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Newly appointed chair of the BPI creates young artist awards

The recently appointed chair of British Phonographic Industry (BPI), broadcaster and multi-instrumentalist YolanDa Brown and entrepreneur James ‘JP’ Drake are delighted to announce that applications for the annual Drake YolanDa Awards are now open. The Drake YolanDa Awards are a series of cash prizes presented to emerging young musicians aged between16-30 enabling them to showcase their talent and assist them in taking their careers to the next level.

Ten promising artists will be awarded £3000 each, with ten additional runner up prizes of £500 each, intended to support each winners’ artistic development in areas including touring, artistic development, recording new music, music videos, marketing, branding and purchasing new equipment.

Celebrating the rich and diverse nature of the UK music scene, The Drake YolanDa Award welcomes applicants from all genres and are specifically looking for independent artists that need support and do not currently have backing from major record labels or publishers. Application deadline is 5th September (at 12 noon), after which a team of leading music industry figures will select twenty shortlisted artists on 12th September.

The winners will be presented their awards at a celebration concert, taking place on 19th September in London attended by music professionals and media.

Previous winners of a Drake YolanDa Award include rising stars such as the vocalist and songwriter Cherise Adams-Burnett, rappers Guvna B and Manik MC, singer-songwriter and pop luminary BEKA currently touring with Honne, celebrated author and singer Chibundu Onuzo, guitarist Rosie Frater Taylor and saxophonist Emma Rawicz.

2021 winner Chibundu Onuzo says: “Winning the Drake YolanDa award made me believe I was a singer. Using the proceeds if the prize, I recorded my second single, Coming Home, which was released in July 2022. Since its release, the single has been featured on national television, on BBC 1’s Sunday Morning Live, on national radio and more is in the works. Thanks Drake YolanDa!"

YolanDa Brown adds: “For many artists, access to finance is always a big stumbling block to achieving their dreams. James and I are happy to support artists to move another step closer to making them a reality.”

Applications are open now until 5th September. Artists must apply and submit a recent music video or audio recording via


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