YouTube has revealed that 11 artists from around the globe will be joining Foundry, its development programme for independent acts.
The programme began in 2016 as a series of workshops and content creation sessions at YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, New York, and London, with the goal of providing artists tools to grow their presence on YouTube and has been refreshed for 2019.
The program’s new class of artists includes Omar Apollo, Arlo Parks, Ann Marie, Abraham Vazquez, Ace Collection, Michael Brun, Iyla, Kojaque, Flohio, GroovyRoom, and ICO. YouTube confirmed that another set of artists will be added to the fold later this year.
As part of the programme, the artists will receive marketing promotion and education on best practices for growing and engaging their audience on an international scale. Foundry will also complement other YouTube Music initiatives that aim to support and promote artists, such as the Artist Spotlight Stories series and Artist On The Rise program for artists on the cusp of superstardom.
Naomi Zeichner, artist promotional partnerships lead for YouTube Music, said: “Great content is at the foundation of any artist’s success. Foundry artists make videos that bring context to their music and teach people new things about the world. It’s a privilege to partner with these artists to support their channels as they grow and their music travels across borders. The more these artists engage and break through, the more learnings we’re able to share back with YouTube’s entire artist community.”
The more these artists engage and break through, the more learnings we’re able to share back with YouTube’s entire artist community
Naomi Zeichner, YouTube Music
Reflecting upon his selection as a Foundry artist, Omar Apollo said: “At this point in my career, I own my music and I have creative control over it. I get to choose what feels right. On my YouTube channel, we try to put together a mood for the music. Showing songs in visual form, posting vlogs, so people can see what shows are like and come out to shows. With Foundry, it’s nice to know that YouTube is with us. That we can do what we want, and have support. We’re getting a bunch of ideas already.”
Among Foundry’s famous alumni are Dua Lipa, Rosalia, Dave, Cuco, Gunna, Mahalia, Maleek Berry, Chloe x Halle, Jacob Collier, Rauw Alejandro, and Cavetown.
Speaking about her experience on the programme, Dua Lipa said: “Foundry was my introduction to YouTube. I was just starting to release music at the time, and I was excited to learn how to connect with my audience. Since then, I’ve created all kinds of content and my fans know that YouTube is the place to go to see all of me. As of last month, I have more than 10 million subscribers, and we're still growing!"
Dave added: “YouTube has always been the launchpad for all my music, as I spend so much time perfecting the visuals before dropping new tracks. Being part of the YouTube Music Foundry last year meant that once my music and videos were ready to go, I knew they were in the position to make as much noise as possible. YouTube has helped me take my creative vision to the next level, and charted my journey from my earliest freestyles to singles that have been shot all over the world. YouTube has been there since the beginning and as an independent artist, they’ve been an invaluable help along the way.”
In other recent YouTube news, the online giant also revealed it is introducing new student plans for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in the UK, providing eligible university students discounted access to music, original series and movies without adverts. Find out more here.