Over the past three years TikTok has helped emerging and established acts achieve incredible success. We have become the home of music discovery and the place for artists to display their creativity in all its forms.
We’re committed to providing a step up for emerging talent and supporting the music industry, which is why earlier this year we partnered with Youth Music NextGen Fund in a new initiative designed to help young creatives and emerging musicians take a step forward in developing their careers.
The Youth Music NextGen Fund, supported by TikTok and People's Postcode Lottery will assist creatives lacking the finance and opportunity to get their artistry underway. Youth Music has now revealed the 37 recipients of the Fund who will each receive up to £2,500 to launch a project, idea or business.
The Youth Music NextGen Fund will enable young people, whatever their background and wherever they are from, to take steps to achieve their ambitions. Of those receiving funding, 32% identify as Disabled, 68% have never received funding before, 24% are currently freelance, and 22% are not in employment.
We have been overwhelmed by the standard of entries and the many incredible applicants. The selection process has revealed the breadth of creative skills on show and the resilience of the creative community who have used lockdown as a time to hone their craft and build a catalogue of creative content, music and ideas, ready to share with the world.
For many young creatives it's clear taking control of every stage of the creative process - from producing, singing and rapping to mixing and marketing - is an integral part of how they make music. Today, being multidisciplinary isn’t just useful, it’s essential.
Recipients who will benefit from The Youth Music NextGen Fund include:
- Rapper and events producer, Lil Trubz, who founded the up-and-coming music platform Tracks On Tap (TOT) in 2018. Since then, Lil Trubz has featured on Stormzy's #WickedSkengCypher. Using Youth Music’s NextGen funding, Trubz will produce and engineer his first album featuring artists from the ever-growing TOT Community
- Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, 23-year-old artist Sizwe ‘SZWÉ’ Chitiyo, who is now based in South Wales, will create a follow up to his bedroom album SZWE Part 1, featuring more collaborations and music videos
- Brodie, whose combination of poetic story-telling with pop music takes the listener on a journey through sound and song-writing. Based in Scotland, Brodie will professionally record his debut EP, using the funding to work with an experienced mixing and mastering engineer, and support his ambitions to launch a full-time career as an independent artist
- Born in Birmingham to Pakistani migrant parents, Rizmi is a DJ, producer, vocalist and painter interested in sonically exploring her multiple truths, realities, contexts and environments. Rizmi's project will see the creation of an EP, incorporating her South Asian and Sufi heritage with electronic machine music. Rizmi will be making the music as well as the accompanying artwork to support the project
Elijah, Project Lead – Youth Music NextGen Fund, says: “Equalising opportunity in the music industries starts with investing directly in those who often overlooked. The first group of Youth Music NextGen Fund recipients have the talent, exciting ideas, and energy needed to take on the future of creative work. We can’t wait to see their projects come to life.”
Youth Music NextGen Fund recipient, Rimzi, says: “I wouldn’t have had the confidence, space or resources to release my first project without this opportunity, or to even see that dream as a tangible possibility. This whole process welcomes and nurtures young people who have never had experience of writing funding bids before, rather than excluding us because we lack that experience. I’m grateful for the chance now to intentionally carve out creative space for my work, whilst being accountable to a timeline. These skills are crucial as a young artist.”
Matthew Harris, Head of Policy Programs Europe, says: “Music is a central part of TikTok and as a partner to the industry we want to give those starting out their careers the support they need to achieve their dreams. The past 18 months have been incredibly hard on the music sector, but the 37 Youth Music NextGen Fund recipients have overwhelmed us not just with their talent, but their drive and ambition. We’re delighted to able to support the next generation of artists and look forward to seeing these dreams become a reality.”
Applications opened in June 2021 and to date 320 young artists and creative entrepreneurs have applied from across the UK. Recipients were selected by a Youth Music and TikTok judging panel, as well as industry experts.
To see all those selected to benefit from the Youth Music NextGen Fund visit: https://youthmusic.org.uk/nextgen-fund-round-one-recipients