Mabel has been named as YouTube Music’s first UK Artist On The Rise.
The singer-songwriter follows in the footsteps of Maggie Rogers, Brockhampton and Burna Boy, who have all received coverage from the streaming service's new talent promotion which began in 2018.
Mabel, daughter of Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack record producer Cameron McVey, will be the subject of a behind scenes look at her story so far, her inspirations and aspirations, plus will feature on YouTube's global channels and on billboards in London, including the lights in Piccadilly Circus.
“I can’t quite believe I’ve been chosen to be YouTube Music’s first UK Artist On The Rise, it’s been such a whirlwind," said Mabel. I feel privileged to be recognised by a platform that has been such an integral part of my creative journey, YouTube is one of the most amazing ways I can connect with my fans all over the world. I’m so excited for the next chapter and I hope I can make my YouTube Music family proud.”
Azi Eftekhari, head of label relations EMEA for YouTube, recognised the artist's growth across their channels.
"Mabel’s built a huge following on her YouTube channel in only a couple of years with over 390,000 subscribers and we’re confident this will only continue to grow," she explained. "It’s amazing to see such a talented young artist using the platform to connect with the people she has to thank for her success, her fans, by taking them along with her on her journey through tour diaries and behind the scenes video footage. Mabel is the perfect example of an artist using YouTube to make her voice heard.”
Explaining the strategy behind the Artist On The Rise strand, YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen – who earlier this year told Music Week about the importance of the UK scene – welcomed its expansion into the UK.
“There’s no better platform than YouTube for artists to reach and connect directly with fans and through our new Artist On The Rise content series, we’re providing a way for emerging artists to share their unique journey with the fans that have been right there with them along the way," he declared. "We are so pleased to bring this programme to the UK and to celebrate Mabel, as our first rising star of the series. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”
To throw some more light on YouTube Music's work with Mabel, and further plans for Artist On The Rise in Britain, Azi Eftekhari spoke to Music Week:
What is the criteria for selecting an act for Artist On The Rise?
"There’s a number of factors that go into deciding the artists YouTube Music selects for our Artist On The Rise programme. What we look at closely is the artist’s engagement and growth, both on and off the platform. This can consist of looking at YouTube data and analytics, as well as working with our expert partners for insights into an artist’s journey and experience. We also think carefully about the YouTube community and how the artist resonates in the UK and beyond."
Does the first UK Artist On The Rise mean there will be more opportunities for British acts?
"Yep, there’ll be more UK-based Artists On The Rise coming later this year, so keep an eye out for them!"
How will the content being created around Artist On The Rise be percolated across YouTube Music, YouTube and beyond?
"Mabel’s Artist On The Rise will tell Mabel’s story through a YouTube lens. The episode is going to come later this year, and takes Mabel down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos - it’ll be a unique insight into the inspiration behind her music and her story. The video will live on Mabel’s YouTube channel and be a part of the Artist On The Rise series playlist."
How is YouTube Music doing in the UK currently?
"YouTube Music has had a brilliant year since we launched the app, and we’re totally committed to being a key player in the UK. We’re working hard partnering with sensational British acts with incredible YouTube stories like Dave and Lewis Capaldi. We continued our close partnership with The BRITs, becoming the Official Music App of the show and breaking records with the international livestream, which we hosted for the sixth consecutive year. We also unveiled our first YouTube Music Ones To Watch in November, calling out rising British talent to the UK and global music community. And, of course, we were the official partner of the Music Week Awards recently. We’re really pleased with growth and usage thus far overall. YouTube Music is now available in 50 countries - a 10x expansion of footprint since the re-launch last year. We launched in Poland, Czechia, Romania and Hungary just last week, with many more markets to come this year. YouTube Music & Premium paid subscribers also grew 60% year over year from March 2018 to March 2019."
Mabel is set to release her debut, High Expectations, on August 2. Read Music Week's interview with Mabel and our analysis of her global breathrough.
Additionally, the presidents of her label Polydor explain their plans and hopes for Mabel in an exclusive interview.
By Paul Stokes