Fast Forward: Support programme for mid-career musicians

Music
© Flora Mottini

With this new funding programme, we support for two years artists from Switzerland in the fields of pop, jazz and experimental music.

The selected musicians are at a decisive turning point in their careers, having already gained international experience and demonstrating strong potential for long-term international development. The two-year programme will enable the selected artists to pursue their work and elaborate a long-term development strategy with the help of a mentor.

Fast Forward aims to empower artistic personalities, deepen their strategic knowledge and expand their international networks. The programme provides substantial individual support to artists at a decisive point in their careers, enabling them to establish themselves long-term on the international scene.

Artistic mentoring and strategic development

The programme consists of artistic and curatorial mentoring, coverage of management costs, participation in two workshops (called Business Labs) organised by Pro Helvetia and devoted to strategic development and networking. Artists may also make flexible use of part of the funding, for example, to produce digital and visual content.

Recognised experts will be be invited to the workshops. Grantees may also request individual mentoring for the duration of the programme.


Pilot edition 2023 – 2025

As part of the pilot edition, five artists whose profile meets the programme requirements receive a support tailored to their individual needs.

Andrina Bollinger

Andrina Bollinger © Sabina Bösch

It is rare to find an artist whose voice is so compelling and convincing as that of singer, songwriter and performer Andrina Bollinger. Whether as a solo performer, with her group, or as a composer for film and theatre productions, Andrina Bollinger’s career has made her one of the most important figures in the Swiss music scene.

In recent years, she has concentrated entirely on her solo project, which she describes as avant-garde pop with jazz influences. Andrina Bollinger released her debut album ’Secret Seed’ (2022) and an EP titled ’Pleasure & Pain’ (2023) through Mouthwatering Records. 

Either as a soloist or with her group, she has performed at renowned international venues and festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), Café de la Danse in Paris (FR), m4music Festival (CH), Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (CH), Istituto Svizzero in Rome (IT), Cully Jazz Festival (CH) and Dampfzentrale in Bern (CH). Andrina Bollinger lives and works in Zurich.

andrinabollinger.com

Mentor: TBA

Emilie Zoé

Emilie Zoé © David Wagnières

Predominantly self-taught, Emilie Zoé has been writing, composing and performing songs for over 15 years. The artist’s four solo albums have been released through the independent Chaux-de-Fonds label Humus Records, along with several collaborative projects, including ’/A\’ with Franz Treichler (The Young Gods, 2021) and ’Autisti’ with Louis Jucker (2017).

Emilie Zoé’s voice and magnetic presence have earned the artist much acclaim. Awards and prizes include ’Best Act Romandie’ (2019 Swiss Music Awards), ’Prix Suisse de Musique’ (2020), and ’Best Live Act’ (2022 Swiss Live Talents). Released in two instalments in 2022, the latest album, ’Hello Future Me’, was named ’Album of the year 2022’ by IndieSuisse.

The ’Hello Future Tour’ enables Emilie Zoé to perform on prestigious stages, including Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon (FR), with Kae Tempest at the Haldern Pop Festival and the Maifeld Derby Festival (DE), supporting Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Auditorium Stravinski at Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), as well as supporting Muse in Bern (CH).

emiliezoe.com

Mentor: TBA

NNAVY

NNAVY © Emilien Itim

NNAVY is a singer-songwriter who has captured the hearts of audiences with her moving, soulful voice. Her debut EP ’Blue’ and its follow-up ’In Good Company’ showcase her unique and personal style, which blends R&B, soul and jazz influences.

She has performed at renowned festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne and MaMa Music & Convention in Paris. She has opened for established artists such as Lionel Richie, Arlo Parks, Alfa Mist, November Ultra and Ben l’Oncle Soul. Her powerful, emotional stage presence has captivated audiences, leaving them spellbound.

Streamed over 15 million times on Spotify, NNAVY’s music has found a devoted following across the world. Her most recent EP, ’No Promises’, marks a new chapter on her musical journey, one that involves navigating fragility and empowerment. NNAVY’s powerful voice continues to establish her as one of the most exciting and promising artists in the Soul/R&B scene.

nnavymusic.com

Mentor: TBA

Noémi Büchi

Noémi Büchi © Brigitte Faessler

Noémi Büchi is a Franco-Swiss composer and sound artist who creates electronic and symphonic maximalism. Her music is defined by a delicate synthesis of textural rhythms and electroacoustic and orchestral abstraction. She explores the potential of consonance and dissonance, contrasts rhythmic physicality with disruption and emphasises irregularities, creating an expansive listening experience marked by detail and elevation. Difficult to place, her music sits somewhere between academic and popular, classical and underground, sound design and film music.

She has already been invited to prestigious national and international festivals, including Ars Electronica in Linz (AT), Romaeuropa Festival in Rome (IT), where she opened for Ben Frost, Maintenant Festival in Rennes (FR), Linecheck in Milan (IT) and Stadtsommer in Zurich (CH).

Her third album will be released by OUS Records in spring 2024. This label also released her previous albums (’Matter’ and ’Hyle’) as well as the first album of Musique Infinie, a collaboration between Noémi Büchi and the Swiss-Italian composer and installation artist Feldermelder.

noemibuchi.net

Mentor: Aïsha Devi

Julian Sartorius

Julian Sartorius © Nicole Pfister

Drummer, percussionist and artist Julian Sartorius uses his music to create new bodies of sound. Trained at Berne and Lucerne’s jazz schools by instrumentalists such as Fabian Kuratli, Pierre Favre and Norbert Pfammatter, he quickly developed his very own approach to music. His precise, complex and rhythmic patterns explore the possibilities of organic sound production. The sounds he discovers in found objects and reworked instruments are reminiscent of the vocabulary of experimental electronic music.

Sartorius has released several solo albums and produced audiovisual works. He has collaborated with many artists, most recently with Sophie Hunger, Sylvie Courvoisier, Gyda Valtysdottir, Dimlite, Shahzad Ismaily and Dan Carey. His percussion work features on albums by Kae Tempest, Matthew Herbert and Jameszoo. He performs live in clubs and galleries as well as at festivals.

juliansartorius.com

Mentor: Daniel “Duex” Fontana

The call for applications for the 2024-2026 edition of Fast Forward will open in July 2024. The artists will be selected by an international jury.

During the two-year programme, the selected artists may still apply to Pro Helvetia’s regular support measures, such as International presence  or Recording & international tour, as well as for all other types of support.