During a live presentation at their Toolroom Academy Live event in London.“From Mix to Mainstage – The Blueprint for Emerging Electronic Artists”, has released the full findings of their newly commissioned report Toolroom Records, the education platform of leading electronic label Toolroom Academy.

The report is produced for Toolroom Academy by Rufy Ghazi and David Boyle – head of Audience Strategies – who has previously built global analytics and data insight capabilities for major companies including The BBC and EMI Music, and has used data to help elect a prime minister and a president.

“We have sensed a frustration among our student community that despite doing the hard yards of production, and contributing great music to the scene, this effort was not mirrored with opportunity in return. Our feeling was that the gap between our students’ ambitions, and the opportunities to build sustainable careers in electronic music, seemed far too wide.”Miles Shackleton

Working closely with hundreds of students who have graduated through the various courses and mentorships schemes offered by their Academy, Toolroom have a unique insight the perspective of talented artists struggling to carve a sustainable career for themselves in what is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The report is a direct response to this, providing a deeper comprehension of the industry dynamics, identifying barriers that emerging artists face, as well as offering valuable insights, directions, and a targeted approach to strategy development for emerging artists.

“The report is an important step towards fixing a key problem we have identified at Toolroom Academy. That new artists who contribute the music – the lifeblood of the scene – face considerable challenges when attempting to turn their passion into sustainable careers. The report outlines a number of strategies for success, and suggests what role the wider industry should play in supporting emerging talent.”Miles Shackleton

Based on data collected from over 250 new artists, alongside 1:1 interviews with a variety of established artists, educators, and industry professionals, the report provides a clear understanding of the challenges, experiences, and strategies used by electronic music artists. Whilst the responses largely paint a picture of resilience, versatility, and the blending of passion with pragmatism, strikingly, the report found that 76% of new artists feel that their career is not financially sustainable, whilst 62% say they struggle to grow an online audience.

With 88% of the artists surveyed expressing a difficulty in understanding algorithms and developing promotional strategies, the barriers emerging artists face are much broader than the ability to produce great music. Issues faced range from practical concerns around networking, collaborations and marketing/promotion, to the emotional and physical effects of burnout and the impact of rejection on mental health.

The findings are presented alongside direct strategies for growth and a call for solutions that can be adopted across areas of the industry responsible for education, mentorship, and networking. From demystifying entry points and industry roles, to providing targeted educational initiatives that bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world experience, the report offers a clear pathway towards real, meaningful change that can be implemented across the music industry.

“Our future objective at the Toolroom Academy is to truly understand and support new electronic music artists. We aim to evolve and adapt in order to meet our students needs in an ever-changing industry. The report concludes with strategies to shape music education for the future; focusing on networking, brand-building, industry acumen and resilience, alongside providing hands-on experiences and industry-relevant content. This report will provide the intellectual basis for our evolution as an educational business over the coming years.”Miles Shackleton

The report was launched at Toolroom Academy Live – an event aimed at supporting emerging talent featuring a full day of talks, workshops and panels from guests including Danny Howard, Defected’s Wez Saunders, and Mark Knight.

Read the report here