UD reveals Incubator class of 2024 in partnership with PPL

UD reveals Incubator class of 2024 in partnership with PPL

UD has revealed the 10 unsigned artists to have been selected for the latest instalment of its Incubator programme.

Following a successful pilot in 2023, the initiative – a creative and professional development programme for artists making music of Black origin – returns with the support of PPL and its recently announced Giving initiative.  

The Incubator brings together “10 unsigned artists aged between 18 and 25” through an intensive six-month programme of creative and business development. The four-stage selection process saw a panel of tastemakers including Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson (editor, Complex UK/founder, Trench) and Chantelle Fiddy (journalist), vote for their favourite acts. 

The artists making up this year programme are:

Neo-soul and R&B vocalist Allyson

Emerging Jazz singer-songwriter Charlotte Dowsson 

Soul singer and producer Izzy Withers 

Alternative rap artist J2

Afro R&B and Afro soul vocalist Maraché

Neo-soul and R&B vocalist Olympia Vitalis

London based artist and MC Skee

Neo-soul and R&B vocalist Skye

Multi-genre producer TayoLoxs

Alternative rap artist Zuko Rosemeid 

All participants from the Incubator programme will perform at UD’s showcase to be hosted in partnership with PPL on May 16 at Dust in Brighton.

An official press release states that participants will now receive “access to financial investment and expert guidance on music law, publishing, distribution, live music and more from leading industry professionals. Free studio time, hot desking facilities and personalised mentoring and coaching are also provided.”

The programme will be delivered by UD’s, Zak Lansky, an experienced A&R and manager who has worked with Charlie Sloth, Fire In The Booth, Apple Music, and the BBC. 

Speaking about this year’s class, Pamela McCormick, CEO of UD, said: “The Incubator programme addresses a clear need in the industry for young musicians making music of Black origin and facilitates their transition from educational or vocational training to the commercial market or professional workplace. By identifying and developing their creative skills and business knowledge, we are making them industry-ready and preparing them for a sustainable career in music. We’re grateful to PPL for their support of the programme, following on from their contribution to the development and launch of the Talent House, and look forward to collaborating with them to drive positive change for our industry and the young people who are on a mission to break through.” 

Peter Leathem OBE, CEO of PPL added: “For 25 years, UD has been instrumental in creating opportunities for young Black creative talent. PPL's continued support for the national youth music organisation reflects our shared commitment to nurturing the UK's extensive and diverse talent pipeline, and to expanding the opportunities available to those looking to build a career in music. We were proud to contribute to the development of the industry-leading facilities at UD's Talent House and are excited about our role in supporting the Incubator programme which will provide crucial education, training, and development opportunities for the next generation of musicians and performers of music of Black origin.” 

Chantelle Fiddy, Trench/ UD/ Complex UK said: “This year’s Incubator cohort is on another level – the sheer talent that we assessed was unbelievable. We are so excited about the future for each of these artists and seeing their development through the various opportunities available at the Talent House, where they’ll refine their skills, poised to make their mark on the industry.”

In February, UD launched its Elevator membership scheme which, with funding from Sony Music UK’s Social Justice Fund, will see up to 50 young people receive subsidised membership of UD’s state-of-the-art facilities at the Talent House in Stratford, east London.

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