POWER UP announce Year 3 inductees to its Participant Programme

40 Black music creators and industry professionals will receive career-changing support from the initiative.

Sam Moore
  • By Sam Harteam Moore
  • 14 Jul 2023
  • min read

POWER UP has announced details of the music creators, industry professionals and executives who will take part in the third year of its Participant Programme.

Co-founded in February 2021 by PRS Foundation and Ben Wynter, POWER UP’s Participant Programme seeks to elevate pioneering Black talent and is a key feature of the long-term initiative to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector.

POWER UP has now received over 1,200 applications since its launch, with applications from 848 Black music creators and 355 Black industry professionals each at crucial career stages. Over £12.8m of grant support has been requested through POWER UP alone across three annual deadlines, with PRS Foundation and funding partners investing over £1.1m into participants’ projects alongside providing invaluable holistic support.

Now a 120-person strong network - including Nova Twins, Bemz and Forward Slash founder Keturah Cummings - the POWER UP Participant Programme assists in the development of its participants' careers, while also helping to break through glass ceilings and accelerate change across the industry. Benefits of the initiative include 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.

The latest POWER UP participants have been announced today (14 July), and are as follows:

Music Creators
Aleighcia Scott
Ashaine White
Blasio Kavuma
Daudi Matsiko
Joel Culpepper
Josh Daniel
Kadeem Tyrell
Rebekah Reid
Santino Browne
Shao Dow
Yung Fume

Music Industry Professionals
Ade Edu
Alanna Henry
Albert Doku (Ras Kwame)
Basil Reynolds
Cils Williams
Corey Johnson
Dane Bradshaw
Eddie Smith
Elise Brown
Esther Oram
James Ayo
Kima Otung
Kwabena Amponsa
Lesley-Anne O’Brien
Mark Tremaine Okata Agbi
Mike Cave
Neicee Oakley
Reggie Kerr
Shakira Walters
Smooth Fuego
Wale Kalejaiye
Wizdom Layn

You can find out more about each of the Year 3 Participants here.

Speaking about today's announcement, POWER UP co-founder Ben Wynter said: 'Three years after the black square movement, many promises and statements appear to have been forgotten. Despite initial pledges for change, we are witnessing the resurgence of injustices, lack of equity and inequality as things revert to "normal".

'POWER UP demonstrates that empowering Black talent to shatter the glass ceiling leads to success. As we enter our third year and our network grows to 120, it’s evident that this program remains a vital lifeline for powering up Black talent. We’ve worked behind the scenes to guide companies in correcting missteps and actively participated in IPO Government round-table discussions on streaming, advocating for diverse voices to be included.

'POWER UP is driving tangible change, staying true to its original purpose. In these uncertain times, we urge industry leaders to move beyond symbolic gestures and take concrete action to support this initiative and honour the promises they made in 2020.'

Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation and co-founder of POWER UP, added: 'Huge congratulations to the 40 music creators and industry professionals joining our inspiring network of POWER UP Participants. We have been blown away by the impact of the programme so far and we are really proud of the achievements of POWER UP alumni, so I’m excited to meet our new cohort and to ensure the network continues to grow and approaches evolve to tackle complex racial barriers.

'The results of investing in Black talent speak for themselves and I wanted to thank our many partners and collaborators while encouraging others to join the get involved.'