Yesterday (July 26, 2022), YouTube Music announced that 30 artists will be part of its Foundry Class of 2022— a global artist development program.
About YouTube Music Foundry
In 2015, the Foundry Class launched as a workshop series and in 2017 as an incubator dedicated to independent music. "It’s been Foundry’s mission to help artists get to “the next level,” with the resources to navigate a rapidly evolving music business. Over the years, we’ve seen how that progress takes no one path," Naomi Zeichner, YouTube Music Artist Partnerships Lead said in a statement seen by Benjamindada.com.
Independent artists selected for Foundry receive dedicated support from a YouTube partner manager, undisclosed seed funding invested into the development of their channels, marketing and promotion opportunities, and access to new product features and opportunities to provide feedback.
Related Article: 26 Africans join the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2022
The Africans in the YT Music Foundry Class of 2022
Out of the 30 artists selected across 15 countries, two are Africans; Joeboy, a Nigerian and Black Sherif, a Ghanaian. Both of them now join the list of African Foundry alumni, including; Tems, Rema, Bella Shmurda, "Being a part of Foundry was an amazing experience," Temilade 'Tems' Openiyi said. "You get to connect with so many incredible artists and build relationships with wonderful people. It’s an opportunity to grow, and connect more with the world."
Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus, 25, known professionally as Joeboy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Lagos, Joeboy immersed himself in music while studying, taking in hip-hop, trap, R&B, rock, and pop from around the world.
His first break came with a cover of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" that he'd posted to social media, with the post capturing the attention of Banku pioneer Mr. Eazi. Signing to Eazi's emPawa Africa project—which was started to provide support for up-and-coming African artists—Joeboy delivered his first single, "Fààjí," in 2018.
The following year, he truly broke out with the release of "Baby," which went on to earn millions of streams across the Internet and cemented his position as one of Nigeria's biggest future pop exports. That same year, he collected "Baby" and a string of other tracks for the EP Love & Light, along with being nominated for numerous awards at The Headies, All Africa Music Awards, and City People Music Awards.
2020 saw Joeboy start work on his debut album, readying tracks that would not only deal with social ills but spread positive messages via his canny mix of pop and Afrobeat. He also picked up more award nominations, this time at the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, where he would win the Best Pop song. At the beginning of 2021, he released his debut album, the forward-thinking slab of Afro-pop Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic.
Being an independent artist simply requires me to be at the centre 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. — Joeboy
Mohammed Ismail Sherif, 20, known professionally as Black Sherif is a Ghanaian musician and performer from Konongo, Ghana. Many Black Sherif songs become very popular and trendy online with a great number of streaming and downloads on Boomplay.
Black Sherif was born and raised in Konongo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He completed Kumasi Academy for his second cycle of education and is currently a student at the University of Professional Studies in Ghana.
He performed at the final of the 2021 MTN FA Cup final match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Ashanti Gold SCh.
- We partly cited findings from Boomplay artist directory