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Memphis To Serve As Host For World's Largest Music Based Mental Health Project With UK Parliament & Liverpool Support

Lord Syed Kamall & BBC’s Claire Simmo at UK Parliament talk to program director Daniel Xander in Memphis.

Kevin Kane, Memphis Tourism CEO & Daniel Xander RTM program director in Memphis talk to Jon Keats live from the famous Cavern Club stage in Liverpool.

(Left to right) Beverley Robertson, Elizabeth Cawein, Regena Bearden, Caitlin Dean, Rachel Galloway, Dr Shamender Talwar, Pat Mitchell Worley, Kevin Kane, Anna Prior, Kevin Kern, Allison J. Fouche.


MEMPHIS, TN, UNITED STATES, June 6, 2023/ -- The global launch event live streamed to tens of thousands of viewers around the world, taking viewers from Memphis’s Stax Museum’s historic Studio A, to Liverpool and UK Parliament, London. This is the first time a US city has gone live to UK Parliament for a project of this nature.

The Unity of Faiths Foundation (TUFF), headquartered in Liverpool, England, proudly launched The Road to Memphis at the iconic Stax Museum of American Soul Music Friday morning, June 2, 2023. The Road to Memphis is an international song contest showcasing talent and emotional expression through music, simultaneously promoting mental health and providing access to free care sessions for musicians and songwriters.

TUFF conceived and launched the idea of a global and inclusive song contest that serves as a vehicle to showcase global music cities, while also promoting mental health within the music and creative community. Memphis is host city for year three of the competition following Liverpool in 2021 and Nashville in 2022. The contest is focused on creating connections to mental health through the contest while showcasing the unique sound and genres produced by the world’s elite music cities. Memphis has long been known as the Home of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, today the city is also known for its hip-hop and rap music scene, producing artists who are known around the world for their contributions to popular culture.

With The Road to Memphis, TUFF aims to discover original talent by shining a spotlight on the mental health needs of the music/creative community and beyond. Finalists in the song contest will perform in Memphis this November, 2023.

The inaugural song contest and event in 2022 had significant engagement that included submissions from 35 countries, 22,421 total song submissions, and more than 3,500 participants who requested and received mental health assistance, including 340 participants from Tennessee.

The standing-room-only crowd in Stax Museum’s Studio A was treated to leading influencers speaking in front of an impressive video wall staging the live streaming – including Lord Syed Kamall – House of Lords, UK Parliament; Mayor Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor City of Liverpool, Kevin Kane, President Memphis Tourism; Consul General Rachel Galloway, His Majesty's British Consulate – Atlanta; Beverly Robertson, Trust Marketing Memphis; Dr. Shamender Talwar & Anna Prior, Co-founders of TUFF; Pat Mitchell Worley, President & CEO, Soulsville Foundation; and Allison Fouche Chief Communications Office; Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s office; Jon Keats and Bill Heckle, directors of The Cavern Club; presented by program director Daniel Xander, TUFF's Creative Director.

The Road to Memphis launch event may be viewed here: and downloadable EPK link below.

Sponsors and supporters of the songwriting contest include: The City of Memphis, Memphis Tourism, Stax Museum of American Soul Music/Soulsville Foundation, The British Consulate - Atlanta, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Royal Studios, Arts Memphis, Liverpool City Council, BBC, UK House of Lords.

For more information or to submit a song for this global contest and mental health awareness project, please visit


Lord Syed Kamall House of Lords UK Parliament:
“Music tugs at your heartstrings. It touches and caresses your soul but also opens your mind. That really shows the power of music, particularly when we come to the issues of mental health.”

Rachel Galloway, His Majesty’s Consul General to South Eastern USA:
“I am excited to support The Road to Memphis songwriting contest as this initiative is a creative way to spotlight the very serious issue of mental health. As research shows, music can have a deep psychological impact and musical engagement can lead to positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes. Thanks to TUFF, Memphis Tourism, Stax Museum, City of Memphis, and other partners for all their efforts in bringing this project together!”

Dr Shamender Talwar & Anna Prior Co-Founders of TUFF:
“Music has the power to take away the stigma of mental health. This project saves lives and we will continue to do so and try to make sure no one slips through the net."

Pamela Lewis, FRSA, President PLA Media and TUFF Ambassador:
“In 2022, PLA was honored to launch TUFF’s first US based project, the successful global mental health/music initiative; The Road to Nashville. I am hoping The Road to Memphis elevates and spotlights this iconic music city while destigmatizing mental health issues and promoting worldwide healing and understanding.”

Kevin Kane, Memphis Tourism President & CEO:
“Memphis is a music destination, for music fans, artists, musicians, they are the lifeblood of our community and tourism industry. Music is our city’s global identity. When you think about the role that Memphis played in American culture, we exported our music all over the world.”

Beverly Robertson, Trust Marketing / Road to Memphis Ambassador
"Especially on the heels of the COVID pandemic, when we all had to adjust to another way of life, mental health checks have become so necessary for people from all walks of life, especially musicians. We hope this songwriting contest exceeds all of our expectations because we know this is a global problem shared by so many people."

Pat Mitchell Worley, President & CEO, Soulsville Foundation
"We offer professional mental health sessions for every child and family we work with at the Soulsville Foundation. We are accustomed to the challenges creatives often face starting at a very young age and, based on our years of work with our alumni, we know these issues can sometimes last for long periods of time. We are happy that the Stax Museum is able to give back in some small way because overcoming challenges is at the crux of the legacy of Stax Records."

Allison Fouche, City of Memphis
“In this ever evolving world, mental health awareness is always important to discuss and support. In our community we often stigmatize mental health.”

Pamela Lewis, FRSA
PLA Media
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