YouTube has announced the 2022 class of #YouTubeBlack Voices Music, according to a press release obtained by EBONY.
Established in 2021, the initiative seeks to amplify Black voices on their platform, to provide 21 Black artists with partner support, to invest in the development of their channels, the opportunity to receive training and networking programs focused on production, fan engagement, and wellbeing. Expanding on their commitment, the 2022 Class will also include songwriters and producers, and—for the first time ever—the participants will have the opportunity to come together to co-write and create music as a group.
Another new aspect of the initiative is the addition of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Artist Class of 2022 inaugural mentor member—the legendary rapper and producer Slick Rick. In this role, Slick Rick will share all of his vast knowledge of the music industry with fellow grant recipients within educational and networking programs for the class.
The “Children’s Story” rapper expressed his excitement in partnering with #YouTubeBlack Voices.
"It's an honor to partner with YouTube via the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund initiative to utilize my platform and art to share as an example of what endurance, the power of imagination, and pure authenticity look like," he said.
Artists, songwriters, and producers were selected from all over Black diaspora from such countries as the United States, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Canada.
"The beauty of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is that we’re still here. Still trekking. Still repping. Still going hard. We’re here for the long haul,” said Tuma Basa, Director of Black Music & Culture at YouTube.
Vivien Lewit, Global Head of Artist Relations noted the impact of the program and YouTube's continuing commitment to highlighting Black artists.
"We're always looking forward. From the time we launched the fund last year, we began to consider how to grow it to be more. What I'm most excited about now is announcing our expansion to include Black songwriters and producers, as well as talent from new places around the world. We are committed to furthering our commitment to amplifying the voices of Black creatives and the diversity of the Black experience," Lewis shared in a statement.
Below are the members of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Artist Class of 2022:
Azawi (Kampala, Uganda), Barkaa (The Malyangapa & Barkindji regions of Western NSW), Blanco Brown (Atlanta, Georgia, United States), Bree Runway (East London, England, United Kingdom), Budjerah (Fingal Head, Australia), Cico P (Jacksonville, Texas, United States), Cimafunk (Miami, Florida, United States), CKay (Anambra, Nigeria), Dijon (Ellicott City, Maryland, United States), Elaine (Pretoria, South Africa), EST Gee (Louisville, Kentucky, United States), Jonathan Ferr (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Jords (Croydon, England, United Kingdom), Kadhja Bonet (Long Beach, California, United States), Kamille (London, England, United Kingdom), Liniker (São Paulo, Brazil), Liza (Toronto, Canada), midwxst (Carmel, Indiana, United States), Monaleo (Houston, Texas, United States), Nija (Union City, New Jersey, United States), NorthSideBenji (Toronto, Canada), NSG (London, England, United Kingdom), Omah Lay (Port Harcourt, Nigeria), Rico Dalasam (São Paulo, Brazil), Savannah Ré (Toronto, Canada), Slick Rick (Bronx, New York, United States), Tai Verdes (Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, CA), Tamera (Kent, England), Tasha & Tracie (São Paulo, Brazil), Teezo Touchdown (Beaumont, Texas, United States), whiterosemoxie (Detroit, Michigan, United States)
#YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriter & Producer Class of 2022:
Cadenza (London, England, United Kingdom), Carla Marie WIlliams (London, England, United Kingdom / Jamaica), Compass (North London, England, United Kingdom), Dallas Woods (Wyndham, West Australia, Australia), Dj Lag (Johannesburg, South Africa), Gloria Kaba (Irvington, New Jersey, United States), HARV (Kansas City, Missouri, United States), IamTash (Boston, Massachusetts, United States), Jay Versace (Pleasantville, New Jersey, United States), jetsonmade (Columbia, South Carolina, United States), Kobie Dee (South Sydney, Bidjigal Land, Australia), Léo Casa 1 (São Paulo, Brazil), Major League DJz (Johannesburg, South Africa), Mu540 (Praia Grande, São Paulo, Brazil), Nova Wav (Tallahassee, Florida / Atlanta, Georgia, United States), OG Parker (Atlanta, Georgia, United States), P.Priime (Lagos, Nigeria), RDD (Paulo Afonso, Bahia, Brazil), Rodriguinho (Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil), Telz (Lagos, Nigeria), Walshy Fire (Miami, Florida, United States), WondaGurl (Toronto, Canada), YAOB (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)