What is BELEM?

BELEM is an European Union (EU) funded initiative that has been granted €2 million in funding through the Creative Europe Programme (CREA). It will drive new revenue streams to key players in the music industry by promoting European lyrics and the translations of these lyrics, alongside their monetisation.

BELEM include .MUSIC, AMAEI, Bardis, Broma 16, Deezer, Fleepit, Independent Digital, Lusitanian Music Publishing, LyricFind, Mars Music, Metatron, Nord University, RUNDA, Unison Rights and Zebralution.

What are the three BELEM Open Calls?

The BELEM Co-Creation calls are open under the BELEM project. One is for publishers to suggest European works to be translated; the second is for publishers to present full projects including works they want to translate, writers involved etc.; and the third is for writers or translators to put themselves forward to translating works. (These calls are not to be confused with the Co-Production call for the recording of translated works, that will open later in the next phase of the project).

What is the purpose of these Open Calls?

The purpose of the calls is to assist with the funding of 10 projects per year, in 2023 and 2024, so that more European Songs can be translated from one language to other, increasing cross-border collaborations between songwriters and ensuring that the songs are better understood across Europe.

Who can participate in the Open Calls?

Publishers can make suggestions for their works for to translated in Open Call I; Publishers can propose projects in Open Call II; and writers and translators can apply via Open Call III.


I am a songwriter. How do I benefit?

Songwriters can get paid to co-write or translate songs into different languages. They can be hired by the publishers running the projects.

I am a publisher. How do I benefit?

Every time a song is translated, Publishers have a new work in their repertoire that is increasing their earning potential in another country and in another language – potentially leading to new placements and new recordings by artists recording in that different language. So it multiplies international earnings.

Furthermore, LyricFind — one of the world’s leading lyrics licensing companies tracks lyric uses and pays songwriters and rights holders on a song-by-song and territory-by-territory basis — is involved in this project to also ensure publishers receive their digital lyric royalties.

Deezer is also part of BELEM, so when the songs are released (ie. this is the co-creation phase, but there will be Open Calls for co-production later on via AMAEI and RUNDA) they will push them via playlists etc.

Creative Europe, via BELEM, contributes 3000 € towards the publisher and writer costs and participating Publishers contribute 2000 € via pre-existing salaries for the staff running each project.

I am a passionate translator of songs into other languages. Can I participate here?

Yes, you can participate via Open Call III and put your CV forward. Then once a publisher is awarded a project that matches your languages of interest you will be contacted by the Steering Committee / Jury members.

How does the funding work?

Once a project is selected by the BELEM Steering Committee Members that make up the Jury, the selected Publishers will:

  • Receive €1,500 initial payment towards the project (no invoice is needed for project payments from the EU) upon signature of the Project Support Agreement
  • Undertake the project and create the new works
  • Provide financial reporting on project execution and demonstrate up to €5,000 expenditures (this is made up of €3,000 of EU in addition to €2,000 of financing from the publisher) according to the proposed project budget
  • Provide technical reporting on how the project was implemented, including delivering new lyrics (with optional demo recordings) and LyricFind — the lyrics licensing aggregator — timecoding in appropriate formats as per BELEM’s instructions, as well as accompanying proof of registration with the Publisher’s society of choice

Upon approval of the reporting, the second €1,500 will be paid to the Publisher.

What do I need to do to apply?

Fill out the form(s) on the page: https://belem.music/open-calls/ and propose a project describing what work(s) you want to translate and who is involved. For the first call you might suggest songs from your catalogue that you are keen to have translated; for the second call you need to describe your translation project in detail in order to apply for funding: What works, who will do the translation work, how you will record / produce demos, timeline etc. including a complete budget of what the project team and costs might be.

How does the selection process work?

All submissions that are technically eligible will be forwarded to the BELEM Steering Committee members that make up the Co-Creation Jury. They will analysize the submissions and make recommendations as to which projects are to be funded. This analysis will take into considerations different factors such as diversity of language and region, so as to ensure the available funding is distributed in a geographical equitable fashion.

When will I be notified if my project has been successful?

Depending on the number of applications, we expect to notify successful participants by March 31st, remaining under embargo until the public announcement at the Westway LAB Conference in Portugal on April 14th, 2023.

Can we translate existing works from any country or do they have to be from EU Member states?

Works must be from an EU Member state Publisher or Writer, and must be translated to and from European Languages. See list of Creative Europe countries for complete details.

How long will the project take?

Each project should be timelined with a duration from anywhere between 1 month to 9 months maximum.

How many works can be translated? Can It be a few works?

The only constraint is the budget, so it depends on how far publishers can stretch it – any number of works can be translated into any number of EU languages.

Can I apply for the funds to finance a songwriting session I've already produced?

No, generally, funding is only applicable in EU projects for activities that are yet to unfold – part of the reasoning is to make the European Music Publishers more active in their post-Covid recovery.

Can songs written by non-EU artists (Americans, Africans etc.) be accepted?

They can be accepted if they are put forth by European publishers. However, the priority language-wise are the EU and Creative Europe languages spoken in the Creative Europe participating countries.

I regularly write songs which combine several languages. Can I apply here?

Absolutely! Multi-language songs are most welcome, as they can cross linguistic borders within the same song – even better if there are complete language translations of full versions in each language.

Do I have to search for a translator on my own or can you suggest someone?

Both. A publisher can already suggest someone, or we can look at the translators who are putting themselves forward and then the steering committee would put them together at the evaluation phase of the Open Call.

I have a label with a publishing division. Can I participate?

Yes, you can.

How will BELEM and the projects work together?

BELEM will coordinate not just the funding of the translated works but also assist with the registrations of the new works and lyrics, uploading the resulting new works to LyricFind for online lyric monetization. Furthermore, the translated works will be suggested works for recording in the next phase of the project, ie. Co-Production.

The projects also need to report to BELEM how their implementation is executed, and keep BELEM informed and aware of its outcomes prior to the final reporting of each project’s conclusion.

Who is running the Open Calls?

The BELEM partner leading on the Co-Creation calls is Lusitanian Music Publishing in Portugal.