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PRS Foundation launches Power Up to support black music creators and industry professionals

By | Published on Tuesday 26 January 2021

PRS Foundation

The PRS Foundation has announced a new initiative called Power Up, which will support 40 black music creators and industry professionals through grants and mentoring each year. It aims to counteract racism and a lack of diversity in the music industry.

Created in partnership with YouTube Music, Beggars Group and the Black Music Coalition, and steered by a group of 80 black music professionals – including artist manager Keith Harris, music publisher Paulette Long and 0207 Def Jam A&R Director Char Grant – Power Up is also being supported by AIM, the BPI, the FAC, The Ivors Academy, the MMF, the MPA, MPG, the Musicians’ Union, PPL, PRS For Music and the PRS Members’ Fund.

Char Grant says: “I am very proud to be a part of the executive steering committee which is shaping the Power Up programme. I am beyond happy that our shared vision for the betterment of black people is starting to be delivered on terms that create real opportunity for the next generation of black artists, black creatives, and those that wish to build careers in the industry”.

Power Up co-founder Ben Wynter adds: “I am proud and excited that after a long six months, Power Up is finally able to launch. Having been on the receiving end of unconscious bias and the structural and systemic anti-black behaviour that occurs within our industry, I know first-hand just how important Power Up is”.

“Following on from Black Out Tuesday and seeing all of the posts of solidarity”, he goes on “I realised that there was an opportunity to seize the moment and put something in place that would encourage the dialogue to last beyond the 2020 BLM movement and have a lasting impact over the next decade and beyond. Step forward, Power Up!”

Last year, 78% of black respondents to UK Music’s 2020 Diversity Report survey said that they had experienced racism within the music industry.

Watch the video announcing the launch of the Power Up project here: