YouTube Music Launches New scholarship Opportunities to Help Black Artists Thrive
YouTube Music has announced to expand its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund scholarship to include songwriters and producers ahead of the 2022 application phase.
The fund aims to enable black artists to commercialise their work, and applications for the next class will open on 21 June. Black artists residing in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and the US are eligible to apply, and the fund has also been expanded to black artists in Canada and the UK.
“The YouTube Music team is excited to expand the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and create new opportunities while also reflecting on the progress made to date,” YouTube EMEA managing director for emerging markets Alex Okosi said. “The six-month scholarship term will see recipients undertake courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and much more.”
The inaugural class of 2021(link is external) saw 21 grantees, including Sho Madjozi, Sauti Sol, and Fireboy DML, get resources such as dedicated one-on-one support, seed funding, training and networking programmes, to enable them to grow their careers. Some of the achievements include hosting exclusive live-streamed concerts and significant growth in some official artist’s channel subscribers, among others.
Additionally, the company, in partnership with 1500 Sound Academy(link is external), says it is launching another initiative called YouTube Black Music Future Insiders Scholarship. Through the fund, YouTube will support 10 full scholarships to the Academy’s Live Online 1500 Music and Industry Fundamentals programme.
The 1500 Sound Academy was founded by Grammy Award-winning songwriters and producers James Fauntleroy and Larrance ‘Rance’ Dopson. Future Insiders aims to equip at-risk and underserved youth, who aspire to enter the music and creative industries. If successful, YouTube says the initiative will be expanded globally, with more details to be shared later this year.
The announcement adds to YouTube’s commitment to marginalised and underrepresented communities.
Launched in May 2005, YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community, which allows billions of people to discover, watch and share videos. Last week, the platform said that it had paid the music industry more than $4 billion in the past 12 months, putting its total lifetime payouts to artists at more than $16bn.