You Tube to support Nigerian artists via new emerging talent initiative

YouTube has announced an initiative to support emerging talent from Nigeria.

YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, was joined on stage at the Google for Nigeria in Lagos with Nigerian music star Mr Eazi to unveil the program.

The platform will be working with a number of key partners locally as part of its longer-term commitment to supporting emerging talent in the country.

The initial phase will see YouTube team up with Mr Eazi and emPawa Africa to help 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to “build their craft” and increase their fanbase.

YouTube’s investment will also go towards enabling the artists to shoot videos, record music and get mentoring.

emPawa Africa is an incubator launched by Mr Eazi which has supported 22 Nigerian artists and 100 artists in total across 11 African countries so far.

Among the success stories is Nigerian singer Joeboy, whose emPawa-backed single release Baby has over 5.9 million views on YouTube.

Of the top 25 most-watched Sub-Saharan African artists on YouTube, more than 70% of their views come from outside Africa according to 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,” said 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.”

Mr Eazi added: “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.

“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.”

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