Rip It Up supports next generation of Black, Asian and diverse music talent with new bursary programme

Mentors include Nova Twins and Seye Adelekan

Rip It Up, a new bursary programme that aims to provide a platform and direction for the next generation of Black, Asian and diverse music talent, has been launched.

The teams at Sound City, Youth Music, sm-mgmt, CAPLL LTD and more have come together for an initiative designed to push for racial equality, and to welcome a new generation of creatives and talent in the music industry.

Made up of eight sessions that cover a string of vital areas in the industry, the programme will focus on campaign strategies, publicity, recording/production, music distribution, management and more.


Ten bursaries are on offer that “provide the framework for young talent to emerge and enter the music industry”.

The selected applicants will receive “extensive support from the very beginning of the programme, with a financial grant assisting in their studies – with the sole aim of discovering and providing opportunities for talent from across different communities and backgrounds the equal chance to engage and thrive within the eclectic music world”, a press release reads.

A number of artists, industry figureheads and experts will provide mentorship and help guide the applicants throughout the sessions.

The course is helmed by leader and industry insider Yaw Owusu of The Playmaker Group. Other figures involved include Seye Adelekan (Gorillaz), Nova Twins, Facebook’s Vanessa Bakewell, Liam James Ward of digital agency Be-Hookd Digital and Achal Dhillon of Killing Moon Records.

Seye Adelekan
Seye Adelekan. CREDIT: Press

“Rip It Up is a solution based response to challenges in the music industry for emerging Black artists and creatives based in Merseyside,” Yaw Owusu said. “I am happy to be supporting this by working with the participants to learn, develop and share, in the hopes that their experiences, skills and opportunities improve in regards to their careers in the music industry”


Seye Adelekan added: “It’s a big honour and privilege to be a part of Rip it Up, sharing my experiences with young people taking part. I mean, I didn’t go to Uni or Music College, but what I lacked in that formal education I made up for by learning from great players and producers who have come before me and those who continue to create to this day. I think hearing from people first hand is really going to benefit the young people involved in Rip It Up and I count myself fortunate to be a small part of that”

Applications for Rip It Up are now open to young people aged 18-25 across the north west, and are separated into two strands.

Five of the 10 bursaries will be focused on artists, with the practical element incorporating professional experience within a recording studio alongside an engineer being covered as a part of the Rip It Up scheme.

The other five places will be focused on industry applicants, with the practical element incorporating a paid placement within a professional workplace situated in the industry sector they wish to enter.

All 10 successful bursary individuals will receive a dedicated mentor to assist them with regular meetings and discussions, with monthly updates continuing after the programme to assist in further job placements and industry catchups. To apply, visit this link.

A Facebook Live discussion to mark the launch of Rip It Up is set to take place on Thursday (January 21) at 4pm. You can watch it here.