Johannesburg - The only Nigerian musician in this year’s YouTube Black Voices class of 2021, believes he represents the new generation of young black artists.
“Black artists are at the forefront of global domination. Being the first and only Nigerian on this programme, my little but significant impact on the rise of Afrobeats is a solid reason as well. I’m honoured,” said Fireboy DML.
Born Adedamola Adefolahan, the singer and songwriter is signed to the record label YBNL Nation, founded by Nigerian rapper Olamide. Fireboy is one of three African artists, the others being South Africa’s Sho Madjozi and Kenyan group Sauti Sol, who will be receiving support from YouTube.
The artists join others selected from the US, Brazil and Australia, whose music spans generations and locations.
The Artist Class of 2021 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested in the development of their channels, and participate in training and networking programmes focused on production, fan engagement and well-being.
This grant programme is part of the larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to uplift and grow black creators and artists on the platform and to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programmes, focusing on racial justice and the black experience.
Fireboy’s journey into music was predestined from an early age. “It was my purpose. Growing older and finding myself in university, I realised I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do with my life – not until I found myself in the studio one day and made my first song. That was it for me.”
His debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps solidified his place in the Afrobeats lifestyle.
“I sing Afrobeats because they represent my roots as an African … And I’m on a mission to further cement my sound in other parts of the world, pushing Afrobeats to the global scene. With the YouTube Black Voices I aim to inspire other black voices out there to speak up and realise their potential,” he said.