YouTube Music unveils 2022 applications for #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund

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YouTube Music is opening applications to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022, with the aim to enable Black artists to commercialise their work.

Grant applications for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 will open on 21 June 2021. The eligibility of applicants has been expanded to include songwriters and producers. In addition to the USA, Brazil and Australia, this will allow Black artists residing in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada and the UK to apply.

YouTube Music is also launching a new partnership with 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 scholarships to the Academy’s Live Online 1500 Music & Industry Fundamentals programme.

YouTube Music

Alex Okosi, Youtube’s EMEA managing director for emerging markets, said,

“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. The six-month scholarship term will see recipients undertake courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and much more.”

The Class of 2021

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Through the inaugural Class of 2021, the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund provided resources that included dedicated one-on-one support, seed funding, training and networking programs which enabled the 21 grantees to achieve incredible growth – in YouTube and in their careers.

Some of these achievements include:

  • From January 2021 through April 2021, the class collectively received 1.4bn views on their official artist channels.
  • Six artists saw over 50% growth in official artist channel subscribers (Joy Oladokun, Miiesha, BRS Kash, Jensen McRae, serpentwithfeet, 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).
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Future Insiders aims to equip at-risk and underserved youth, who aspire to enter the music and creative industries, with skills in content development. Following the programme’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.

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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.

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