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Meet The #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriters and Producers Class of 2022

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Meet The #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriters and Producers Class of 2022

  • By The YouTube Music Team
  • Oct.21.2021
Meet The #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriters and Producers Class of 2022
From the page to the studio, these visionaries are expanding the horizons of song and sound

Please meet the #YouTubeBlack Voices Songwriter & Producer Class of 2022:

Cadenza

Cadenza

Cadenza

London, England

Cadenza: “Music was a major part of my childhood years. My father is a reggae DJ and radio broadcaster, and so he would always be playing new tracks and dubplates he was excited about. I think that energy was contagious. My brother was the first to show me about making beats when he brought home a copy of FL Studio. I was learning violin and piano at the time at school, and I really enjoyed being able to apply my skills into making beats. I was also drawn to watching YouTube videos of Pharrell working in the studio and started to realize I wanted to learn and understand that process more. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will really help me to execute my vision for promoting the British-Jamaican connection. I have been working on a writing camp concept that takes place in Jamaica which is centered around connecting young Black talent both from within Jamaica and internationally.”

Credits: "Up Inna” - Cadenza feat. MIA & GuiltyBeatz

YouTube Black Voices: Compass

Compass

Compass

North London, England, United Kingdom

Compass: “I wanted to be a psychiatrist at the time I entered the music industry. People always opened up to me, and I was always a good listener and hyper empathetic. If you look over my discography, a lot of the records I’ve created with artists are close to their hearts, speaking on subjects that they would never usually have told anybody. I like to write with substance, lyrics being first-string and then base the production around the song. It would be great if the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund could shed even more light on the music and all other work I create. Not many people know who’s responsible for a lot of the work they love, so hopefully it encourages people to get to know more about the BTS of records etc., whether I’m involved in them or not.”

Credits: ”Hypocrite” - Compass

YouTube Black Voices: Dallas Woods

Dallas Woods

Dallas Woods

Wyndham, West Australia, Australia

Dallas Woods: “I'm a proud Menang Noongar man. I grew up in Wyndham in Western Australia’s East Kimberley. For the last three years, I have been writing, collaborating, making, and releasing music and content. My music is a reflection of my personality and truths, mixed with freedom of speech and movement, with some conscious, cheeky bars with high-end production and beats. My music is me talking about some hard-hitting truths behind some hard-hitting beats wrapped up with a whole lotta love and energy. I see the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund impacting my career by enabling me to connect, explore, create, and collaborate. It will enable me to create music and content, expand my audience, and build followers and fans that will hear my story and see my artistic vision. Using the platform will enable me to create my own community within my channel and be able to build that audience. It will allow me to show people some behind the scenes and get an insight into my creative process. I will be creating music to push change in the right direction for POC and for all the tribes and clans ​​— for Australia.”

Credits: “If It Glitters It's Gold” - Dallas Woods

YouTube Black Voices: Dj Lag

Dj Lag

Dj Lag

Johannesburg, South Africa

Dj Lag: “All that I am is influenced by my need to express myself through music, and my ambition to create a language to communicate my identity. Those who know me intimately will tell you that my music is very much an extension of my personality. Growing up, I looked up to Msawawa, a famous South African kwaito singer, because he stayed in the same area as me. I grew up wanting to be a superstar like Msawawa in his prime. These days, my experiences inspire me and my music - like the different city sounds I hear when I’m traveling, or the sound of township hustle when I’m back home. Gqom is my sound. It is a genre that we created so it is hard to compare it to something that didn't exist before. Gqom is a fusion of different genres but with a taste of South African township nightlife, like what happens after 2 a.m. on the streets. It’s a living genre that we’re always evolving.”

Credits: “Siyagroova” - DJ Lag & DJ Tira

YouTube Black Voices - Gloria Kaba

Gloria Kaba

Gloria Kaba

Irvington, New Jersey, United States

Gloria Kaba: “My music is influenced by 60s soul and R&B, 70s Motown, 80s pop, and 90s hip-hop and R&B. You will find classic pop songwriting with familiar yet edgy musical backdrops. I didn’t come from a musical family but always had an affinity for music. I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been drawn to it and it’s always spoken to me in a way nothing else has. My production influences in my formative years were the Neptunes and Kanye West. My favorite songwriters were Smokey Robinson and Babyface. I believe the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will help me connect with an audience I can inspire with my story and provide a platform for up and coming creatives. I’m excited about the opportunity to form a team, to consistently put out content, and to engage and build a community of like-minded creatives.”

Credits: “Borderline (An Ode To Self Care)” - Solange

YouTube Black Voices - HARV

HARV

HARV

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

HARV: “Growing up in a musical family, I was inspired by music at an early age. My originality and unique approach to creating music influences my sound and lyrics. I always like to incorporate live guitars, bass, or piano instrumentals. I also like to add some modernizing sounds. It just depends on what I’m working on. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is impactful because it advocates for diversity and more representation, and I think it’s amazing to see that they’re committed to giving Black artists and performers a larger platform to be heard!”

Credits: "Peaches" - Justin Bieber

YouTube Black Voices - IAmTash

IAmTash

IAmTash

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

IAmTash: “I would describe my beats as innovative, melodic, culture-influencing, and a mix of the older R&B bounce mixed with the newer hip-hop bounce. Dipset really influenced me to become a producer. Hearing the way they rapped over the sample beats just made me want to get into the creation process of it. French Montana “Sanctuary” was the song that really pushed me to make my first beat. I see the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund impacting my career by helping in promoting my brand and also giving me jewels and info on the music industry that I lack. And that I am grateful for.”

Credits: "What You Know Bout Love" - Pop Smoke

YouTube Black Voices - Jay Versace

Jay Versace

Jay Versace

Pleasantville, New Jersey, United States

Jay Versace: “ I wouldn’t describe the music that I create. It’s something that you just have to use your own perspective and relate in your own way. Some things you can’t really just describe to people. Some things they have to perceive. Because I make art, my identity is my work. The things I create are a reflection of me. So I really don’t separate my work from who I am. Everything that I create came from me. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will put me in an environment to create on a broader spectrum, which will give me the chance to express myself in ways where I never even imagined with people that I never thought could be possible. I’m really excited to work with the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.”

Credits: "Safari" - Tyler, The Creator

YouTube Black Voices - jetsonmade

jetsonmade

jetsonmade

Columbia, South Carolina, United States

jetsonmade: “My music identity is a reflection of me and how I am feeling. It just really depends on my vibe at the time and how I am feeling that day in the studio. My influence on my decision in becoming a producer grew due to growing up in church and with the support of my mom. I want to influence Carolina with my sound. The funding from #YouTubeBlack Voices will help me help the upcoming producers that look up to me and help me gain the proper tools to help them further their careers.”

Credits: “WHATS POPPIN” - Jack Harlow

YouTube Black Voices - Kobie Dee

Kobie Dee

Kobie Dee

South Sydney, Bidjigal Land, Australia

Kobie Dee: “I would describe my music as reality rap. A lot of my music that I make is about my surroundings and my environment growing up. It’s me telling my story and the story of my community. My identity and my lived experience informs all my work. I write music that shares insight to things I’ve gone through, battled with, and have overcome. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is a great opportunity that's going to support me to keep writing, keep creating, and doing what I love. I hope it helps me elevate my voice and reach more people.”

Credits: Kobie Dee - About A Girl

YouTube Black Voices - Léo Casa 1

Léo Casa 1

Léo Casa 1

São Paulo, Brazil

Léo Casa 1: “My identity is shaped by my love for life and family, by my hobbies and cultural interests. I always try to leave that clear in my work. I always loved music, and it was a natural will to become a producer. I produce engaging beats and live instrumentals for urban artists to express themselves. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will help me keep investing in new upcoming talented artists and add value to street culture.”

Credits: “Dizeres” - Lourena e Sant

YouTube Black Voices - Major League DJz

Major League DJz

Major League DJz

Johannesburg, South Africa

Major League DJz: “We started as event promoters. When DJs would be late for their set, we would fill that gap and DJ. We do come from a musical family. Music is definitely in our genes. What inspires our sound and lyrics is definitely the people of Africa. Their nature is enough to make anyone love what they do. We do not believe you will find happier people on earth. They inspire us to put an African sound on the map so the world can watch in awe how we live and embrace each other in spite of our challenges. As artists, we were the hardest hit by the pandemic. The funding will help us ensure we continue the trajectory to take Amapiano to the world. We will continue to travel and immerse this beautiful sound to anyone and everyone that crosses our path and continue to scale it through our Balcony Mix experiences on YouTube. *It’s Piano to the world*”

Credits: “Dinaledi” Major League DJz, Abidoza feat. Mpho Sebina

YouTube Black Voices - Mu540

Mu540

Mu540

Praia Grande, São Paulo, Brazil

Mu540: “I grew up in Baixada Santista, and there I grew up listening to what the older scoundrels always heard. I've been attached to an 808 and explicit lyrics since I was a child. My mother, even though I didn't want to, influenced me to become a musician/producer. My sound is inspired by rebellion, daring, and wit. I would call it Quebrada World Music // Worldwide Hood Music. I believe the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will provide a spotlight of exponential reach. I only need to be seen, my sound guarantees me.”

Credits: "Nois É" - Mu540, Fleezus & MC Bin Laden

YouTube Black Voices - Nova Wav

Nova Wav

Nova Wav

Tallahassee, Florida / Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Nova Wav: “We are known for making music that's usually based in hip-hop and R&B, but we strive to do “NOVA” in all genres. A NOVA is a binary star system in outer space that revolves around each other until they merge to create a beautiful explosion. We often say that the music we make, no matter the genre, is universal. We also try to make the lyrical messages as positive as possible because we feel those are the farthest-reaching, longest-lasting records, and the most touching records. Music is Magical. If we can give a glimmer of hope, a spec of power, a seed to grow in our music, it can touch someone, and that someone can change the world. We really appreciate the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund shining a light on us and our music. We plan to keep trying to make music we believe in and use this platform to support other young Black artists and producers, and help them make their voices heard.”

Credits: "Black Parade" - Beyonce

YouTube Black Voices - OG Parker

OG Parker

OG Parker

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

OG Parker: “As a young, successful, African-American creative, my identity is my work. I am proud of my culture and heritage, and it has been a critical part of my work. Hearing my brother playing music growing up inspired me to really dive into composing, and the fact that my grandfather was a renowned pianist who also taught music at the prestigious Morehouse College sealed the deal. You can kind of say I was born into music. My sound is inspired by personal life and experiences. I would describe it as traditional R&B inspired with hard drums. I always approach music with the goal of touching my audience. I want them to walk away feeling something every time they hear my music. The #YouTubeBlack Voices campaign gives creatives like me the opportunity to inform and provide a positive platform to help Black creatives insert themselves on more mainstream levels.”

Credits: "Thot Shit" - Megan Thee Stallion

YouTube Black Voices - P.Priime

P.Priime

P.Priime

Lagos, Nigeria

P.Priime: “I'm from a musically inclined family, and I have fallen in love with music since I was a little boy. I was in the church choir. I played the piano and drums, and the whole process of bending musical sheets to my taste fascinated me to become a composer. I am really detailed and all about breaking boundaries generally and that tells in my music. I have made different types of songs for different artists, hence a combination of ideas and emotions. I would say as long as you can relate to my sound, then that's it. I have so many ideas I'd love to bring to life, and I know with the right resources and funding, l'll be able to achieve that.”

Credits: "Anoti" - WizKid

YouTube Black Voices - RDD

RDD

RDD

Paulo Afonso, Bahia, Brazil

RDD: “In the beginning, I just wanted to make music, and only after I came to see myself as a producer. Some producers like Kanye West, Pharrell, P2J, and Jae5 inspire me a lot. My music is music made to be free, to move, to transcend. In it I bring my roots from Bahia/Brazil and mix with world pop references. I think the way I bring contemporary elements to percussive roots music from Bahia makes my DNA. People can identify me very easily in my production. My signature is different! I see this opportunity as a door that I'm unlocking to connect me more and more with the world.”

Credits: "We Go Hard" - RDD, Agent Sasco & Dfideliz

YouTube Black Voices - Rodriguinho

Rodriguinho

Rodriguinho

Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil

Rodriguinho: “I became a musician under the influence of my family: everyone played at home and sang. Becoming a composer was a necessity. I started to see that I didn't see myself in the songs they sent me. I didn't see my stories, I didn't see my words, so it was a necessity to start composing. I like Black music a lot, so my sound was always thinking about Black music, hip hop and such. And the lyrics have to be as real as possible. That way, I can even write the story, but we have to be able to see it by listening. I don't really like to fantasize in lyrics. I write for those who identify with the music. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will impact not only mine, but the careers of many Black talents. I think there are a lot of people to be revealed, a lot of people motivated to show their work. It's going to be pretty amazing.”

Credits: "O Show (Ao Vivo)" - Legado

YouTube Black Voices - Telz

Telz

Telz

Lagos, Nigeria

Telz: “I'll describe my music as if it were a human. It has character and it speaks for itself. I've had influences from Travis Barker, Timbaland, and Sarz. Little things like road trips, church choir, and spoken words influence my sound. My identity is entirely different from what I do, and that's a good thing. It's unexpected. I see the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund impacting my career in various ways, most especially making my ideas become real. Also it'll help me network with other creatives globally.”

Credits: "Abule" - Patoranking

YouTube Black Voices - Walshy Fire

Walshy Fire

Walshy Fire

Miami, Florida, United States

Walshy Fire: “I'm influenced by many, but if I had to narrow it down, I'd say Burning Spear, Celia Cruz, Lord Kitchener, Rakim, Barry White, and Sade influenced my decision to produce music. Life's experiences and traveling the world has inspired my sound. I would call that sound a sophisticated fusion of Caribbean and American music — Trinidadian soca, Jamaican reggae, American hip-hop, and dance music — to dance floors across the world. The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will amplify my effort to introduce sounds and artists from different corners of the world. I hope to make the world a bit smaller through music.”

Credits: "Call Me" - Walshy Fire, Mr Eazi & Kranium

YouTube Black Voices - WondaGurl

WondaGurl

WondaGurl

Toronto, Canada

Wondagurl

Credits: ”Antidote” - Travis Scott

YouTube Black Voices Fund

YAOB

YAOB

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

YAOB: “Growing up in a mixed cultural family, I was exposed to a wide variety of musical influences. I would listen to soul and African music that my mother would play, and funk and Arabic music that my dad would listen to. The one thing that my ear was always drawn to was the bass lines in songs, no matter the genre. This variety has influenced my music to be rhythmic and diverse. I love to bring energy and smiles and happiness to people. You never know how someone is actually feeling, so to be light and happy could really make someone's day, which I think is reflected in my music. At the end of the day, to me, that’s what life is about. Lifting others up and lending your time and energy to build a community. Honestly, this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time given the circumstances we are under at the moment. It will help fund the project and give me more time to focus on the goals I really want to achieve. Not just for myself, but for the people around me that I would love to collaborate with to create something amazing, and to build connections that will last a very long time.”

Credits: "A.O.K" - Adrian Eagle

Check out music from these songwriters and producers on the Class of 2022 playlist here.