YouTube Music announced the Foundry Class of 2022, consisting of 30 independent artistes representing 15 countries from across the globe.
This year’s class features two African artistes; Ghana’s fast-rising musician, Black Sherif, and Nigerian singer, Joeboy.
The Foundry program was introduced in 2015 and its aim is to aid artistes to build sustainable careers on their own terms. The program has supported 250 independent artistes and some alums include Dave, Dua Lipa, Clairo, ENNY, Eladio Carrion, Gunna, Japanese Breakfast, Kenny Beats, Natanael Cano, Omar Apollo, Rosalia, Snail Mail and Nigerian superstars, Rema and Tems.
Foundry artistes are acknowledged for their storytelling, inventive approach to music, and perceived as next-generation entertainers.
YouTube Artist Partnerships Lead, Naomi Zeichner shared in a statement, “It’s no small task to be an artiste in 2022, working to find stability, fulfillment, and fans who get it. Foundry celebrates the courage of independent artistes and the communities that surround them. Our global team is lucky to be their champion and reduce barriers on their journey, every step of the way.”
The 2022 Foundry Class fortifies YouTube’s commitment to supporting Sub-Saharan artistes as next-generation global music superstars; playing a part in developing individual talent in the region. The Foundry program ensures that artistes can be independent and still have a successful career in music with the support of platforms like YouTube and this year will power two programs, the Foundry Class of 2022 and the independent release support.
Commenting about his addition to the program, Joeboy said, “Being an independent artiste simply requires me to be at the center of all of my dealings as a creative. Aside from creating the music, I have to carry out due diligence to make sure I am making the right decisions every now and then.”
SSA YouTube Music Lead, Addy Awofisayo shared, “We believe that lowering the barrier to entry that unlocks opportunities for music artistes to create and connect with a global audience is crucial. But beyond that, Foundry will assist the music artistes participants in navigating a new increasingly digital industry as they connect with fans and generate revenue.”
Also speaking about his inclusion in the program Black Sherif said, “Success as an independent artiste is connecting with one more person on any level through my music. Once that is constantly achieved, in my opinion, everything else will follow. Being a Foundry artiste for me means a strong global platform with support to visually take my expression to the next level and reach more people in the process.”
Foundry is created for independent artistes who have a vision for their own success and to guide them through the demands of today’s music industry. YouTube provides partner strategy support, marketing promotion, and seed funding for content development that can be used for experimenting with new music to diversify video creation formats.