YouTube Music has announced the 2021 edition of its global artiste development program with a mission to support independent musicians, helping them build sustainable careers on their own terms.
Bella Shmurda from Nigeria joins 27 artistes 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.
Artistes 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.
Artistes will have combined access to resources and teams that will enable them to create and launch their music with greater impact and global reach.
Foundry was launched in 2015 and was initially run as a workshop series at YouTube spaces.
It has supported more than 150 developing artistes 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
This year, Foundry alumni will be paired with artistes from the new class for conversations about navigating the industry on their own terms.
Tems will be paired with Bella Shmurda and Enny, an artiste from England.