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YouTube Music Unveils New Scholarship Opportunities for Black Artists

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YouTube Music

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An initiative aimed to empower Black artists and enable them to commercialise their work has been introduced by YouTube Music.

The new campaign, #YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship, is in partnership with a renowned music education institution, 1500 Sound Academy, founded by GRAMMY-award winning songwriters and producers, James Fauntleroy and Larrance “Rance” Dopson.

Through this scheme, YouTube will fund 10 full-ride scholarships to the Academy’s Live Online 1500 Music & Industry Fundamentals programme.

Future Insiders aims to equip at-risk and underserved youth, who aspire to enter the music and creative industries, with skills in content development and following its early success, the programme will be expanded globally with more details to be shared later this year.

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Moreover, to celebrate Black culture, YouTube Music has activated #YouTubeMusic Moments – a collection of content series, live streams, and events whose primary goal is to celebrate Black culture, identity, and experiences from the perspective of Black artists and thought leaders in music.

Also, YouTube said it will begin to receive entries for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 from June 21, 2021.

This campaign will be open to songwriters, producers, amongst others living in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States, Brazil and Australia.

The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 is part of the commitments of YouTube Music to deepen its investments in Black communities.

This initiative started with the Class of 2021 and it provided resources including dedicated one-on-one support, seed funding, training and networking programs enabling the 21 grantees to achieve incredible growth, not only on YouTube but in their careers.

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The beneficiaries received 1.4 billion views on their official channels on YouTube from January 2021 through April 2021.

In addition, six entertainers saw over 50 per cent growth in their channel subscribers (Joy Oladokun, Miiesha, BRS Kash, Jensen McRae, serpentwithfeet, and Yung Baby Tate), while four witnessed 200 per cent growth on their official channel views (serpentwithfeet, Jensen McRae, Yung Baby Tate, and Joy Oladokun).

Also, as part of YouTube Music’s Africa Month celebration, Sho Madjozi, Sauti Sol, and Fireboy DML, hosted exclusive live stream virtual concerts on each of their official artist channels, while Rexx Life Raj, Joy Oladokun, and Tkay Maidza performed at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event, with Mariah The Scientist performing an exclusive live set for YouTube Music Nights from Centre Stage in Atlanta, in support of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

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“The YouTube Music team is excited to expand the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and create new opportunities while also reflecting on the progress made to date,” says Alex Okosi, YouTube’s EMEA managing director for emerging markets.

“The six-month scholarship term will see recipients undertake courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and much more,” Mr Okosi added.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Who Leaves Nigerian Idol Among Top Five Contestants?

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Who Leaves Nigerian Idol

By Dipo Olowookere

The contest on the popular television music talent hunt show, Nigerian Idol, is heating up as the day for unveiling the winner, July 11, 2021, draws closer.

Last week, Kingdom Kroseide, Faith Onyeje, Comfort Alalade, Akunna Okey and Francis Atela made it to the top five as Emmanuel Elijah was evicted from the show.

The five surviving music acts wowed the viewers and the judges with their performances and the quartet of Obi Asika, Seyi Shay, DJ Sose and Mr P, who were judges last week, encouraged the contestants to put in their best as the contest continues.

Kingdom, who performed the jazz genre song Feeling Good by Nina Simone and Pop lyrics Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars, got a standing ovation from the judges.

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He took control of the stage with much excitement from the judges and the audience and commendation from Seyi Shay who said “your vocal performance was amazing, you are the strongest vocalist in this competition,” while Mr P enthused that “this is your kingdom, you will shine and go places.”

It was quite exciting with the contenders displaying exceptional skills in their stage performances to make it to the next episode on June 20 (today).

Faith sang Someone you Loved and Would rather go Blind, with comments from Seyi Shay eulogising him saying “you look incredible, I love your vocals,” and Obi Asika with the words “you deserve to be part of the top five, you sang the song beautifully.”

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Mr P was not left out as he advised that Faith should not stop playing the guitar as it adds colour to his rendition.

Comfort, who also sang beautifully, thrilled the judges and the audience with the songs Think out Loud and Save the Last Dance for Me, as Akunna performed Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone and Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.

Francis also excited the judges with Too Good at Goodbyes and Hello by Lionel Richie, with DJ Sose impressed by his performance, saying, “You brought Las Vegas to Lasgidi.” An elated Seyi Shay said “well done.”

With five left in the competition, viewers are already getting tensed as to who will again be voted out when the show airs on Sunday evening on DStv and GOtv.

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The winner of Nigerian Idol will go home with a recording contract with a leading record label and N50 million worth of prizes.

The show is sponsored by Rite Foods’ Bigi soft drink with variants such as the Bigi Cola, Bigi Orange, Bigi Apple, Bigi Bitter Lemon, Bigi Soda Water, Bigi Lemon & Lime, Bigi Tropical, Bigi Chapman, Bigi Tamarind, Bigi Cherry Cola, Bigi Ginger Lemon, and the Bigi Ginger Ale.

Other Rite Foods’ products comprise the Rite Spicy, Bigi Beef, and Rite Sausages which have been the mark of excellence for the industry, while its Bigi Premium Table Water, produced with global best practices in purification, offers quality, freshness, confidence, and reliability.

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Rite Foods Tasks Nigerian Idol Contestants to Have ‘Rite’ Energy, Mindset

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Nigerian Idol Contestants

By Dipo Olowookere

Contestants of the ongoing Nigerian Idol have been tasked to have the Rite energy and mindset as they perform to get the support of the viewers to clinch the coveted prize.

This charge was given by Ms Boluwatife Adedugbe, the Brand Manager of Rite Foods Limited, makers of the popular Bigi Drinks, headline sponsor of the music talent hunt competition.

She gave the advice when the company received some Nigerian Idol contestants on Friday, June 4, 2021, and she intimated the future music stars on the organisation’s corporate culture, taking them through the corporate journey and footprints in the Nigerian economy, and most importantly, the entertainment sector.

“All of you are winners for making it to this point. I would like you all to imbibe the ‘Rite’ energy in your next performances,” Ms Adedugbe said.

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Business Post gathered seven contestants of the Nigerian Idol season 6 visited the corporate headquarters of Rite Foods at Opebi Ikeja, Lagos and they were Akunna Okey, Beyonce Ajomiwe, Comfort Alalade, Emmanuel Elijah, Faith Onyeje, Francis Atela, and Kingdom Kroseide.

One of them, Beyonce Ajomiwe, who is now out of the competition, revealed during the visit that her favourite Bigi variant is ginger lemon because it is good for her voice.

According to her, Bigi ginger lemon has helped her maintain her voice and tone in the contest, while Faith Onyeje revealed his love for Bigi Apple as it helps his metabolism after a good workout.

As for Akunna Okey, she reaffirmed her support for both ginger lemon and tamarind flavours, while the now-evicted Emmanuel Elijah said he loves his Bigi Apple.

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Comfort Alalade declared her love for Bigi Cola; Kingdom Kroseide pitched his tenth with Bigi water and sausages, while Francis Atela declared his love for Bigi Tamarind flavour.

The visit was characterized by fun and thrilling moments as the headline sponsor of the competition. Games and singing competitions spiced up the occasion as the contestants were split into two groups, where they contested BIGI TVC song ‘BigiMy Number One’ which was creatively performed by both groups.

The sum of N1.4 million was splashed on the contestants for their creative and entertaining performances during the visit. They also carted away other Rite Foods branded items and gifts during the visit.

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At the visit, the popular entertainment editor, Mr Rotimi Ige, who won the first-ever Bigi Media Idol, congratulated the contestants for making it thus far and urged them to keep working on their art and be assured that they are on the right platform, especially with Bigi, being the headline sponsor of the competition.

The contestants lauded the company for supporting young talents in the country and called on other stakeholders to emulate Rite Foods Limited in the quest for turning young acts into megastars.

The Nigerian Idol airs live every Sunday on DSTV Channel 198 and GOTV Channel 29 at 7 pm.

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100% Perfect and Guaranteed Instagram App to Increase free Followers & Likes

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Instagram Followers

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