POWER UP YEAR 1 PARTICIPANTS
In April 2021, POWER UP announced the 20 music creators and 20 industry professionals and executives who have made up Year 1 of the Participant Programme, a key feature of the long-term initiative launched to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector.
Managed by PRS Foundation and launched in February this year, the Participant Programme elevates exciting Black talent and attracted 512 applications from 363 music creators and 149 industry professionals at crucial career stages.
Holistic support, specifically designed to fit the needs of the participants, has been assisting the development of their careers and practice to break through glass ceilings and accelerate change. Participant Programme support includes grant support of up to £15,000 alongside capacity building masterclasses, mentoring (working with mentoring managers, shesaid.so), coaching, mental health and wellbeing support and access to added value support from POWER UP Partners and the peer network which is integral to breaking down barriers.
Through the Year 1 programme (April 2021-April 2022) Participants have built a very strong network and we have been inspired by the ways in which Participants are already shaping the future of the music industry. Successes so far include:
- Award nominations, wins and recognition: Nova Twins received a Mercury Music Prize nomination for their POWER UP-supported album, plus 2 x BRITS nominations; Jennifer John received the Local Hero Award at the AIM Awards, Ego Ella May won Vocalist of the Year at the Jazz FM Awards, TAALIAH won an AIM Award; Laura Lewis-Paul, Eunice Obianagha and Christine Osazuma were recognised on the She Said.So Alt List 2021, and Hannah Shogbola was added to the Music Week Women in Music Awards Role of Honour. Abel Selaocoe’s BBC Proms performance of “Africa Meets Europe” received a 4**** review from The Times, Daniel Kidane received a 4**** review in The Guardian for his BBC Proms piece “Revel” and Nova Twins were displayed on the Times Square NYC Billboards for their critically acclaimed debut album
- New record, publishing and agent deals for Participants: TAALIAH signed to Primary Talent, KG signed to Paradigm Talent Agency (EU, Worldwide) & Awesome Agency (North, South America) (2021), Nova Twins signed to Marshall records and Aux joined the roster at Primary Talent International and Atlas Management
- New roles and promotions for Participants: (e.g. Christine Osazuwa was appointed as Chief Strategy Officer at Shoob, and Adem Holness is now Head of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre), Despa Robinson joined the AIM board and Daniel Kidane was elected to the Ivors Academy Senate; and Selina Wedderburn joined Rehegoo Music Group then was promoted to Director of Operations
- New ventures: Errol Anderson curated performances at the White Cube Gallery as part of Frieze Festival, Loretta Andrews launched the “I Am Independent Bootcamp Video course” as a resource for independent artists, Adem Holness curated and delivered the hugely successful 696 Festival at Horniman Museum to explore the relationship between public space and Black live music, Kwame Daniels’ started his own BBC Radio Ulster show, KG now has a Capital show and Abel Selaocoe had a three-part show on BBC Radio 3 titled “Cello Retold”. Des Agyekumhene’s company Soga were behind the Close To Home NFT campaign for Aitch– the first artist to claim an NFT entering the UK’s official album charts.
Check out our Year 1 Participant profiles here and we look forward to celebrating ongoing successes.