power up

Power Up announces creators and professionals accepted into Participant Programme

The programme is a key feature of the long-term initiative launched to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 18 May 2021
  • min read

Power Up has today announced the music creators, industry professionals and executives who will make up year one of the Participant Programme.

Launched in February by PRS Foundation, the Participant Programme is designed to elevate Black talent and attracted 512 applications from 363 music creators and 149 industry professionals at crucial career stages. 

The holistically shaped programme, specifically designed to fit the needs of the participants, will assist in the development of their careers and practice to break through glass ceilings and accelerate change. This includes grant support of up to £15,000 alongside capacity building masterclasses, mentoring, coaching, mental health and wellbeing support and access to added value support from Power Up Partners and the peer network which is integral to breaking down barriers. 

Creator participants are as follows: 

Music industry professionals:  

  • Adem Holness, Music Curator, Horniman Museum / Relationship Manager, Arts Council England
  • Christine Osazuwa, Director of Data & Insights - Global Marketing, Warner Music Group / Founder, Measure of Music
  • Des Agyekumhene, Artist Manager & NFT Consultant
  • Despa Robinson, Founder, BE83 Ltd.
  • Eric Hunter, Music Publishing Coordinator, Sky 
  • Errol Anderson, Founder, Touching Base
  • Eunice Obianagha, Founder/Director, Enspire Management, Co-Founder/Director Echo Music Foundation
  • Hannah Shogbola, Founder, DAJU / Agent, UTA Talent Agency
  • Heather Nelson, CEO, Black Music Festival & The Legacy Awards
  • Jennifer John, Creative director, Composer, Music Manager, Vocal Coach and Music Mentor, Key Note Speaker, Jennifer John Music
  • Kwame Daniels, Founder & CEO, Bounce Culture
  • Laura Lewis-Paul, Founder and Creative Director, Saffron Records CIC
  • Lekan Latinwo, Artist Manager, Intricate Management
  • Loretta Andrews, Artist Manager/Founder, Safe Music Management
  • Mohamed Ogleh, Artist Manager, 2-Tone Entertainment
  • Nick Eziefula, Media & Entertainment lawyer, Partner, Simkins LLP
  • Ree Sewell, Engineer Manager & Studio Coordinator, Metropolis Studios
  • Sami Omar, CEO, Producer & Artist Manager, Up2StandardSarah Shodipe, Freelance Music Journalist / Founder of Alt Access / PA Assistant, Dawbell
  • Selina Wedderburn, Head of Operations, Your Army / Co-Founder/Director, Tempo & Flow / Co-Founder/Director, Plan A Group

Co-Founder of Power Up, Ben Wynter said: ‘POWER UP was created as a result of Black Out Tuesday and a year on it is amazing to see phase one of the initiative become a reality. I’m excited for all of the participants and Yaw has done an amazing job in putting together an incredible bespoke and holistic programme.

'Whilst I'm happy to see the conversations that have begun since Black Out Tuesday, it is important to recognise we still have a long way to go. With the launch of the participant programme we can help support talent to break through the glass ceiling, but it also allows us to focus on the next phase of the POWER UP Movement - ensuring that we work with like-minded organisations to help the industry to become a fairer and more equitable place for all. Data collection and cross-sector collaboration will evolve into a POWER UP Pledge which will be announced later this year and will support companies and organisations to set and meet targets for meaningful change.’

Senior Power Up Manager, Yaw Owusu, commented: ‘I'm extremely excited to start working alongside the amazing and inspiring individuals who make up the inaugural network and will be the first POWER UP Programme Participants. We have worked really hard on the design and content of the Participant Programme so, alongside our partners and various external delivery organisations, we can ensure it reflects and meets the holistic needs of the participants’. 

PRS Foundation, chief executive, Joe Frankland said: ‘Congratulations to all 40 Participants selected to be part of this first year of Power Up. We’re delighted to offer holistic support to elevate all Participants and we’re excited to see the network becoming a base of knowledge exchange, peer support and collaboration from today onwards. I would like to thank our partners, YouTube Music, Beggars Group and the Black Music Coalition as well as Creative Scotland and all the music industry organisations that are supporting Power Up in so many ways. With so many applicants highlighting the severity of anti-Black racism in music in 2021, the whole sector must come together to make meaningful change at all levels. With wide-reaching action, I truly believe our Participants will be at the forefront of a fairer, more equitable music industry.’

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, consequently influencing policy and shaping the future of the music.