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YouTube Music announces the largest global Foundry class of artists to date with Bella Shmurda joining the program

YouTube Music has announced the 2021 cohort for Foundry, its global artist development program with a mission to support independent musicians while helping them build sustainable careers on their own terms. Bella Shmurda, from Nigeria joins the list of 27 artists representing 14 countries and a broad spectrum of musical heritage this year.

The program received the most applications ever this year with a 450% increase in the number of applications from last year. Artists on the Foundry program will receive a grant to invest in their content and channel development, access to YouTube partner support and workshops, and marketing, social, and press promotion. Moreso, they will have combined access to resources and teams that will enable them to create and launch their music with greater impact and global reach.

“Artists are navigating a new, increasingly digital industry this year. To adapt and grow, they are finding new ways to create content, connect with fans, and generate revenue. This year’s Foundry class celebrates artists and their courage and reduces barriers to entry,” says Addy Awofisayo, YouTube Partnerships Manager.

About Foundry

Foundry was launched in 2015 and was initially run as a workshop series at YouTube Spaces. Since 2017, the program has focused on long-term partnerships with independent artists and expanded internationally. It has supported more than 150 developing artists across 15 countries, including breakout alumni like Arlo Parks, Dave, Dua Lipa, Lime Cordiale, Gunna, HARDY, Natanael Cano, Novelbright, Omar Apollo, Rosalía, and Tems. The Foundry class of 2018 included Niniola and Adekunle Gold, Lagos-born  Tems was part of the 2020 class.

 

“Being an independent artist can mean funding your career personally, leading and working with your team to achieve all your goals. Foundry is an opportunity to elevate my career, and being a part of the program is a big win for me and for my team,” says Bella Shmurda.

 

This year, Foundry alumni will be paired with  artists from the new class for conversations about navigating the industry on their own terms. Tems will be paired with  Bella Shmurda and Enny, an artist from England.

 

“Being a part of Foundry was an amazing experience. You get to connect with so many incredible artists and build relationships with wonderful people. It’s an opportunity to grow, and connect more with the world” says Tems.

 

The 2021 Foundry Class reinforces YouTube’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s next generation of global music stars; playing a part in developing individual talent. The Foundry programme ensures that artists can be independent and still have a successful career in music with the support of platforms like YouTube.

 

Below is the full list of the Foundry Class of 2021 with Bella Shmurda:

 

Name

Country

Ambar Lucid

United States

Bad Milk

Colombia

Bella Shmurda

Nigeria

Blessd

Colombia

chilldspot

Japan

Doul

Japan

Ebhoni

Canada

Enny

England

Fana Hues

United States

Junior Mesa

United States

Marina Sena

Brazil

Meekz

England

Paranoid 1966

Spain

Paris Texas:

United States

Raveena

United States

Reggie

United States

Rote Mütze Raphi

Germany

SE SO NEON

South Korea

Seedhe Maut

India

Shygirl

England

Sinead Harnett

United States

Snail Mail

United States

SoFaygo

United States

Sycco

Australia

Tenille Arts

United States

Tokischa

Dominican Republic

Tuyo

Brazil

ABOUT YOUTUBE

Launched in May 2005, YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community allowing billions of people to discover, watch and share video. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is a Google company. www.youtube.com. For more information, visit our Google Africa Blog: google-africa.blogspot.com. You can also follow Google’s Africa team on Twitter: twitter.com/googleafrica.

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