“EAR UP INCUBATION” Hong Kong music mentoring programme shows young local indie musicians a way to build a Hong Kong music ecology

Now in its fourth year, “Ear Up Incubation” programme invites six local industry masters including Adrian Chow, Veronica Lee, Alok Leung, Gaybird Leung, Teddy Robin and James Ting to empower 18 groups of new Hong Kong music talent through an all-round mentorship.

Live shows and concerts

Apart from dedicated small group mentorship sessions, the programme also includes a series of performance workshops and international forums for young musicians to enhance live performance skills, understand the latest industry trends and discover potential collaboration opportunities. Livehouse showcases and school showcases are also arranged for participants to gain performance experience and build up a fanbase. All the participants are selected through open recruitment and audition process organised by Ear Up Music.

Fostering new Hong Kong music

Ear Up Music was set by Renaissance Foundation Hong Kong to develop a sustainable and diverse music ecology in the industry, and nurture rising young music stars. Sponsored by Create Hong Kong (a Government unit that aims to develop Hong Kong into a regional creative capital) since 2016, the label has now created the “Ear Up Incubation” programme to spotlight new music in Hong Kong and in neighbouring regions and beyond.

Young Hong Kong musicians on a mission

The music industry in Asia is going through a renaissance at the moment, with musical phenomena like K-pop even attracting a global audience, as societies worldwide becoming more open to diverse strains of music styles. In Hong Kong, Cantopop is still the dominant musical genre, but the city is also embracing a growth in independent music. Groups of young local musicians are on a mission to bring the Hong Kong music industry to a new heyday.

A helping hand

But there are challenges. Ear Up Music understands that lack of professional training and guidance are the main stumbling blocks for new musical talent to break through the homogeneity of the local music industry. To help overcome these issues, the label created “Ear Up Incubation” to help local independent musicians be equipped with label establishment knowledge and find suitable career paths for their strengths through a series of practical training sessions and workshops.

Preparing for the world

Mr YUEN Chi-Chung, a veteran music producer and the project director of this year’s Ear Up Incubation explained that, “The programme provides opportunities for young indie musicians to broaden their musical vision and gain insights into the industry by interacting with experts from different sectors. In this way they can identify what they need to improve and be better prepared for the international stage.”