YouTube Music had reaffirmed its commitment to supporting African creative voices by providing financial grants, capacity development training and advisory to two organisations that nurture African creative talent and export it.
Briteswan and iManage Africa Entertainment Limited will receive support to help them scale up their initiatives to develop music creatives on the continent.
This move is set to directly impact an estimated 300 participants in initiatives led by these organisations.
“We are committed to exporting African music to listeners across the world and want to continue to play our part in the development of the continent’s rapidly growing creative economy especially with respect to music”, says Addy Awofisayo, YouTube’s Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa.
This will be an ongoing process as Addy told journalists at an announcement event in Lagos that Youtube Music is on the lookout for similar exciting ideas and her team will be considering proposals from similar institutions.
Briteswan is a social enterprise primarily focused on growth and development in the entertainment industry. Its impact will be through its ‘The Audiogirl initiative’ seeks to economically empower women by closing the gender gap in the music creation segment– production, songwriting, mixing and mastering.
According to Enetie Ondiok, project coordinator at Briteswan, The AudioGirl Initiative is female-focused. It seeks to empower women economically by closing the gender disproportion in the music creation segment.
“Now, the industry is male-dominated. The “Inclusion in the Recording Studio” report states that women make up 2.1% of music producers. These figures are even lower in the Nigerian Music industry where the ratio of female to male music producers is 1:10. This has hindered the economic development of not just women but the industry as a whole and Africa as a Continent. We understand that inequality is at the grassroots of Africa’s state of poverty and we are seeking to solve that in our own way”
Enetie Ondiok, project coordinator at Briteswan
The initiative includes a 10-day boot camp for 12 selected females (between the ages of 18 and 35) with experienced industry players as mentors. It will focus primarily on the Music Creation Process – Songwriting, Music Production, Mixing, Mastering and Distribution. The Program also includes a competition segment where the Top 3 finalists will be selected to work on an End of Year Album Project.
Interested participants can enrol for the 2022 BootCamp here.
About iManage Africa
iManage Africa Entertainment Limited’s impact will be through its ‘Music Business Academy for Africa (MBA)’. This is an initiative dedicated to developing a more informed and empowered workforce for the African music and entertainment industry.
According to Godwin Tom, founder of iManage Africa Entertainment, The MBA is dedicated to developing a more informed and empowered workforce for the African Music and Entertainment industry. According to him:
“Very often, we know and celebrate popular artistes but very little is said about the people who support them to be productive- talk about producers, managers, writers, mixers etc. Because we do not pay attention to these talents and their developments, it is difficult getting professionals in this field readily available. For instance, the decision to start people in music management stems from our own experience and we have been able to solve the problem for ourselves to an extent”.
Support from an organisation like Youtube videos will empower to scale talent development across so much that can support present and future music talents reliably across Africa in a few years”, he concludes.
MBA for Africa started as an Internship Programme in 2017 and later became a Talent Management Training Programme. Program and curriculum developed with an African focus in collaboration with the Music Business Department at NYU. 300 Participants will be selected to be a part of the program with 50 participants selected for further YouTube support.
Over the past few years, YouTube has helped spotlight African culture and export it to global audiences. Burna Boy who won the Grammy’s Global Music Award in 2021 with his album, ‘Twice as Tall’ and who has now been nominated for the third time for a Grammy Award, was spotlighted by YouTube as an Artist on the Rise in 2018.
In 2019, YouTube announced an initiative to support Nigerian artists in collaboration with Mr Eazi’s empawa Africa to support 10 local artists to develop their craft. Tems and Bella Shmurda were also selected to be part of YouTube Music’s international artist development program, Foundry in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
YouTube Music also deepened investments in Black communities by opening applications to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022, aimed at enabling Black artists, songwriters and producers worldwide to commercialise their work. Eight African artists, songwriters and producers were admitted to the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022.