YouTube is expanding its initiatives to help creators and the African creative sector through the 2023 #YouTubeBlackVoices creators and artist cohorts. The YouTube program, now in its third year, is a continuation of a global, multi-year commitment made in 2020 to elevate and grow Black innovators, artists, songwriters, and producers on the site.
Forty Sub-Saharan African producers will be among the 135 #YouTubeBlackVoices Creators chosen internationally and enrolled in the cohort. African rising musical artists Gyakie from Ghana, Kamo Mphela from South Africa, Asake from Nigeria, and BNXN from Nigeria are among the 23 #YouTubeBlackVoices Artists chosen for the event. The cohort will also include South African Hip Hop producer MashBeatz and Nairobi-based producer Ukweli, who will join 17 #YouTubeBlackVoices Songwriters and Producers from around the world.
With YouTube’s help, grantees will get $20,000 to $50,000 in seed financing, dedicated partner support for six months, and the option to engage in programs such as bespoke training, workshops, and networking opportunities throughout the year.
“We are excited about the creators, musical artists, and producers from Africa joining others from across the world in the 2023 #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. The initiative is dedicated to equipping up-and-coming Black creators and artists with the resources to succeed on our platform,” says Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA.
The artists, songwriters, and producers joining the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2023 will be required to set goals, develop a content strategy, and engage with their fans on YouTube, with the assistance of a YouTube partner manager. There will be networking opportunities with other artists, songwriters, and producers included in the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, and a chance to maximize the impact of their channels as they provide catalog-development opportunities.
“We are seriously interested in the growth of the creative community in Africa. For the creators, artists, songwriters, and producers that will be joining this third cohort, we will go beyond the initial training to measure our success with them over a long-term period, thereby ensuring that they achieve sustained success,” Okosi adds.
Over the next few years, YouTube will be directly investing in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development through the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.