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Creator & Artist Stories

Meet The YouTube Music Foundry Class of 2022

  • By Naomi Zeichner
  • YouTube Music Artist Partnerships Lead
  • Jul.26.2022
Meet The YouTube Music Foundry Class of 2022
Welcoming 30 new artists to our global development program for independent music.

Today, YouTube Music is glad to introduce the Foundry Class of 2022, with 30 new artists joining our global artist development program.

Since its beginnings – in 2015 as a workshop series and in 2017 as an incubator dedicated to independent music – it’s been Foundry’s mission to help artists get to “the next level,” with the resources to navigate a rapidly evolving music business. Over the years, we’ve seen how that progress takes no one path. To thrive, independent artists must constantly take on new challenges, shift course, and reinforce their sense of self-belief.

The advice I received as part of Foundry helped me build a super strong foundation on which to build the next 5 to 10 years of my visual output and career”

Shygirl 2021 Foundry alumni

The journeys of independent artists may be winding, but they don’t have to be lonely. Turning an audience into a real community of fans is an enormous feat, requiring courage and allies as much as talent. Foundry artists receive seed funding invested into the development of their content and dedicated partner support from YouTube as they grow on their own terms.

“The advice I received as part of Foundry helped me build a super strong foundation on which to build the next 5 to 10 years of my visual output and career,” said UK pioneer Shygirl, after graduating from Foundry’s 2021 class. When artists have stability, culture everywhere wins. “Foundry helped corridos tumbados to be more known on a global level and helped me take the Mexican flag to the most important stages all over the world,” said 2020 alum Natanael Cano.

Foundry helped corridos tumbados to be more known on a global level and helped me take the Mexican flag to the most important stages all over the world”

Natanael Cano 2020 Foundry alumni

To date, Foundry’s annual artist development classes and ongoing release support campaigns have supported more than 250 independent artists, with alumni including Arlo Parks, beabadoobee, Dave, Dua Lipa, Clairo, ENNY, Eladio Carrion, girl in red, Gunna, Japanese Breakfast, Kenny Beats, Natanael Cano, Omar Apollo, Rema, Rina Sawayama, ROSALÍA, Saba, Shygirl, Snail Mail, Tems, Tokischa, Tenille Arts and more.

This year, we saw a 4X increase in Foundry applications, and the Class of 2022 is the program’s largest to date, with 30 artists representing 15 countries. Working with devoted teams and across genres, each artist in the class uniquely represents the spirit of independence. For YouTube’s global music team, it’s an honor to champion their work and potential, every step of the way.

Meet the Foundry Class of 2022 below and check out a playlist of songs from the class here.