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40: Let POP IN THE POOL be your go-to Liverpool pop music guide...

Atomic Kitten, Rebecca Ferguson, Mic Lowry... some INCREDIBLE pop music trailblazers that've come out of the Liverpool music scene over the past few decades - but where do we look for new pop talent in the area? We met up with POP IN THE POOL, a community organisation set up by Giorgia Bortoli, in hopes to shed some light on the incredible up-and-coming pop artists in Liverpool, and how nurturing this timeless genre of music is vital in a fast-paced industry...


1. What is Pop in the Pool, and what does it mean to you?

Pop in the Pool is a non-profit promotional organisation that is dedicated to putting on live music events to showcase independent pop music artists in Liverpool. As a pop artist myself, I have seen first hand the lack of inclusion of the pop music genre in the independent music scene and wanted to make a change; not only to help my own career but to help those other pop artists I was meeting and having the same conversations with about the lack of inclusion. Pop in the Pool started off as a little mad idea that I had, and has expanded into a real life project that I hope will continue to expand and grow. It means so much to me as an artist that there is a dedicated space for us and I hope it will come to mean a lot to the artists we showcase as well.

2. Why is a diversity of genres important within local music scenes, specifically Liverpool?

There are many genres of music in the world, and within this city. However as a gig goer, I am only seeing and hearing a handful of those genres; mainly indie, acoustic and rock music. As a city of culture, and in the past Capital of Culture, I feel that diversity should be represented within the local music scene. It's important that everyone feels represented, seen and heard. I felt that as a pop artist that wasn't happening and it was difficult to get my foot in the door as I feel a lot of people have preconceived feelings about the pop genre, but pop is the biggest music genre in the world so why is there not already a space in the local music scene for it? If you're making the music you're making, there is always gonna be a group of people who like your genre and sound.

3. What's been the highlight of Pop in the Pool so far?

Pop in the Pool only started at the end of 2023, even though this idea has been circulating in my brain since 2022. Our first highlight would be all the messages we've had from artists asking to take part, and that they too have found it really hard to find a space accepting of pop music. These kinds of messages take away the imposter syndrome that we all get! If you're starting a space that is filling the lack of representation, then there will always be interest because there has never been a dedicated space for it.

4. Tell us about your upcoming plans and events!...

Our first gig will be held on Thursday 22nd February from 8pm till late at The Arts Bar Hope Street. This is a non ticketed event and completely free to attend. We do want to encourage our audience to tip our artists in our bedazzled tip bucket and QR codes that will be dotted around the venue. All profits will be split equally between all our acts. As an artist myself I'm used to doing gigs and events for free, and with Pop in the Pool I wanted to be able to compensate my artists and hope that with the event being free people will show their appreciation by tipping. We hope to have events every 3 months to start off with and the dream would be to hold a Pop in the Pool event every month.

5. Where can you see Pop in the Pool 5 years from now?

In 5 years time, I can see Pop in the Pool hosting shows once or twice a month in larger venues. Hopefully being able to keep the events free or at a very minimal costs so that the events are open for everyone at any economic stance. I also hope that we will have an expansive roster of pop artists and bands to be able to put on different line ups every month so that everyone can get a chance to share their talent.


If you're new to these 'spotlight' style interviews (go check out Review No. 36 with Malantmedia!), then we like to play a quick question game with all of our local creatives... so here are POP IN THE POOL'S TOP CHOICES!:

Top 3 Local Venues

Arts Bar hope street, Future Yard and EBGB's

Top 3 Singles of 2023

Concept of Love - Cheery (who will be playing 22/02/24)

Infamous & Dangerous - MARiMARi

Spellbound - Giorgia Bortoli (had to plug myself!)

Top 3 Upcoming Artists

Harry Paynter


Salwa Bea

Top 3 Independent Businesses

Jade Mautdodd (small business) 

SKAUS (cafe/bakery)

The Retro Room (shop that represents local artists)

Top 3 Gigs You've Ever Been To

LIZZO Special Tour

Women in Music Showcase - Wherearethegirlbands X Big Condo



There we have it... a zoom in on all the amazing works and ideas that make up POP IN THE POOL. Be sure to give them a follow over on @popinthepool, and head over to Arts Bar Hope Street on 22nd February to see what it's all about in person!

Review No. 40

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

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