Three African artists have been named as part of Youtube’s Black Voices Artist Class of 2021.
Sho Madjozi (South Africa), Sauti Sol (Kenya), and Fireboy DML (Nigeria) are amongst the list of artists who will benefit from the #YoutubeBlack Voices Fund.
It is part of a $100m global fund instituted by the American online video-sharing platform.
It seeks to “develop and amplify the voices and stories of black creators and artists around the world,” and “present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice.”
“I make Afrobeats, but with a bit more soul and lyricism. That’s the spice I bring that makes me different. I’m inspired by human emotions and how they affect our decisions. And I’m on a mission to further cement my sound in other parts of the world, pushing Afrobeats to the global scene,” says Fireboy DML.
“Our identity informs our sonics, our storytelling and our fashion,” remarks Sauti Sol. “Much like our country, Kenya, our music is multi-layered, with an East Africa groove. Our passion is for the craft and artistry of music, and our music is a soundtrack to people’s lives.”
Sho Madjozi adds: “My music is loud. It sounds current, it sounds urgent. Ultimately, it’s a screenshot of life as a young African woman. Whether it’s asserting my independence, whether it’s talking about love or lost love. I want to be remembered as someone who made it cool to be African and cool to be yourself, someone that presented new ways or different ways of being at this time. More than anything, I want a more equal future, where the colour of your skin or the village you happen to be born in does not have a significant impact on how far you can go.”
The artists will receive grants from the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program, a multi-year initiative dedicated to uplift and grow Black artists on the Youtube platform