YouTube Music expands efforts to support and promote artists with international Foundry program

Apr 03, 2019 - Product News

As part of our efforts to support artists at every phase of their career, today YouTube Music is welcoming a new class of artists to a refreshed version of YouTube Music’s international artist development program, Foundry.

Foundry began in 2016 as a series of workshops and content creation sessions at YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, New York, and London, with the goal of providing artists tools to grow their presence on YouTube. Artists including Dua Lipa, ROSALÍA, Dave, CUCO, Gunna, Mahalia, Maleek Berry, Chloe x Halle, Jacob Collier, Rauw Alejandro, and Cavetown are alumni of the program. “Foundry was my introduction to YouTube,” said Dua Lipa, who participated in Foundry’s first year and went on to become the youngest female artist to earn 1 billion views on a YouTube video. “I was just starting to release music at the time, and I was excited to learn how to connect with my audience. Since then, I’ve created all kinds of content and my fans know that YouTube is the place to go to see all of me. As of last month, I have more than 10 million subscribers, and we're still growing!”

“Great content is at the foundation of any artist’s success,” said Naomi Zeichner, Artist Promotional Partnerships Lead for YouTube Music. “Foundry artists make videos that bring context to their music and teach people new things about the world. It’s a privilege to partner with these artists to support their channels as they grow and their music travels across borders. The more these artists engage and break through, the more learnings we’re able to share back with YouTube’s entire artist community.”

Foundry’s newest class features 11 independent acts from around the globe, all working to bring their music and stories to new audiences and build lasting relationships with their fans. They will receive marketing promotion and education on best practices for growing and engaging their audience on an international scale. Together, the class will develop their music and visual content, becoming experts at building deep connections with their fans.

“YouTube has been a key piece in making my music global,” said ROSALÍA, the Spanish singer and producer who grew her YouTube subscriber base by over 7000% while participating in Foundry in 2018. “I curate my music to the smallest detail and all my visuals as well. With YouTube my music can be seen while heard, which is fundamental for me because it allows my radical musical bets to be more accessible. It’s a blessing for an artist when the world can access your music —  whoever you are, wherever you are, whenever you want. When I was selected for Foundry last year I was so excited. It meant a lot for my songs and videos at a time in which I didn’t yet have the infrastructure or label support on my side, and I am very grateful for it.”

Foundry will complement other YouTube Music initiatives that aim to support and promote artists, such as the Artist Spotlight Stories series and Artist On The Rise program for artists on the cusp of superstardom. The program’s new class of artists includes midwestern psych-soul guitarist Omar Apollo, London poet-turned-songwriter Arlo Parks, Chicago singer and rapper Ann Marie, Houston and Chihuahua, Mexico-based regional mexican songwriter Abraham Vazquez, Tokyo rock band Ace Collection, Port-au-Prince DJ and producer Michael Brun, Los Angeles R&B singer iyla, Dublin hip-hop experimentalist Kojaque, London-via-Lagos rapper Flohio, Seoul production duo GroovyRoom, and Brussels rapper ICO. The program will welcome an additional set of artists later this year.

Reflecting upon his selection as a Foundry artist, Omar Apollo shared: “At this point in my career, I own my music and I have creative control over it. I get to choose what feels right. On my YouTube channel, we try to put together a mood for the music. Showing songs in visual form, posting vlogs, so people can see what shows are like and come out to shows. With Foundry, it’s nice to know that YouTube is with us. That we can do what we want, and have support. We’re getting a bunch of ideas already.”

For more from Foundry artists, subscribe to their channels and stay tuned to @YouTubeMusic’s socials for updates.

-- The YouTube Music team