African musicians make YouTube Black Voices Music Class of 2022

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Some 54 international artists, songwriters and producers, including eight Africans, have been inducted into the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022.

Supported by the #YouTube Black Voices Fund, the music class is a development programme to directly support and mentor black artists, songwriters and producers globally. The African roster of artists includes Nigeria’s CKay, Omah Lay, P.Priime and Telz, Uganda’s Azawi as well as Major League DJz, DJ Lag and Elaine from South Africa.

This 2022 class will be divided into two programme streams: one for artists and one for songwriters and producers. YouTube says the addition of songwriters and producers to the 2022 class demonstrates the continuation and expansion of its efforts to support black artists on the platform.

The selected participants will receive dedicated partner support, seed funding for the development of their channels as well as training and networking programmes focused on production, fan engagement and well-being.

Over the next six months, the members of the 2022 class will also get opportunities to develop their catalogues and collaborate with other global musicians participating in the programme.

“African music is taking the entire world by storm and the #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund is an opportunity to both celebrate and nurture African artistry and help songwriters, producers and artists share their craft with global audiences,” YouTube’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Addy Awofisayo, said. “Black culture is expansive and ever-changing and YouTube Music is committed to celebrating that experience through music.”

Omah Lay said: “I see the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund having an impact on my career in different ways. It would allow me to provide content about my musical journey to my fans, and in marketing them to a greater audience.”

Telz, who describes his music as possessing “character and speaks for itself”, says he sees the YouTube fund impacting his career in diverse ways, particularly in bringing his ideas to life and helping him network with other creatives globally.

In January Nigeria’s Fireboy DML, South Africa’s Sho Madjozi and Kenyan band Sauti Sol were among 21 artists and groups selected from around the world for the programme’s inaugural class.

Marathon Continues

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