Beggars Group Founder Martin Mills Is Honoured by the Music Producers Guild

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Martin Mills, the founder and chairman of Beggars Group, has been named by the Music Producers Guild as the 2012 recipient of its Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award.

The award will be presented to Martin Mills at the MPG 2012 Awards, which take place on February 16th next year at the Café de Paris in London.

Steve Levine, chairman of MPG, says: "The Outstanding Contribution Award acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution over a long period of time to the success of the UK music recording industry. This may be a producer or engineer, but it can equally be a manager, an A&R person or even a great artist.

“We have chosen Martin as our 2012 recipient because he has always adopted the philosophy of putting artists first. Artists signed to Beggars Group are given the time and freedom to develop and are supported every step of the way. In our industry it is rare to find a record company chairman who is so determined to release quality music that he is prepared to put creativity above profits, and for this reason we applaud him.”

As Europe’s largest independent record label network, Beggars Group has its roots in the Beggars Banquet record shop, which Martin Mills founded in 1973 in London’s Earls Court. When the punk movement erupted in 1976, the shop became a mecca for aspiring anarchists and Mills was soon approached by punk band The Lurkers to release their first single. He rose to the challenge and within weeks the single was No. 31 in the charts.

Over subsequent years, Mills signed more bands and released more music, helping to kick start the careers of numerous artists including Gary Numan, The Fall, The Cult and the Charlatans.

Over the years the company developed its structure to become an umbrella group of record labels. These now include the iconic indie label 4AD, which it owns outright, and Matador, Rough Trade and XL Recordings, in which it has a 50% stake. Artists represented by those labels now include Adele, Vampire Weekend, Pixies, Bon Iver, Cat Power and Antony and the Johnsons.

Martin Mills happily admits that he has no formal business training and maintains that he runs the Beggars Group on ‘gut feeling and instinct’ rather than any kind of formal procedure. His labels have the autonomy to sign their own artists, but he personally signs every cheque and every contract.

Alongside his role as Beggars Group chairman, Mills is a director of both UK and European independent music bodies AIM and IMPALA, a founding member of similar US and Worldwide organisations A2IM and WIN, a director of Merlin and PPL and a former director of VPL and BPI. He has also been part of the Government Music Industry Forum and chaired ‘Consumers Call The Tune’, the Department of Culture’s report into the Digital Music Industry.

As sponsors of the MPG Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, industry organisation PPL says it is delighted that Martin Mills has been chosen as the 2012 recipient.

Fran Nevrkla Chairman and CEO, PPL said, “Having known Martin and having worked closely with him for over 30 years, I cannot think of a more worthy recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award. His passion for the industry and especially for music and all things creative is legendary which is demonstrated by his phenomenal success over the last three decades. His personal integrity is also beyond reproach and it is hardly surprising that he commands so much respect and has become one of the most highly regarded and influential music industry figures. I offer my sincere congratulations and compliments to Martin on behalf of all of us at PPL and VPL and indeed on behalf of all his friends and colleagues everywhere.”

The Music Producers Guild Awards are now in their fourth year and are firmly established as a must-attend industry event. Last year’s Awards attracted more than 300 stars and music industry VIPs who turned out in force to celebrate the enormous contribution that recording professionals make to the success of the UK’s music industry. In 2012, the MPG is once again collaborating with the BRITS to present the winner of its Producer of the Year category with a BRIT Award for Best Producer.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event and any company that would like to play a part should contact Sadie Groom at Bubble & Squeak. Telephone: +44 (0) 01442 877 850. Email:


About Music Producers Guild (UK):

The Music Producers Guild was conceived and is supported by producers and engineers who are passionate about all aspects of making and recording music. It is a not for profit company and is run by volunteers from the membership. Formed as a Guild rather than a Trade Association, MPG has no party political agenda, but does represent the professional recording community to Government and actively engages with other music industry organisations, to develop a dialogue about and exert an influence on matters of mutual interest and benefit to its members and its industry. The achievements of this creative community are celebrated each year through the MPG Awards event.