The MIL Academies are a training project that combines an artistic creation residency with the learning and development of a strategic and business plan. It is aimed at artists and early-career music industry professionals living in Portugal, prioritising participants from the regions where the Academies take place.

Its programme consists of an online training by ARDA Academy, which focuses on the themes of record publishing, distribution and publishing, communication, pitching and presenting ideas, booking and circulation and project management and business plans. This is followed by a week of in-person training, where the artists come together to develop at least one theme, with the guidance of a music producer, and the professionals develop the business plan for the launch of the project in residence.


MIL’s first academies happened in Leiria and Ponta Delgada from November 27 until December 2, gathering 8 artists and 8 professionals.

In Ponta Delgada, the MIL Academies gave rise to Mercalli Dream, a product of cross-pollination between the sonic aesthetics of Cláudia Fernandes (CLAUTHEWITCH), João Melo (The Quiet Bottom), Maria Carolina, and Pedro Pavão (Sir.Kasmo). Their producer was Elliott Sheedy.

Their sound combines seismic anxiety with melancholic enchantment, resulting in a new musical genre called “lagoon gaze,” with roots intimately connected to the territory of São Miguel. Mercalli Dream will be released by TECTÓNICA, a record label created in the context of the academies by the participating professionals (Aline Camargo, Diogo Medeiros and Henriques Lopes Valença) with the guidance of educator Márcio Laranjeira. The business plan developed for the release of the band’s first single can be found here

In Leiria, from the MIL Academies, SAFRA is born. Under the guidance of producer Nuno Rancho, Francis Salema, FeMa, Lisa Sereno, and Malinwa deconstruct the Portuguese folk repertoire, filter it through bold contemporary pop and electronic elements, and reconstruct it on delicate instrumental layers.

SAFRA is released by palmapluma, an independent creative production company created by the participating professionals ( (Filipa Antão, Mariana Lois, Rúben Lopes and Sara Fernandes) with the guidance of João Silva that fosters interdisciplinary dialogue between music, words, and visuals. This provides fertile ground for artistic creation, expression, and dissemination that transcends conventional borders and labels. Their business plan can be found here