Among the acts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA and the UK are eight African artists based in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
Supported by the #YouTube Black Voices Fund, the #YouTube Black Voices Music Class of 2022 is a development programme designed to directly support and mentor Black artists, songwriters and producers worldwide. The addition of songwriters and producers to the 2022 class demonstrates the continuation and expansion of Youtube’s efforts to support Black artists on the platform.
With the aim of equipping up-and-coming Black artists, songwriters and producers with the resources to succeed on YouTube, the class will be grouped into two programme streams: one for artists and one for songwriters and producers.
Class participants will each receive dedicated partner support, seed funding to invest in the development of their channels, and opportunities to participate in training and networking programs focused on production, fan engagement and wellbeing.
Over the next 6 months, they will also get opportunities to develop their catalogues and collaborate with other global artists, songwriters, and producers who have also been selected to take part in the programme.
Commenting on the significance of the programme, YouTube’s Head of Music, Sub-Saharan, Addy Awofisayo says “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.”
“Black culture is expansive and ever-changing and YouTube Music is committed to celebrating that experience through music,” she adds.
Azawi, whose music is a fusion of African rhythms and sounds heavily influenced by her life experience and traditional music, has high hopes for where her journey with YouTube Black Voices will take her: “I have a passion for writing songs and a desire to say something through my craft. I see the #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund sharing my work and brand with a bigger audience and platform, which means more exposure and opportunities for my career,” she says.
Azawi whose channel has 3.8 million views, is best known for her hit song ‘Repeat it’ that attracted 2.3 million, Quinamino (1 million views), Slow dancing (800,000 views) and her latest release ‘My Year’ that has since attracted 700,000 views.
The full list of African artists and songwriters/producers admitted to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022 includes: Azawi (Uganda), CKay (Nigerian), DJ Lag (South Africa), Elaine (South African), Major League DJz (South African), Omah Lay (Nigeria), Priime Beatz (Nigeria) and Telz (Nigeria).