The ‘Power Up’ Participant Programme will see 20 Black music creators and 20 Black executives and industry professionals selected each year to receive grant support of up to £15,000, ‘capacity building’ and mentoring, support from partners and marketing support.
The application process for participants opens today (February 10), and closes on Wednesday March 10 at 6pm GMT. Successful applicants will be announced in April 2021.
The initiative’s steering committee features senior industry executives including Sony Music‘s Director of Africa, Taponeswa Mavunga and Danny D, of Tim & Danny Music (Stellar Songs, Delirious Blacksmith Records) and many others (see below).
Additional ambassadors have also been confirmed today, including Co-President of 0207 Def Jam Alex Boateng, British artist Lady Leshurr, BBC radio presenter/DJ Tiffany Calver and CEO of GRM Daily, Koby ‘Posty’ Hagan. The full list of ambassadors can be seen here.
According to PRS Foundation, the ‘Power Up’ initiative “aims to break down barriers to create a fairer, more equitable music industry, to achieve better representation in all sectors of the UK music industry, and to amplify the work of Black creators and industry professionals”.
This will be achieved via two strands, the Power Up Participant Programme and the Power Up Movement.
In alliance with the Black Music Coalition, the Power Up Movement will set targets and apply industry pressure to increase Black representation, empower and advocate for Black talent and industry professionals, with the aim of “influencing policy and shaping the future of the music”.
Power Up’s Executive Steering Committee includes:
- Keith Harris OBE, MD Keith Harris Music Ltd. (Artist Manager, Consultant)
- Paulette Long OBE, Westbury Music (Music Publisher, Consultant, Dep’ Chair, UK Music Diversity Task Force)
- Ammo Talwar MBE, Punch Records & UK Music Diversity Task Force Chair
- Sheryl Nwosu, Lawyer & Chair of the Black Music Coalition
- Mulika Sannie, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs, Kobalt
- Jackie Davidson MBE, JD Management, PPL Board, MMF Custodian Board
- Ben Wynter, Co-Founder of Power Up, Founder Unstoppable Music & AIM Entrepreneur and Outreach Manager
- Char Grant, A&R Director 0207 Def Jam, Founder of The Debrief & Black Music Coalition Executive Committee Member
- Natalie Wade MBE, Founder/CEO of Small Green Shoots & Co-Founder of The Cat’s Mother
- Lorna Clarke, PRS Foundation Trustee
- Les Spaine, CEO, Spaine Music Company
- Danny D, Tim & Danny Music (Stellar Songs, Delirious Blacksmith Records)
- Kwame Safo, Funk Butcher/Houseology & PRS Foundation
- Taponeswa Mavunga, Director of Africa, Sony Music
- Yaw Owusu, Senior Power Up Manager, PRS Foundation (Executive Steering Committee Chair)
- Joe Frankland, CEO, PRS Foundation
Following on from the ‘Time To Power Up’ premiere on YouTube last month, a new “Time To Power Up Podcast” series is also being released, with discussions centring around the experience of Black Music creators and Industry professionals within the UK music industry.
Episode one is hosted by Ace from BBC Radio 1Xtra and guests include Keith Harris, Kwame Kwaten, Rich Castillo, Hannah Kendall, Despa and Neicee Oakley. Episode two is hosted by Jamz Supernova from BBC Radio 1Xtra with guests including, Ben Wynter, Joe Frankland, Yaw Owusu and Natalie Wade.
“Last year in the wake of the George Floyd episode so much was promised in terms of shifting the dial to improve the situation for minorities in the music industry, so little has so far been delivered. Power Up is an important step towards that delivery.”
Keith Harris OBE
Keith Harris OBE, Managing Director Keith Harris Music Ltd and Power Up Executive Steering Committee member said: “Last year in the wake of the George Floyd episode so much was promised in terms of shifting the dial to improve the situation for minorities in the music industry, so little has so far been delivered.
“Power Up is an important step towards that delivery.”
“Power Up is needed. The opportunities still don’t match the talent in our industry, it’s changing – but we need to do more. So it’s a pleasure to help.”
Alex Boateng, 0207 Def Jam
Alex Boateng said: “Power Up is needed. The opportunities still don’t match the talent in our industry, it’s changing – but we need to do more. So it’s a pleasure to help.”
“Power Up is a great example of what action can look like.”
Tiffany Calver said: “Solidarity is no longer enough, we need action to make any real change in our industry and the wider society.
“Power Up is a great example of what action can look like. I’m proud to be an Ambassador for Power Up and excited for the future of the industry and hope this inspires more people to get involved but also empower others to push forward their own actions for positive change.”
“Having been in the music industry for over 20 years, I truly believe the future is now and Power Up will be at the forefront of inspiring a whole new generation of artists.”
Sabrina Washington added: “It’s an absolute honour to be part of the PRS Foundation Power Up Movement. Having been in the music industry for over 20 years, I truly believe the future is now and Power Up will be at the forefront of inspiring a whole new generation of artistsMusic Business Worldwide