Backline names accelerator cohort

Three musicians receive $20,000 grants

Klassik, REYNA and Kaylee Crossfire, the spring 2019 cohort of Backline.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:09 pm

Musician accelerator program Backline has named the three musical acts selected for its spring cohort, each of which will receive a $20,000 grant.

The participants, who began the 12-week program in April, were selected from among 227 applicants. Backline, offered by 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor, provides mentorship, connections and funding in the hopes of helping the musicians gain national exposure.

The Milwaukee musicians selected are:

  • Kaylee Crossfire, a singer, songwriter and rapper who has opened for Tink and Snow Tha Product, and has toured around the country. She also has appeared in commercials and on TV show “Chicago P.D.”
  • Klassik, a rapper, multi-instrumentalist, producer and performer who is known for his personal storytelling and unique falsetto. Klassik’s grant is co-presented by Lyft.
  • REYNA, a sister duo that debuted in 2016 with “Spill Your Colors,” which was streamed 20,000 times the day it was released. Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos were formerly known as Vic & Gab, with one of the songs they created under that moniker included on MTV’s “Skins.”

The artists have been introduced to songwriters, and to music executives in Milwaukee and Los Angeles. They will also travel to New York City in June to meet more music professionals and national recording artists. And they are making music in the studio. Backline will help them form 12-month plans for their careers, as well as financial counseling and personal training.

Backline will also hold a fall cohort in its second year, with applications opening in July.

“Backline has received over 560 applications between its two programs,” said Mag Rodriguez, Backline program director. “We now have three of the city’s best artists participating in the same cohort and can only imagine the talent that will surface in the fall program.”

All the artists from the spring and fall cohorts will perform together on Dec. 14 at Turner Hall Ballroom.

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