The Youth Music NextGen Fund returns this week (June 3) to offer financial support to young professionals, artists and entrepreneurs, and its partner has been revealed as social media giant, TikTok, with support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Youth Music works to invest in grassroots projects across the UK, and the NextGen Fund offers grants of up to £2,500 for 18-25-year-old, and under 30s who identify as Disabled to launch a project, idea or business. The announcement arrives following research reported by Youth Music which saw 79% of young people pursing music industry careers would prefer to start their own project rather than take up a traditional role.
Project lead, Youth Music NextGen Fund, Elijah, said: “We want to give young people the confidence to make it happen for themselves. This generation is building a fairer new industry, taking ownership of their work and imagining roles that don’t even exist yet. But they don’t all have the financial means to realise their ambitions. We want to rebuild an industry where every young person can see themselves, contribute and make a difference. This fund is a big step towards a more sustainable, inclusive and exciting music industry.”
The survey of 1000 respondents, aged 18-25, also found that for 31% financial resources were the biggest barrier, 63% reported that lockdown had a positive impact on their career due to remote working and time gained, 59% found the music industry more inclusive over the past year for young creatives, while those from less advantages socio-economic backgrounds were more likely to experience a negative impact of their career goals due to the pandemic, and less likely to be aware of funding.
Head of CSR & TikTok For Good in Europe, Matthew Harris, said: “It’s been a difficult year for many in music and as a partner to the industry, we want to help those starting out to take their careers to the next level. There is an entire generation of untapped diverse creative talent across the music industry in the UK. We see it every day on TikTok – brilliant creators and musicians sparking new trends and bringing together video and music. We are wholeheartedly committed to providing a platform for creative expression where talented individuals are given the opportunity to flourish, and we can’t wait to work more closely with Youth Music to help make that a reality for young people across the UK.”
The survey also found that more than half of respondents (56%) thought commercial brands in music should provide more support to kickstart careers, in comparison to the government (45%) and charities (35%).
Head of charities at People's Postcode Lottery, Laura Chow, said: “It’s inspiring to see how resilient and ambitious young music artists are, despite such a challenging year for the music sector. I’m pleased that our players will help many of these young people overcome financial barriers, to progress their career prospects.”
Vocalist, songwriter and engineer, and part of Youth Music NextGen, Nelson Navarro added: “I love having complete creative control. It’s a burden, but it’s why I’ve been carving out my own lane into the music industry. So many people of my generation appreciate the freedom of choosing who you work with, what your role is and what you get to work on."