Music and football to team up for charity initiative

'It's a really potent combination,' Secretary of State tells NME.COM

The British music industry and the English Premier League have announced a new charity partnership to foster new talent.

The link-up between record labels and the UK’s biggest teams for the Kickz programme will see the Brit Trust – the BPI‘s charitable arm – investing in the project over the next three years.

The link-up was announced at a Westminster reception yesterday (April 1) attended by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media And Sport Andy Burnham MP, members of Kasabian and Craig David, among others.

Speaking to NME.COM, Burnham welcomed the joint initiative which will aim to provide opportunities for young people to express their talent in both musical and football.

“Football and music are a really powerful combination when you get the two together. Football and music communicate and get through to young people in a way that someone in a suit like me could never manage,” he explained.

“These are the things that matter in young people’s lives. From when I was growing up, they can live in two separate worlds. Football and sport are over here or if you want to be arty and creative you go over there. If you bring them together and celebrate what they can achieve together it’s a really potent combination.”

Burnham did concede that any big initiative like this would potentially have credibility issues, particularly in the music stakes, but was confident the project would succeed.

“It’s a challenge for a project likes this [to avoid as being seen as uncool] and government endorsement as well can also make it a difficult thing,” he said. “The point is to let young people do with it what they may. Bring them the opportunities to play sport, to play music but don’t be too prescriptive about what they might do with those opportunities and I think that’s really important about this project. Nobody of my age or older should be telling the project how they should communicate with young people, that’s up to the young people themselves.

“I grew up in the North West in the 1980s, the cross over between football and music culture was life for all of us. We went to the match on Saturday and talked about music in the pub beforehand, that was a North West childhood for me.”

The Kickz project started in 2006 following a collaboration between the Metropolitan Police and several London football clubs.

An example of its work was demonstrated at the reception with several young MCs – backed by a programme at Manchester City Football Club – performing a track they had written together.