George Musgrave (academic)

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Dr

George Musgrave

NationalityBritish
OccupationAcademic
AwardsFellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge, University of East Anglia
Academic work
DisciplineCultural Sociology, Entrepreneurship, Popular music studies
InstitutionsGoldsmiths, University of London, University of Westminster
Notable worksCan Music Make You Sick? Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition
Musical career
Also known asContext / Context MC
Genres
Years active2008–2020
LabelsSony/ATV Music Publishing EMI Music Publishing

George Musgrave FRSA is an academic studying the psychological experiences and working conditions of creative careers, with a current focus on mental health and wellbeing in the music industry. He is based at Goldsmiths, University of London[1] and the University of Westminster.[2]

Musgrave is also a rapper and performs under the stage-name of Context. He released his debut mixtape Dialectics in 2008, Mental Breakdown Music in 2009, and the EPs Stealing My Older Brother's Tapes and Hindsight is the Purest Form of Romance in 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Musgrave went to Wymondham College from 2000 to 2005, and achieved a first-class degree in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge in 2009.[3] He then went on to do an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 2010 and completed his ESRC funded PhD at the Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia in 2014[4]

Academic career[edit]

He is the co-author of Can Music Make You Sick? alongside Sally Anne Gross. This two-part report published in 2016[5] and 2017,[6] and subsequent book in 2020[7] published by University of Westminster Press, examined the relationship between mental health conditions (principally anxiety and depression) and the nature of working in the music industry. The book draws on survey and interview data, alongside Jodi Dean's concept of communicative capitalism, to explore how digitalisation and a state of abundant musical production has changed the way in which musicians experience building a career. They suggest that musical ambition is based on a series of status' rooted in the nature of music as labour ('the status of work'), how value and reputation is acquired and understood ('the status of value') and the impact this comes to have on musicians' closest relationships ('the status of relationships'), and that each of these status' can come to harm the emotional and mental wellbeing of musicians.

The research - described as "the largest known study into mental health and the music industry"[8] - led directly to the establishment of the first 24/7 mental health helpline for musicians - Music Minds Matter[9] - launched by the charity Help Musicians UK in 2017. The research has informed the work of organisations including Communion (Berlin),[10] NHS Wales[11] and the Music Managers Forum,[12] and was supported by music industry figures including Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, Adam Ficek[13] and Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays.[14] Upon release, the book was an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller in the 'Sociology of Work' category.[15]

His research has been featured by media outlets including BBC News,[16] Pitchfork,[17] GQ,[18] The Financial Times,[19] BBC Music Introducing,[20] The New York Times[21] and more. Musgrave has also written articles on mental health for BBC Three[22] and Crack Magazine.[23] He has also published research on the ways in which cultural intermediaries create value for musical work,[24] mental health and wellbeing in the gig economy,[25] autoethnography as a qualitative research methodology for arts researchers,[26] the documentary Avicii – True Stories.,[27] defining cultural entrepreneurship,[28] and ethical decision-making by music managers.[29]

Music career[edit]

Musgrave began his career in music in 2008 under the stage-name Context whilst enrolled as a student. After releasing his debut mixtapes Dialectics in 2008 and Mental Breakdown Music in 2009, he gained some recognition for his 2010 single "Off with their Heads" which featured Vertex of Marvell and a cameo from Ed Sheeran. The video was featured on MTV.[30] He then released the single "Listening to Burial" in 2011 which was featured on BBC Radio 1's national playlist.[31]

In 2012, he was the winner of MTV's Brand New For 2012 unsigned competition, beating Clement Marfo, Charli XCX and Lana Del Rey on the channel's hotly tipped list.[32] Musgrave was recognised as a "brainy rapper" as he was currently studying his PhD whilst pursuing his rap career in 2012.[3] He released a "Fire in the Booth" freestyle with Charlie Sloth on 26 February 2012.[33] In 2013 he signed a worldwide publishing and songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Publishing/EMI Music Publishing.

He released his four-track EP, Stealing My Older Brother's Tapes in 2014 via free download.[34] It was noted for its intricate social commentary with samples from Goldie, Underworld and Altern8.[35] During this time released the song "Small Town Lad Sentiments" which went on to be remixed by Mike Skinner.[36] It was featured on Context's second EP, Hindsight is the Purest Form of Romance released later in 2014.

In 2015, Musgrave took a break from music to focus on his academic career. However, he returned in 2018 to release the single "Better Than This".[37] This was followed by the single "Take Me Back" in 2019 which featured Great Skies.

Publications[edit]

  • Gross, S & Musgrave, G (2016) Can Music Make You Sick? A Study Into the Incidence of Musicians' Mental Health - Part 1: Pilot Survey Report, Help Musicians UK/MusicTank
  • Gross, S & Musgrave, G (2017) Can Music Make You Sick? A Study Into the Incidence of Musicians' Mental Health - Part 2: Qualitative Study and Recommendations, Help Musicians UK/MusicTank
  • Musgrave, G (2017) Collaborating to Compete: The Role of Cultural Intermediaries in Hypercompetition, International Journal of Music Business Research, Vol.6(2), pp. 41–68
  • Gross, S., Musgrave, G & Janciute, L (2018) Well-Being and Mental Health in the Gig Economy: Policy Perspectives on Precarity, CAMRI Policy Briefs, University of Westminster Press
  • Musgrave, G (2019) Making Sense of My Creativity: Reflecting On Digital Autoethnography, Journal of Artistic and Creative Education, Vol.13(1), pp. 1–11
  • Musgrave, G (2020) Avicii: True Stories - Review, Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, Vol.12(1), pp. 94–97
  • Gross, S & Musgrave, G (2020) Can Music Make You Sick? Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition, University of Westminster Press
  • Athanassiou, D & Musgrave, G (2021) Building a Heavy Metal World: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Polish People's Republic, Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Vol.10(1), pp. 1–19
  • Chaparro, G & Musgrave, G (2021) Moral Music Management: Ethical Decision-Making After Avicii, International Journal of Music Business Research, Vol.10(1), pp. 1–14
  • Musgrave, G (2022) Lessons from the Loss of Avicii: Business Ethics, Responsibility, and Mental Wellbeing, SAGE Business Cases, Sage Publications Ltd
  • Leisewitz, A, Musgrave, G & Franklin, M (2022) SHAPESLewisham and the Shape of Lewisham: Connectivity, Communication and Construction in a Creative Enterprise Zone, Goldsmiths (University of London)/Mayor of London Project Report
  • Musgrave, G (2022) 'Losing Work, Losing Purpose': Representations of Musicians' Mental Health in Time of Covid-19, in, Morrow, G, Tschmuck, P; Nordgard, D (eds) Rethinking the Music Business: Music Contexts, Rights, Data and COVID-19, Springer, pp. 11-28
  • Leisewitz, A & Musgrave, G (2022) Does Spotify Create Attachment? Algorithmic Playlists, Intermediation and the Artist-Fan Relationship, Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, 14(1), pp. 75-100
  • Musgrave, G (2022) Music and Wellbeing vs Musicians' Wellbeing: Examining the Paradox of Music-Making Positively Impacting Wellbeing, but Musicians Suffering from Poor Mental Health, Cultural Trends
  • Musgrave, G (2023) Musicians, their Relationships, and their Wellbeing: Creative Labour, Relational Work, Poetics, 96, 101762
  • Loveday, C, Musgrave, G & Gross, S (2023) Predicting anxiety, depression and wellbeing in professional and non-professional musicians, Psychology of Music, 51(2), pp. 508-522
  • Musgrave, G, Howard, C, Schofield, A, Silver, E & Tibber, M (2023) Mental health and the music industry: An evolving intervention landscape, The Lancet Psychiatry, 10(5), pp. 311-313
  • Musgrave, G (2024, forthcoming) The England No One Cares About: Lyrics from Suburbia, MIT Press/Goldsmiths Press

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • 2008: Dialectics
  • 2009: Mental Breakdown Music
  • 2014: Stealing My Older Brother's Tapes
  • 2014: Hindsight is the Purest Form of Romance

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dr George Musgrave". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Musgrave, George | University of Westminster, London". www.westminster.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b Wilkes, Joe (12 January 2012). "MTV win heralds big things for Norwich rapper, Context". Norwich Evening News.
  4. ^ "Dr George Musgrave". Goldsmiths, University of London.
  5. ^ "Untitled-1" (PDF). Gross, S & Musgrave, G (2016) Can Music Make You Sick? A study into the incidence of musicians’ mental health - Part 1: Pilot Survey Report, Help Musicians UK/MusicTank.
  6. ^ "Gross & Musgrave (2017) Can Music Make You Sick Pt2.pdf" (PDF). Gross, S & Musgrave, G (2017) Can Music Make You Sick? A study into the incidence of musicians’ mental health - Part 2: Qualitative Study and Recommendations, Help Musicians UK/MusicTank.
  7. ^ Gross, Sally Anne; Musgrave, George (29 September 2020). Can Music Make You Sick?. University of Westminster Press. doi:10.16997/book43. ISBN 978-1-912656-62-2. S2CID 224842613.
  8. ^ "Our Research". Music Minds Matter. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Music Minds Matter". Music Minds Matter. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  10. ^ "About". communion. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Mental Health Problems | CPD for General Practitioners". gpcpd.heiw.wales. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Mental Health Guide Digital" (PDF). MMF and Music Support Present: The Music Managers Guide to Mental Health.
  13. ^ Can Music Make You Sick? Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition - Goldsmiths Research Online. University of Westminster Press. 29 September 2020. ISBN 9781912656646.
  14. ^ "Happy Mondays' singer Shaun Ryder supports mental health in music campaign". The Bolton News. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Can Music Make You Sick? out now on Twitter: "Very hyped! Mine and @SallySharp's book on mental health and the music industry - 'Can Music Make You Sick?' - is now a Number 1 Best Seller on Amazon. Unreal. Thank you to everyone pre-ordering. What a buzz"".
  16. ^ "Can music make you sick?". BBC News. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  17. ^ Hogan, Marc (2 November 2016). "Musicians Way More Likely to Be Depressed and Anxious, Study Shows". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Who really killed Avicii?". British GQ. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Can music damage your health?". www.ft.com. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  20. ^ "BBC Music Introducing in Norfolk - Can Music Make You Sick: The Pitfalls of the Music Industry - BBC Sounds". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  21. ^ Marshall, Alex (26 January 2018). "A Listening Ear for Musicians in Need (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  22. ^ Context, M. C. (4 November 2016). "IMHO: Could working in music be bad for your health?". BBC Three. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Records to Research: A personal journey with music and mental health". Crack Magazine. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  24. ^ Musgrave, George. "Collaborating to Compete: The role of cultural intermediaries in hypercompetition". International Journal of Music Business Research. 6: 41–68.
  25. ^ Gross, Sally-Anne; Musgrave, George; Janciute, Laima (8 August 2018). Well-Being and Mental Health in the Gig Economy. University of Westminster Press. doi:10.16997/book32. ISBN 978-1-911534-91-4. S2CID 169795226.
  26. ^ Musgrave, George. "Making Sense of My Creativity: Reflecting on Digital Autoethnography". Journal of Artistic and Creative Education. 13: 1–11.
  27. ^ Musgrave, George. "Avicii: True Stories - Review". Dancecult Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. 12: 94–97.
  28. ^ Athanassiou, Dominic; Musgrave, George (13 April 2021). "Building a Heavy Metal World". Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. 10 (1). doi:10.34053/artivate.10.1.111. ISSN 2164-7747. S2CID 234841551.
  29. ^ Chaparro, Gerardo; Musgrave, George (April 2021). "Sciendo" (PDF). International Journal of Music Business Research. 10 (1): 3–16. doi:10.2478/ijmbr-2021-0001. S2CID 233873212.
  30. ^ "MTV success for Norwich rapper Context MC". BBC News. 4 March 2011.
  31. ^ "Context MC chosen for BBC Radio 1 Introducing playlist". BBC News. 22 September 2011.
  32. ^ "MC Context tops MTV 'brand new' list". www.prsformusic.com.
  33. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - 1Xtra's Rap Show with Charlie Sloth, Context!, Fire in the Booth - Context!".
  34. ^ "Context – Stealing My Older Brother's Tapes". 9 April 2014.
  35. ^ "Context". Music-News.com.
  36. ^ "Context – Small Town Lad Sentiments (Mike Skinner Remix): New music". The Guardian. 18 September 2013.
  37. ^ "Better Than This" – via open.spotify.com.