A POPULAR Largs musician is top of the pops after securing a prestigious funding award.

Brownbear’s Matt Hickman was one of only 25 artists across the UK to receive a £3,000 grant from the MOBO Help Musicians Fund.

The cash aims to help musicians fund innovative ideas to help them survive at a difficult time - with Matt putting the money towards a very special project.

He said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for me to get the support and it’s a huge boost for my confidence as an artist.

“As the creative industries are suffering, a lifeline like this is essential and allows me to try out something new.

“I don’t want to go down the traditional route of making a single or record, so I’m going to do a visual based project instead.

“I thought it would be a good idea because it is a way to get into the film and video side of things and keep my options open.”

Matt wants the video to highlight talent from multiple creative industries across Scotland, with a focus on showing diverse faces on and off the screen.

The musician is hopeful of shooting the video locally, but is not yet ready to reveal full details about what he hopes to capture on camera.

He explained: “I’m keeping things close to my chest just now but it’s going to be focussed on being an engaging, visually immersive video.

“It’s going to be a bit more and a bit bigger than an average music video, I want to re-engage with people following lockdown.

“The band and I don’t have the ability to do that through a live show, so we need to find a new way of capturing audiences' attention.

“If I can do that through the screen then that would be great. I am very excited.”

Matt believes the fund is a huge vote of confidence in the industry at a time when it has struggled for leadership and support.

He said: “The fund is a great opportunity for musicians and makes us feel like we have worth and have something to give to communities and society.

“Live shows aren’t coming back any time soon but we still want to be active and creative - this fund will allow us to do that.

“Help Musicians has been one of the beacons for the industry throughout the pandemic and it is a great honour to be deemed worthy of this funding.”