YouTube Music is deepening investments in Black communities by opening applications to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022, aimed at enabling black artists to commercialise their work.
Grant applications for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 will open on 21 June 2021. Eligibility has been expanded to include songwriters and producers, allowing black artists residing in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada and the UK, in addition to the U.S., Brazil and Australia, to apply.
YouTube Music is also launching a new partnership with renowned music education institution, 1500 Sound Academy, founded by GRAMMY-award winning songwriters and producers, James Fauntleroy and Larrance “Rance” Dopson. Through the inaugural #YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship, YouTube will fund ten full ride scholarships to the Academy’s Live Online 1500 Music & Industry Fundamentals programme.
“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,” says Alex Okosi, YouTube’s EMEA managing director for emerging markets. “The six-month scholarship term will see recipients undertake courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and much more,” he adds.
Through the inaugural Class of 2021, the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund provided resources including dedicated one-on-one support, seed funding, training and networking programs enabling the 21 grantees achieve incredible growth, not only on YouTube, but in their careers. Some of these achievements include:
- From January 2021 through April 2021, the class collectively received 1.4B views on their official artist channels
- Six artists saw over 50% growth in official artist channel subscribers (Joy Oladokun, Miiesha, BRS Kash, Jensen McRae, serpent with feet, and Yung Baby Tate)
- Four artists saw 200% growth on their official artist channel views (serpentwithfeet, Jensen McRae, Yung Baby Tate, and Joy Oladokun)
- As part of YouTube Music’s Africa Month celebration, Sho Madjozi, Sauti Sol, and Fireboy DML, hosted exclusive live stream virtual concerts on each of their Official Artist Channels
- Rexx Life Raj, Joy Oladokun, and Tkay Maidza performed at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event
- Mariah The Scientist performed an exclusive live set for YouTube Music Nights from Center Stage in Atlanta, in support of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)
Future Insiders aims to equip at-risk and underserved youth, who aspire to enter the music and creative industries, with skills on content development. Following the program’s early success, Future Insiders will be expanded globally with more details to be shared later this year.
Moreover, to celebrate Black culture, YouTube Music has activated #YouTubeMusic Moments – a collection of content series, live streams, and events whose primary goal is to celebrate Black culture, identity, and experiences from the perspective of Black artists and thought leaders in music.
YouTube remains committed to being an advocate and ally to the diverse communities that call the platform home and will continue to expand its efforts to support other marginalised and underrepresented communities.