The UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development, PRS Foundation, has launched a brand-new initiative to support Black music creators and industry professtionals.
Named Power Up, the initiative – which is in in partnership with the Black Music Coalition, YouTube Music, Beggars Group and several music industry partners – will address anti-Black racism and disparities in the music sector, while a holistic Participant Programme has been set up to support Black talent within the music industry.
The ‘Power Up Participant Programme’ is a long-term network which will provide bespoke support to 20 Black music creators and 20 Black executives and industry professionals at crucial career stages each year, while addressing the barriers they face.
The participants will be assisted through:
- Grant support of up to £15,000
- Capacity building and mentoring
- Support from partners
- Marketing support
Through setting targets and applying industry pressure, ‘The Power Up Movement’ – in alliance with The Black Coalition – will champion Black talent within the industry which will influence policies as well as the future of music.
Power Up ambassadors include Kano, DJ Target; Disturbing London Founder Dumi Oburota, Ray Blk, LinkUp TV Founder Rashid Kasirye; and singer-songwriter Sabrina Washington.
The launch of the Power Up initiative comes after the UK Music’s 2020 Diversity Report found that only 7.8 of the music industry workforce surveyed identified as Black. 78% said they had experienced racism within the industry, and 90% agreed there is a lack of visibility of Black industry professionals in senior roles.
“PRS Foundation’s Power Up programme is a vital next step in supporting, championing and investing in the future progression of our Black music community within the music industry as a whole,” said the President of the PRS’ Members Council, Michelle Escoffery.
“It is so important to break down barriers to entry, accelerate change and empower the music creators and decision makers of tomorrow.
Power Up will launch with the premiere of “Time To Power Up” on Monday 25th January at 5.00pm (GMT) righ here.
An open call process for Black applicants will be announced in the coming weeks, with members of the Year 1 Power Up Participant network selected and announced in the Spring.