoming a member of the MMF. Maria has been collaborating with Konichiwa Agency to obtain her brand identity and build her website which will give her a professional platform for the future.

Maria said: “Saffron Springboard has given me the tools necessary to be able to progress into a full-time career as an independent artist manager. Starting Springboard during the pandemic, it’s been great to be able to build the foundations for my management business and work with my mentor. Being awarded MMF’s ‘Manager Spotlighta few weeks ago felt like an achievement in itself. Also, doing workshops in confidence building, business skills and contracts has been very insightful for me as an artist manager. I am really excited about the year ahead, thanks to Springboard for helping me get there and inspiring me to persevere!”

Join us at Strange Brew on 16th December to catch performances and presentations by all six of our Springboard participants. Reserve a free or donation ticket to the showcase event via Headfirst.

Springboard is supported by the Youth Music Incubator Fund.

Youth Music Incubator