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NextGen Fund Round One recipients

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Announcing the recipients of the first round of the Youth Music NextGen Fund: 37 young creatives making their ideas happen with a grant of up to £2,500.

Read our Reflections on Round 1, where Project Lead Elijah shares insight on what made a good application. 

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making this fund possible, and to TikTok for supporting untapped creative talent through the NextGen Fund.

Abby Gray, Founder of A for Alpha sat with her record collection

A For Alpha

Alpha's Trip

A For Alpha is inspired by 90s Underground and the turns that this infamous decade took. Cutting her teeth in the Garage scene under her alias ‘A-Bee’, A For Alpha continues to push this raw Garage sound alongside chunky House, Techno tracks full of swing and the sounds of Hardcore, Rave and Jungle.

Alpha's Trip will be a vinyl and digital label focussing on re-releasing underground tracks from the 90s with remixes from fresh artists, as well as new releases inspired by the 90s sound. The genres represented will be House, Garage, Speed Garage, Jungle and Rave. 

  • Region South West
black and white image of woman wearing sunglasses

Abby Asabea

I don't hate you (I love me)

Abby Asabea is a young East Londoner of Ghanaian heritage, beautifully merging her eclectic taste, poignant writing style and unique vocals to create a modern ode to classic sounds. Her sound is indicative of a wide range of musical influences, including the likes of The Beatles, Sarah Vaughn, Funkadelic, Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. 

This project will see the creation of a 5 track EP, with jazz, soul, funk, RnB and hip-hop influences. It will tell the story of self growth in the mist of heartbreak, while sending a message of empowerment and healing.

  • Region Greater London
aiyana in an orange top against the blue sky


Friends Forever

AIYANA is a 21 year old artist from Brighton, UK. Her sound is influenced by a variety of genres, yet she maintains her own unique pop sound throughout each song. 

Friends Forever is a 7 track EP. The EP is based around the idea that when you're a child you say "friends forever" like its nothing, but as we grow up the expressions almost becomes heavier. Each song expresses a different side to the saying in a unique way.

  • Region South East
alicia looks to the sky wearing her band's buzzing sunglasses

Alicia Haye

Yes Please!

Alicia is the lead vocalist for Heart n Soul band Electric Fire. Their heart lifting, feel good second EP Buzzin’ is all about having fun. Their unique sound was developed through Heart n Soul’s digital music project SoundLab. It has evolved into an incredible live act, and Alicia has performed with the band on stages from Hong Kong to Amsterdam, London to Paris. 

During the pandemic, when she had to isolate, she developed new skills such as playing the guitar. She now wants to develop solo projects and showcase her talent as a musician with learning disabilities.

  • Region Greater London
  • Youth Music Funded Project Heart n Soul
woman with hands on her head wearing orange top that says security



ALIMISH (pronounced AL-EE-MEESH) is a dance artist from South Wales, with influences including Becky Hill, Karen Harding and Dua Lipa. Her previous releases have received both Spotify and Apple Music editorial playlists. She now hopes to bring her vision and musical ideas to life without being the feature on the track.

Power will be Alimish's first solo release. The NextGen Fund will support the release, music video and overall marketing campaign.

  • Region Wales
Alya stands with long hair down to the floor against an orange background with instruments around her

Alya Isha

The Sol Sessions

South-London soulstress, poet and multi-instrumentalist, Alya Isha pioneers a fresh sound: fusing rhythms and instruments from across the world with soul, groove and hard-hitting political lyricism.

Born and raised in Japan, moving to Tooting, London, and then Santiago de Cuba before returning to Brixton; the British, Indian-Mauritian and Swiss artist takes inspiration from this mix.

Alys plans to put together video shoot capturing three political poems, accompanied by tablas, keys and dance. The poems explore our links as individuals to the state of the world: Reason to Believe, Preparation and Like the Moon. 

  • Region Greater London
  • Youth Music Funded Project School Ground Sounds
ben wears a hat under bypass

Ben Deans

That People Face (working title)

Ben is a musician/producer from Glasgow, with an interest in using visuals to enhance audio and vice versa. He likes making sound tracks for moments pairing field recordings and samples with original VHS footage.

This project will be the launch of a multi-disciplinary project, supporting creation, promotion and marketing of a debut audio-visual EP. Covering experimental hip-hop, the project will include collaboration with other artists (eg. painters) to create merchandise and support the campaign.

  • Region Scotland
selfie of binboss with blonde hair wearing green top


binboss - Debut EP

binboss is an up-and-coming producer, sound artist and DJ based in Glasgow. his music is fast, hard, high-pitched and energetic with exhilarating sounds. binboss is exploring the grey area between sadness and recklessness and the music reflects that. get ready to move your body.

binboss will be creating his debut EP as a solo producer incorporating his hyperpop / donk / queer nightlife influences, as well as his jazz trumpet background. 

  • Region Scotland
man standing next to window

Brodie Barclay

Brodie Barclay Debut EP

Combining poetic story-telling with pop music, Brodie’s music takes the listener on a journey through sound and songwriting. Whether the genre is Lo-fi, EDM or Cinematic, Brodie peppers each track with the story he feels fits best.

Brodie will be professionally recording his debut EP, working with an experienced mixing and mastering  engineer. The support from Youth Music will allow him to launch properly as an independent artist, and to start to build momentum towards going full time with music.

  • Region Scotland
charity lying down with hair flowing around her

Charity Stow

I Know What She Wants

Charity Stow is a self taught singer-songwriter and musician based in Nottingham. Her songwriting has been shaped by the music of the greats, such as Carole King, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, as well as modern artists like Billie Marten, Daughter and Lucy Rose. 

The fund will support the single release of her track, 'I Know What She Wants' (provisional title). The project will support the recording, creation of a video and lyric video, and social marketing and ad campaigns.  

  • Region East Midlands
man smiling wearing black top and khaki gillet



Connect is a cypher project that allows artists with any genre background to colloborate together. A local producer will create a three minute instrumental, which will feature 3 vocalists - enabling emerging artists to connect with other creatives. They will work together to create a song that will be performed live, in a cypher style.

  • Region South West
photo of man wearing black cap against red backdrop

Danny Cliff

Debut Album

Danny Cliff is a singer-songwriter, composer and producer, born in Nigeria and rasied in Austria. He plans to use the NextGen Fund to create his first album, covering RnB, Pop and Soul.

  • Region Scotland
woman wearing a pink top

Elle Chante

Debut self-produced EP

Elle Chante is a singer and musical self expressionist based in the Midlands. She began to develop her artistic practice as a means of processing personal trauma, and the ethos of music as therapy has remained integral to her work as it has matured. 

Elle aims to make music that creates space for people to better understand each other and themselves. She is particularly interested in making work that explores issues of mental health, invisible illness and disability, with the intention of connecting with people who share her experiences, and communicating with people who don’t.

This project will be about developing and creating an EP that Elle has fully produced herself.

  • Region West Midlands
woman standing at mic in a studio booth with lava lamp

Ellie Kirtley


Ellie Kirtley is a musician from the seaside town, Lyme Regis.  She enjoys various genres but in particular, Soul, Indie and Jazz. Her own music features soulful vocals and honest lyrics over jazz driven chords. She released her debut EP "Out of Reach' in 2020. 

Evolve will see Ellie recording a 4 track EP, that builds on existing experience to explore and develop her sound. Ellie plans to work collaboratively with professionals across the music industry to deliver the project.

  • Region South West
  • Youth Music Funded Project B Sharp
Lily is on a fun-fair ride wearing a sleeveless knitted top

Empress Linoleum

Switch My Phone Off

Empress Linoleum (yes, like the flooring!), is a multifaceted producer and artist who loves bright colours, snacks and early mornings! A bit of a one-woman-band, she produces, writes, mixes and masters her work and also edits her own music videos. 

She began creating her sound at the age of 16 after being inspired by UK garage, DnB and later, the works of FKA Twigs and Sevdaliza. 

The project will see Empress Linoleum create a music video for her unreleased song titled Switch My Phone Off, which is about digital detoxing and not losing yourself. The vibe will be y2k, pink, fully, girly and sparkly.

  • Region West Midlands
ethan working behind the scenes at a lighting desk

Ethan McKenna

Full Stream Ahead

Ethan is a student at Confetti Insitute Of Creative Technologies studying Live and Technical Events. He is also involved in a variety of events in the local area in various technical roles. 

Throughout the pandemic Ethan has learnt how to live stream events and festivals. Ethan's experience with sight loss and visual impairment has shown him how important the accessibility of both in-person and online events is. He is passionate about doing what I can to raise awareness of this.

Full Stream Ahead will be a recorded or live streamed platform providing opportunities for artists based in Nottinghamshire. A key focus is to make these live streams accessible to watch, as well as creating diverse and inclusive line-ups.

  • Region East Midlands
  • Youth Music Funded Project Offshoots East Midlands CIC
Eva singing into a mic at outdoors event



EVA is an 18-year-old producer, singer and songwriter from Brighton. She is a self-taught musician who is currently building a repertoire of unreleased self-produced demos which range around the genres of EDM, R&B, Pop, House and even some pieces inspired by Country rhythms and Arabic scales.

EVA’s music career has been developing from an early age. She has been performing for the last 10 years, producing from the age of 15 and is now ready to put out her own material. 

This project will include the release of two self-produced singles with accompanying  music videos, single cover artwork and associated promotional campaigns. She aims to launch herself to a wider audience with the release of the first single in 2022.

  • Region South East
  • Youth Music Funded Project Audio Active
man djing on CDJ decks wearing jacket


B Side

Ibby, professionally known as IFB is an 18 year old producer and DJ hailing from Bradford, West Yorkshire, making everything from UK Bass, Bassline, Jackin House and UKG.

The project will incorporate 4 independent single releases, accompanied by promotional videos and advertisement.

  • Region Yorkshire and the Humber
josh playing a red flying-V guitar in a stripey top

Josh Henderson

Songs For Liverpool and Friends

Josh Henderson is a songwriter and performer from Liverpool, UK. He composes music and makes visual art inspired by U2, Radiohead, his love of his home city Liverpool and his family. Josh writes songs about Rock ’n’ Roll and happiness and loves to use his guitar and effects machines to ‘investigate sounds.’

Josh is a member of the DaDaFest Ensemble with whom he has performed in support of Amadou and Mariam and is currently collaborating on new music with Liverpool Youth Orchestra members and composer Tim Jackson.

"I will be recording my debut solo album in the studio. It's about helping people, a statement to be with friends! It is happiness with myself and my music. I will investigate sounds.  I know the songs are there but I just need to find them! I will be searching for the songs!"

  • Region North West
  • Youth Music Funded Project DaDaFest Ensemble
jasmine with her head to the side against a blue backdrop


Weird and Wonderful: EP Promo Campaign

JSMINE SOPHIA is a self-taught singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist based in London. Fusing elements of Alt-R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop, the melancholic undertones of JSMINE’s production, combined with hypnotic melodies and powerful lead vocals define a sound that is uniquely her own.

Born in the West Midlands to an Indian father and an English mother, JSMINE has always had a complicated relationship with identity. At the age of 19, she began producing and creating music from her bedroom, using just a laptop and earphone speakers to navigate through a vast array of emotions and inner conflicts.

This project will be based around the completion and marketing of her second EP, titled Weird and Wonderful. It will include creating music videos for 2 songs from the project, and will focus on widening her audience and reach through a marketing campaign on social media, blogs and playlists.

  • Region Greater London
Lees stands with her arms above her head


LEES EP1 Creative Campaign

Hailing from West London, Lees has collaborated with producers Liam Howe and Eg White to bring powerful yet intimate storytelling to her debut EP. She draws influence from the vocal delicacy of Imogen Heap and Jeff Buckley, combined with contemporary electronic elements of Francis and The Lights and James Blake.  

Lees has been writing solidly over the past year. Her first single ‘Honeymoon’ will detail her own personal experiences of her first relationship in her early 20’s.

The fund will help her build her visual identity and online presence as an artist, both as a foundation to her career and for her first EP release.

  • Region Greater London
Leftturn stands in a field wearing red sunglasses



Born and raised in Wakefield, Molly Brook, better known as "LEFTURN" always felt a strong connection to music; learning trumpet and piano as child. Both of her brothers played in a band and would rehearse at the family home, which caused LEFTURN to play with their instruments with curiosity. 

Since releasing their first song at 20, LEFTURN has kept that same curiosity garnered from a young age and uses it to fuel their artistic ventures. Now sitting at over 1.5 million collective streams, they are excited to see how far their curiosity can take them.

This project will see the creation of a self produced album, titled "Agenda" - playing on the word A-Gender.

  • Region Yorkshire and the Humber
lil trubz on the mic wearing a backwards cap

Lil Trubz

Tracks On Tap

Lil Trubz is a rapper and events producer who founded the up-and-coming music platform Tracks On Tap (TOT) in 2018. Trubz started releasing freestyles on youtube in 2011, building a network which would unknowingly become the foundations for TOT. 

Trubz has done performances as an artist at Ted Talks, O'Meara, The Ned, Brixton Jamm and more. He also featured in Stormzy's #WickedSkengCypher which has 250,000+ views on youtube. He's also a Youth Leader for School Ground Sounds.

Through the NextGen Fund, Trubz will executively produce and engineer his first album called "Tracks On Tap", which will feature up and coming artists from the ever-growing TOT Community. Trubz is seeking an industry level mentor who can help develop his engineering skills for the project.

  • Region Greater London
  • Youth Music Funded Project School Ground Sounds
Luci in the sky stands smiling against a blue sky

Luci in the Sky

Empty Space

Luci in the Sky is a 20 year old genre-blending rapper / bedroom producer, with influences ranging from Isaiah Rashad to Beshken.

Luci is confident in several instruments and has a very precise approach when it comes to music production, creating dream-like soundscapes. Luci's lyrics tends to focus around themes of love, broken people and the world they inhabit. His rap flow - most akin to the likes of Loyle Carner - wonderfully contrasts his haunting and beautifully delicate vocals. 

His NextGen Fund project, 'Empty Space' will be a lo-fi hip hop record with jazz, ambient and electronic influences. It will chronicle the relationship between two broken people in an ever changing world.

  • Region East Midlands
luke looking down at the floor next to some curtains

Luke RV

What's That Over There?

Luke RV is a rapper, singer and songwriter from Neath Port Talbot. Luke combines relatable, witty lyrical content with chilled, laidback production often working with producer, Minas. The vibe is a blend of lo-fi alternative hip hop and a post garage feel. 

Luke’s EP Valley Boy was nominated as a runner up for the Welsh Music Prize 2020 before he went on to release his debut project, Going Nowhere. 

What's That Over There? is his next album comprised of 11 tracks. It will be recorded, mixed and mastered in a professional studio and have 3-4 accompanying music videos.

  • Region Wales
marz stands in the boothe over a mic

Marz Fay

Underground Storm: The Collaborative Album

Marz Fay is a 20 year old artist from South London. She is a self taught guitarist and lyricist - writing music that's rooted in poetry - expressing real emotions over melodic, lofi beats.She loves to express her music through DIY music videos directed and edited by herself, involving vibes, colour and pure energy.

As well as making music she is also a radio presenter on Reprezent Radio and runs her own YouTube channel with vlogs, behind the scenes moments and documentaries.

Marz's project is a collaborative album of 8 songs featuring other young, up and coming artists representing the LGBT, BME, working class and female communities. The project will be presented as a short film with songs and visuals being linked with her poetry.

  • Region Greater London
Michael smiling with a beach in the background

Michael Diamond

Debut Album Release

Michael Diamond is a 23 year-old DJ, producer and musician originally from Kerala, India, but currently based in Oxford. He makes jazz-flavoured electronic music which pays particular attention to sound design, thick harmonies and interesting drum-programming. 

Michael is also keen to explore the intersection between music and other artforms through his work - something that was evident in his latest poetry-accompanied EP 'Silk Road'. 

Michael plans to release his debut album, pressing it on vinyl with accompanying artwork and literature. He will use the fund to promote his music music to a wider audience, and hopes to gain more fans and more DJ bookings.

  • Region South East
odox performing infront of a crowd at Rough Trade record shop



Odox was born and raised in Wolverhampton and is currently based in Nottingham. Growing up listening to all types of music regardless of genre, he was able to appreciate good music for good music. His  music is raw, from the heart and unfiltered, in the hopes that others can feel the energy he puts into the songs. 

This fund will help Odox consistently release and market his music, in order to build his following. This will be done through releasing singles every month, an EP/giveaway and merchandise. Marketing is the other corner stone behind his project.

  • Region East Midlands
Pat wearing a green jacket and burberry scarf


Private EP

Pat is a Polish born rapper, that delivers bars and flows that paint a picture of a thoughtful, introspective yet playful artist. His lyrics explore relatable themes that provide fresh perspectives on mundane and everyday situations. His sound is very much rooted in hip hop, however flourishes of pop, indie and soul can be heard throughout the production.

With the NextGen Fund, Pat aims to learn production and release a mixtape. He wants to be more than just an artist - "production is next!"

  • Region East of England
PERiiSU has silver hair and is wearing a bowler hat and green jumper


25; A Beautiful Mind

Manchester based artist and producer PERiiSU is a creator of gritty electronic music, punctuated with smooth and soulful urban rhythms. From an early age of banging on table tops with knives & forks, to copping the music software Logic Pro, she hasn't stopped and will never stop doing what she loves.

The fund will support PERiiSU to record an album that is based on the experiences she has been through and continue to go through on a daily basis as a black female. It will take the listeners on a journey of her life.

  • Region North West
pritt sat down wearing against blue sky backdrop


Leading By Example EP

R&B artist Pritt emerges from a Tamil background which has influenced her style immensely, allowing herself to be as expressive as possible to take a pivotal stance in her art and proud of her culture. The South London raised songstress uses her femininity to empower stereotypes of women in urban music and takes an ‘Eastern meets Western’ stand on her music; an unorthodox approach on honest relatable lyrics couples with Carnatic melisma.

The NextGen Fund will support Pritt to make an EP highlighting the barriers that as an artist she goes through on a daily basis, focusing on my inner thoughts and how that reflects in my actions. 

"As a Tamil woman, I have so much pressure to be a certain way and I want to speak on that."

  • Region Greater London
polaroid photo of rizmi smiling next to some plants


Rizmi EP

Born in Birmingham to Pakistani migrant parents, Rizmi is a DJ, producer, vocalist and painter interested in sonically exploring her multiple truths, realities, contexts and environments. 

She is interested in how spirituality could reconnect and heal mechanic voids in the digital age, and in sonically combining her many influences and roots, from Sufism and Bollywood, through to Acid, House, Electro and New Wave.

Rizmi's project will see the creation of an EP, incorporating her South Asian / Sufi heritage with electronic machine music. She wants it to be visible to those who may relate to the perspective of a diaspora daughter of migrants in England. Rizmi will be making the music and accompanying artwork. 

  • Region West Midlands
brown haired woman in stripy top with colourful background

Roxy Imam

Don't You Like It? EP

Roxy Imam is a Cambridge-based producer and songwriter. She endeavours to make witchy, bedroom-pop bops, where computer music meets a starlit chamber choir of woodland druids. Her debut single, Garibaldi is made from but one vocal take.

After realising that she couldn’t fully realise her musical ideas within the limitations of her instrumental experience, Roxy undertook a Music Production course at dBs Music, Bristol. 

With the NextGen Fund, she is aiming to write and record a 5-track EP utilising lots of foley and vocal layering to communicate her creative ideas. She hopes to build on her production skills with a view to an eventual live set.

  • Region East of England
SZWÉ sits with his legs crossed wearing grey cheque trouser



Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sizwe ‘SZWÉ’ Chitiyo is a 23 year old artist based in currently South Wales. 

He has independently gained over 200,000 streams, and has Spotify Editorial Playlisted as well as achieving National Radio play on BBC Radio 1 and 1XTRA with his singles Shaky and Impulses.

SZWÉ plans to create a follow up to his bedroom album SZWE Part 1, with more collaborations and music videos. His goal now is to build a hub for Urban music to thrive in Wales. 

  • Region Wales
Theophilos on stage with a microphone in his hand

Theophilus Oluwafifehami Ajayi

Destinations EP

Theophilos Ajayi is a London based singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, born in Greenwich, London with Nigerian heritage.

His love for music started at a very young age, playing guitar and drums in school. Wanting to take his music to the next level he started going to Ocean Tide Studio in Penge, South East London and made his debut E.P. ‘Epic’.

In 2017, Theo started attending Soda Jam, a weekly music workshop run by the charity Club Soda, and started to write many songs with the support of the organisation. 

With the NextGen Fund he plans to record and release an EP with a promotional video. 

  • Region Greater London
  • Youth Music Funded Project Club Soda
Manoj wearing a light coloured bucket hat and glasses

The Virtual Pianist

Lucid Dreaming

Manoj known as ‘The Virtual Pianist’, is a 24-year-old pianist, composer and EDM producer from Croydon. He’s an accomplished classical pianist (about to attain Grade 8 (ABRSM)) and wishes to continue his further education in Music Production.

Manoj is a member of the local symphonic punk rock group 'System Experience' formed through Club Soda. Manoj is Autistic and identifies himself as bi-sexual. Playing the piano and producing music is central to his wellbeing. Manoj aspires to be a role model for the young generation.

The NextGen Fund will see Manoj create and release his debut EP, Lucid Dreaming - four tracks of EDM and Drum & Bass exploring the Cutecore and Spacecore sub-genres inspired by games soundtracks. It will be released in a digital format and on online streaming, promoted internationally.

  • Region Greater London
  • Youth Music Funded Project Club Soda
yvonne stands in a garden

Yv Shells / Yvonne Shelling


Inspired by a desire to make meaningful music that combines energy with a message, Yvonne Shelling aka Yv Shells is committed to making genre-defying and versatile music. Intent on creating his own signature sound, he has taught himself music production and is working on developing future releases.

With the NextGen Fund, Yv will create of a post-punk inspired song about poor timing preventing him from entering a relationship. In the accompanying music video he will relive different aspects of his life, in order to create the perfect scenario for the relationship to exist.

  • Region South East

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