The Rip It Up bursary has been launched by Sound City, Youth Music, SM-Mgmt and Capll to enable new Black, Asian and diverse talent to enter the music industry.
Offering 10 places to 18-25 year-olds in the north west of England, the programme includes eight education sessions covering areas like campaign strategies, publicity, recording/production, music distribution and management, plus extensive support and a financial grant assisting with studies.
A series of artists and industry figures will assist the bursary with musician Seye Adelekan and Killing Moon Records’ Achal Dhillon among those involved.
"Rip It Up is a solution based response to challenges in the music industry for emerging black artists and creatives based in Merseyside," said course leader Yaw Owusu.
"I am happy to be supporting this by working with the participants to learn, develop and share, in the hopes that their experiences, skills and opportunities improve in regards to their careers in the music industry."
Explaining his involvement, Adelekan hopes to replicate the experience-led teaching he experienced when breaking through.
“It's a big honour and privilege to be a part of Rip it Up, sharing my experiences with young people taking part," he said.
"I mean, I didn't go to Uni or Music College, but what I lacked in that formal education I made up for by learning from great players and producers who have come before me and those who continue to create to this day. I think hearing from people first hand is really going to benefit the young people involved in Rip It Up and I count myself fortunate to be a small part of that”
Dhillon a welcomed the opportunities for the bursary, supported by Youth Music Incubator Fund and People’s Postcode Lottery.
“Diversity – or lack thereof – issues are all around us. I don't think anyone who has a fully functional brain and has borne witness to the events of the last twelve months in particular – of course, the issue is as old as civilisation itself – needs a reminder or much convincing that racial prejudice is very real," he said.
Applications are open now, with successful participants set to be notified in March.