Paris, 02 March 2015 Midem today announces that Epic Records’ Chairman and CEO, L.A. Reid and Natalia Nastaskin, CEO, The Agency Group USA, are to join the prestigious Artistic Committee of the first edition of the Midem Artist Accelerator talent programme at Midem 2015.

In partnership with Pepsi and Deezer, the Midem Artist Accelerator is designed to fast-track budding musical talent into the global spotlight with both industry and international audiences.

Response to the inaugural Midem Artist Accelerator has been massive, with 470 artists and groups submitting entries. With 50 countries represented, the Midem Artist Accelerator has drawn interest from around the world and inspired talent from all musical genres.

Submissions for the inaugural edition have come from all tiers of the industry, including management companies – Ignition, Logan Media Entertainment, Red Light, ATC; indie and major labels – Sub Pop, Ninja Tune, WARP, Sony Music, Universal Music, GUM, Because Music, Transgressive; booking agencies – CAA, WME, The Agency Group, , Windish Agency, Primary Talent International, ATC Live, Pitch&Smith, Live Nation, Four Artists, Coda, Breakout, Alias Production – indie and major publishers – Sony ATV, Warner Chapell, BMI, Kobalt; – and, of course, artists themselves.

The twelve promising young artists/groups picked by the Artistic Committee will be announced at the end of March and will all get to play live on Midem’s main open-air stage in Cannes, as well as benefit from a tailored professional programme onsite, including entry to selected conferences, coaching sessions with industry mentors and networking opportunities with key players from the international Midem community.

“L.A Reid is one of the most talented producers, songwriters and label executives in the industry with an innate sense of major talent and has some of the best ears in the music business. Natalia Nastaskin is well known for her amazing career in discovering and representing talent. The quality of the Artistic Committee jury members, associated with the support of such major global brands as Pepsi and Deezer, gives this new initiative an incredible launching pad. For its inaugural edition, I am delighted with the number, geographic diversity and quality of submissions we received for the programme,” says Bruno Crolot, Director of Music Markets, Reed MIDEM.

As a record producer, songwriter and label executive, Antonio “L.A.” Reid has been a key figure in shaping the sound and experience of popular music for over 25 years. Since taking the helm at Epic in 2011, Reid has spearheaded the rebirth of one of the record industry’s most storied labels, with an artist roster that includes Sade, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Kongos, Fiona Apple, Future, Modest Mouse, Sara Bareilles, Tamar Braxton, Avril Lavigne, Ciara, Fifth Harmony, A Great Big World, Janelle Monae’s “Wondaland Records” and Meghan Trainor.

As the former head of Island Def Jam Music Group and before that Arista, he has helped to nurture or revitalize the careers of numerous global superstars, including Mariah Carey, Kanye West, JAY-Z, Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Usher, the Killers, Ludacris, Fall Out Boy, Ne-Yo, Pink, OutKast, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Bieber, to name a few.

Natalia Nastaskin heads The Agency Group USA, the world’s leading live music booking agency, and is currently the only female CEO atop a global talent agency. The Agency Group has more than 2,200 artists on its books, including many of the most recognizable, trailblazing names in the entertainment industry across all musical genres, such as The Black Keys, Guns N’ Roses, Muse, Moby, Dolly Parton, and Stromae.

Under Nastaskin’s leadership, The Agency Group has established strategic alliances with companies like Bandsintown and PledgeMusic, founded a brand integration division, a dedicated college booking division, and a global corporate and events division.

Other members of the Artistic Committee include legendary producer and promoter Harvey Goldsmith who explains that “The Midem Artist Accelerator is a fantastic opportunity to detect and help promising new talent move their career to a global level.” Fellow Committee member and veteran promoter Rob Hallett, who just announced the launch of his new company Robomagic, adds “I have long held the view that there is talent all over the world who do not get a fair chance due to their geographical location.  I’m always happy to play the mentor role. More veterans of our business should do so.” Further Committee members include Will Botwin, President & CEO of Red Light Management and ATO Records; Christopher Kaskie, President and Founder of the Pitchfork stable; Mathieu Jaton, CEO of the Montreux Jazz Festival; Fruzsina Szép, Director of Festival Coordination & Public Affairs at Hörstmann Unternehmensgruppe; Frank Cooper III, Chief Marketing Officer of co-sponsor PepsiCo Global Beverages Group; and Delphine Ferré, VP International Artist Marketing at co-sponsor Deezer.

Organised by Reed MIDEM, Midem takes place in Cannes, France, from June 5-8 in 2015.

About Midem – Midem is the leading international b2b event dedicated to the new music ecosystem, with a market, conferences, competitions, networking events and a festival. It’s the place where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands & talents come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people & music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections. www.midem.com