YouTube today announced a commitment to support upcoming artists in Nigeria.
In the initial phase, YouTube is teaming up with Nigerian music star Mr Eazi and the emPawa Africa initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to build their craft, increase their fanbase and connect with the world through YouTube.
The contribution will go towards enabling the artists to shoot videos, record music, and get mentoring.
YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, was joined on stage at Google for Nigeria with Mr Eazi for a fireside chat to announce the initiative and discuss the growth and evolution of African music on YouTube.
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emPawa Africa is an initiative and incubator launched by Mr Eazi, which is empowering the next generation of African artists, equipping them with the tools, knowledge, network and investment they need to become independent music entrepreneurs.
Thus far, emPawa has supported 22 Nigerian artists — and 100 artists in total across 11 African countries — with training to build their skills through digital platforms such as YouTube.
Among the success stories is Nigerian singer Joeboy, whose emPawa-backed single release “Baby” has over 5.9 million views on YouTube.
“It’s critical to develop the next generation of talent — and there is so much talent exploding out of Nigeria and the African continent right now. Africa is setting the tempo all around the globe,” says Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube.
“We’re incredibly proud that YouTube has been a mainline for African artists to connect all over the world — and by supporting one of the leading African trailblazers like Mr Eazi and his emPawa initiative, we’re excited to see how these artists supercharge their careers and grow their fanbase on YouTube.”
“emPawa is an initiative I created with one simple mission: Helping new artists reach their full potential musically by equipping them with the knowledge and funding to do so,” says Mr Eazi.
“It’s something I wish someone had created when I first started making music. Sometimes, all it takes is that one person to believe in you. This partnership with YouTube is very exciting as it will take emPawa and its artists to a whole new level.
We’ve already achieved great success with our own resources, so there’s no telling how far these artists will go with the backing of such a global company.”