Brexit news latest: Now it’s UK musicians who are ‘terrified’ at the prospect of leaving EU

Emerging British musicians are “terrified” at how Brexit will impact their ability to reach European audiences.

Artists fear promoters across the EU are already hesitant to support UK acts amid the continued political uncertainty in Westminster.

One of them, London-based rapper Ben Hunter, said he is growing increasingly nervous about how he will be able to reach his growing European fan base.

The 29-year-old told the Standard: “As an independent musician, I’m unable to put on big tours on a shoestring budget and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is terrifying.

Rapper Ben Hunter is “nervous” about how Brexit will affect his ability to tour (Ben Hunter)

“I’m nervous about the extra cost and the restrictions to the different places I can go and work.”

Mr Hunter, who currently works a day job as a business development manager at a software company, has been performing as a warm-up act at university events in the UK.

But his new single “Hope” has been streamed 70,000 times on Spotify, with his primary audience in European countries rather than Britain.

He continued: “I’m trying to get out and do everything to spread the music, but Brexit is going to make it much harder for me to do that.

“For big artists with big budgets and labels behind them, it would not be such an issue. But for smaller artists, the ability to work as well as visas, taxes, other members of your team, healthcare and insurance… it’s very uncertain at the moment.

“The uncertainty makes it a bit depressing and makes you think what is the point if you never get to do these things.”

Mr Hunter has a new single coming out on Wednesday with the album “Belief” to follow in February. He had hoped to do a “mini-tour” of the areas where his music was getting picked up the most.

“But that is all up in the air now,” he said. “I’m doing it all myself so in order for a promoter to give me a reasonable shot, it’s a big risk.

“In Europe, they are not looking at anyone else externally at the moment because they do not know how this contract will look.”

Singer Emma Bradley, who released debut single “Her” in the summer, also shared her fears about the impact of Brexit on UK artists.

The 21-year-old said: “Further in my career I would love to do a European tour, so it is a shame that the industry could be negatively affected.

“I find the whole Brexit situation so depressing and I now just try to keep away from it although you cannot escape it. It is absolutely everywhere.”

Bryony Palmer, from music marketing agency Burstimo, said: “By making it harder to travel freely in and out of the UK, musicians are missing out on huge audiences, which will essentially stunt their ability to grow as an artist and build on their fan base.”

Ms Palmer added it’s not just the musicians who are “hesitant”, but everyone in the industry.

“Until we know what is happening for sure, everything is up in the air,” she said.

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