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dear media partners, dear colleagues,


Keychange, the international initiative for gender equality in music, has recorded a particularly pleasing onslaught: More than 650 applications have been submitted for this year's Keychange Development Programme, a programme offering one-year support to 74 European and Canadian participants in their next career moves. Today, Keychange is announcing the names for 2020. Among the artists and professionals selected are the German musicians DENA, Ilgen-Nur and Novaa!
Frehn Hawel

Hamburg, 28 January 2020

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If you want to change the future, you must shape it yourself. We find proof of this statement in the EU-promoted initiative Keychange that advocates gender equality in the music business: Launched in 2017 during Reeperbahn Festival, the originally European concept has long since become an international movement whose network comprises 16 leading music organisations from 12 countries. "Agenda 2022", initiated by Keychange and encouraging a 50:50 gender-ratio in the line-ups of music and conference programmes, has meanwhile been joined by over 300 international festivals and organisations, including Iceland Airwaves, c/o pop, Roskilde Festival and many more. In 2019, Keychange was extended by four years with a fund in the amount of 1.4 million EUR provided by the EU Creative Europe Programme, and since then has expanded its activities to many further sections of the music world such as radio stations, orchestras, artists agencies, etc.

An important pillar of the Keychange programme has always been the one-year Keychange Development Programme: 74 European and Canadian artists will get the opportunity to become part of the international Keychange network, participate in Keychange creative lab sessions during Keychange partner festivals, exchange ideas with other participants, perform on stage and be promoted via the Keychange database; and finally, make the next career moves with mentoring programmes especially tailored to their goals. The kick-off for the Keychange Development Programme will be a general meeting of the Keychange network in Stockholm on 13 February.   

The response to the call for application for the Keychange Development Programme was enormous: The jury had to cope with the mammoth task of selecting 74 participants for 2020 from over 650 applications from 12 countries. The good news is: Task accomplished! You will find the complete list of all 74 Keychange Development artists here

Christina Schäfers, Keychange Lead and Reeperbahn Festival Head of Arts, Word & Film:
"The Keychange Development Programme is the heart of the initiative. While the Pledge encourages organisations and festivals to present gender-balanced line-ups on their stages, the Development Programme helps participating artists to get on precisely these stages. After extensive consultations with creative people and experts during the first phase, we are now pleased to have attained an even more inclusive approach to an even more multi-facetted group of participants. We are proud to present an even greater number of gender-specific minorities, ethnic groups, genres and different career stages in 2020. We are looking forward to welcoming all these artists at the meeting of the complete Keychange network in Stockholm and at Reeperbahn Festival!" 

Shirley Manson, musician and Keychange Ambassadress:
"It is vitally important to me that we continue to talk about and, more importantly, address existing problems and prejudices within the music industry. I very much appreciate that the Keychange initiative is focusing energy on offering opportunities to artists that help them realise their potential in an industry rife with barriers." 

DENA, Ilgen-Nur (photo) and Novaa are this year's Keychange artists from Germany:
The Berlin-based lo-fi/electro pop artist DENA has already been celebrated as absolute discovery by international media such as The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Dazed and Fader, and could also fully convince the world live on European festival and club stages and, not least, at the SXSW.
A name, leaving its marks, is Ilgen-Nur: In 2019, the equally Berlin-based songwriter published her debut album "Power Nap", celebrated throughout the European media world, and has been considered as pioneer of laid-back indie guitar pop for some time.
For the songwriter and producer Novaa and her atmospheric electro pop there is only one way to go – and that's up: After winning the New Music Awards in 2018, the artist played herself into the hearts of her audience at festivals such as Eurosonic Noorderslag, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn Festival and the SXSW in Austin, Texas in 2019 – media attention at international music platforms included.
All three artists clearly show how much varied musical potential the German music world has to offer, and together they will make their next career steps!   

Here you will find the playlist of all Keychange 2020 artists.



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Photo: Constantin Timm

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