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NextGen Fund Round Three recipients

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Announcing the recipients of the third round of the Youth Music NextGen Fund: 32 young creatives making their ideas happen with a grant of up to £2,500.

Youth Music NextGen Fund has been made possible thanks to our principal partners TikTok and players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and support from Turtle Bay.

Chloe Castro headshot

Chloe Castro

New Music Releases

Chloe Castro is a R&B/Trapsoul artist heavily influenced by artists such as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jessie Reyez. The DIY creator makes all of her music with her producer in his home studio. Together, they promote and release the music themselves.  

With the grant, Chloe plans to release a string of singles with accompanying music and local live performance videos next year.

  • Region North East
dochi wearing a white t-shirt and black cap holding a microphone



dochi is a rapper/singer/film maker from London who is creating original, passionate, timeless music through dance and hip-hop. His cinematic project GodSpeed dives into the journey of a young martial artist from London and is all about rhythm, timing, and faith. 

  • Region Greater London
d-Max crouching wearing a maroon tracksuit


Amethyst (EP)

A young Chadian singer-songwriter, d-Max is currently living in London to study film and digital production. Having made music officially for three years, he first started to sing and compose songs in his room at the age of 15.

d-Max's goal is to create a French hip-hop EP in collaboration with UK-based  English artists as a way of introducing French music to a new UK audience. The EP's title, Amethyst, has been named to represent d-Max's strength and determination in the music industry.

  • Region Greater London
Ace Ambrose wearing a jacket

Ace Ambrose

Doomsday Was Yesterday

Unrestricted by genre but armed with a punk ethos, Ace Ambrose is a singer/songwriter, producer and activist. Her conceptual albums act as a means of informative escapism and focus on topics such as anti racism, celebrating queerness, disability awareness, and other social issues in a fun and whimsical format.

Doomsday Was Yesterday is a DIY interactive concept album accompanied by music videos, a comic and tour. The story follows a busker-turned-revolutionary-turned outlaw in a post-apocalyptic world parallel to our own, communicating to our reality by broadcasting music through social media from her Doomsday bunker.

  • Region West Midlands
donna francis with her arms folded

Faye Donna Francis

19-23 (EP)

Faye Donna Francis' self-described "Sad RnB" began when she started songwriting in 2020 as copying mechanism for her mental health. After two years, she has been played on Radio 1 Xtra and is currently working on her debut EP, 19-23. 

  • Region North West
Mac looking down wearing a black t-shirt and a necklace


Producer Development

A classically trained pianist and producer, Mac and his music partner, Xvngo, created a new genre of music called Jazz Drill two years ago during lockdown.

Through the grant, Mac hopes to further his production skills by working with a number of young emerging artists to develop a new monthly event night, where both he and the artists he has collaborated with will perform.

  • Region Greater London
George Bloomfield holding a guitar against a backdrop of blue sky and cherry blossom trees

George Bloomfield

More Than Just A Van

George Bloomfield is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Leeds. A polymath, George performs with his 7-piece band and records, mixes and masters everything his own Indie/Jazz/Funk solo project, which has been supported by BBC Introducing To top it all off, George writes for TV/Film, with placements across the BBC, Channel4, BTSport and NBC.

More Than Just A Van is part documentary, part music video, part live performance and an overall celebration of life. After the unexpected loss of his best friend whilst travelling in Australia, a musician travels to meet the family left behind, in the campervan posthumously gifted to him from halfway around the world.

  • Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Elle Beale holding a guitar

Elle Beale

L2 (EP)

A singer, producer and classical guitarist based in Brighton, Elle Beale cut her teeth studying  A-level Music and Music Technology. Since then, she has self-produced and released 2 folk/pop albums and an EP (pop). Ellie currently work as a carer but also as a professional classical guitarist at events.

With the grant, Elle plans to create and promote a 4-track folk/pop/rock EP. This will include a music video and BTS video highlighting the disproportion of women in creative industries compared to men.

  • Region South East
Jason Patel wearing traditional Indian dress and gold jewellery

Jason Patel

Choclafied (Official Music Video)

Pop/R&B artist Jason Patel emerges from an Indian heritage, born and raised in North West, UK.
Patel uses his soulful theatrical tone and creative vision to express his rollercoaster life experiences and celebrate, represent and empower. He has been recognised by BBC Introducing and BBC Asian Network as Artist of the Week.

Using the grant, Jason will create a music video for his song Choclafied that is a celebration and reclaiming of the skin, in his words: "Turning connotations of coloured brown complexions into something rich, delicious and desirable. It's finding the sexiness in your skin, diversifying sex positivity and living in it truthfully."

  • Region North West
Lene de Montaigu wearing a blue jumper and sitting on the floor with grass in the background

Lene de Montaigu

Music for the Anthropocene

Lene de Montaigu is a sound artist and musician based in Glasgow. Her work centers around the hybridities between digital and analog media - specifically in relation to sound and music. Lene is a professional balafonist and plays in the Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra. 

During lockdown, Lene (re)built a piano from recycled parts found in the street. She says that the desire to rebuild it was "inspired by the idea of reimagining an instrument in a digital future using the obsolete parts from the past." 

  • Region Scotland
Kayrem looking away from the camera wearing a black hoodie in front of a tall building


British Soil

An up-and-coming house, trap, garage, bassline and drum 'n' bass producer, Kayrem loves taking simple disco and jazz melodies and inserting a 120-128bpm skippy hat beat to create a groovy house twist.

British Soil will be a multi genre album covering, house, drum 'n' bass and garage. The album will aim to showcase Kayrem's versatile production skills while working with rising U.K. artists to help to bring a fresh distinctive 'British' sound to listeners.

  • Region East Midlands
Joe Winter shot topless in black and white, they are sitting on a stool and leaning forward

Joe Winter

EP1 release & EP2 production

London-born singer and producer Joe Winter channels a diversity of influences to make music that adheres to no genre in particular. Their creative process passes beyond just the music itself, into film, which they themselves direct and edit to deepen the music's meaning.

Having completed their debut EP, with two self-directed music videos, Joe wants to use the grant to create an effective release strategy including a live event, a photoshoot, and social media mentorship. They will also collaboratively produce new work to follow up with EP2, as well as developing new vocal skills with a singing teacher. 

  • Region Greater London
Jenni Orlopp with her hands on either side of her face, standing against a background of fire

Jenni Orlopp

Next Single Release

Singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jenni Orlopp's passion for music began when she started learning the clarinet aged 6. Mostly making pop music, Jenni is always trying to learn and make something new.

Jenni will use the funding to create her sixth single, booking studio time and music mastering. Set for release next year, the grant will also be put towards the promotion of the single.

  • Region North East
Lorcan nelson playing a guitar and sitting on a tree branch in a wood

Lorcan Nelson

Call It A Favour (EP)

Belfast-based artist Lorcan Nelson has already seen success with his unreleased single Call It A Favour, which has amassed over 20,000 views online. Now, Lorcan is now selling out shows across Northern Ireland.

Lorcan plans to put the grant towards the release of his EP, Call It A Favour, and a live session supporting the record.


  • Region Northern Ireland
Macy wearing a pink jumpsuit and stripy long sleeved top, raising her foot towards the camera


Forget Me Not Blue

Welsh artist MACY describes her sound as Dreamy, Nu-Disco, Dark Pop or even Funky Pop on occasion.

MACY will use the funding to complete, release and promote her track, Forget Me Not Blue, as well as shoot a music video.

  • Region Wales
Qazi & Qazi standing side by side, wearing black and standing against a red wall

Naadirah Qazi

Qazi & Qazi

Naadirah Qazi is a singer-songwriter, producer, actress, poet, and one half of project Qazi & Qazi. She has also advocated for disability awareness in the arts as a person with endometriosis. She suffered a health complication in 2018 and was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia, and thus became a wheelchair user. 

Qazi & Qazi are sisters Naadirah and Rukaiyah - singer-songwriters, producers, and euphonious melody makers. Raised in Birmingham, the duo weave their intricate harmonies into orchestral-scale arrangements in folk-leaning tales of surrender and strength. Their debut single Weight of Your Bones was released in April 2022. 

  • Region West Midlands
Klust wearing a green Patagonia fleece, standing against a white wall smiling


Klust: Maintaining, developing and expanding sustainably

Owain is a 25-year-old first language Welsh speaker from North East Wales. Music has always been a great passion of his and Klust is a platform to help support, promote, and champion the very best new music from Wales.

The Klust project will continue to support and promote new and underrepresented Welsh artists by giving them a platform to showcase their music via both digital and physical mediums. 

  • Region Wales
Panashe wearing a puffa jacket and leaning on metal railing, resting his head on his hand


Graftin Mentality (EP)

Producer/artist Panashe has been creating music for almost 10 years. Born in London, he moved to Scotland as kid and studied Sound Engineering at Riverside Music Complex. Afterward, Panashe invested in and started his own studio in Glasgow Centre, Fusion Studios.

Youth Music's funding will go towards Panashe's debut EP. The record will feature a local artist called Napalmz who Panashe has worked with over the years. Panashe will be producing, rapping, and also mixing and mastering the project, which represents the struggles of growing up in Glasgow and trying to pursue your dreams.

  • Region Scotland
Svetlana holding a white guitar and posing against an orange background



"Romantic Rockstar" Svetlana has performed as a support act for Maverick Sabre and her songs have been played on radio stations such as BBC Radio London, No Signal, The Pit London and Soul Surge. 

Her debut EP will be a six-track ode to the rage that exists in women post-heartbreak and the new person that is created from it. It is a blend of R&B and rock and will show how anger can be made into art through music.  

  • Region Greater London
Sarah Isabella wearing a black jacket

Sarah Isabella

The Keeper to My Fires

Sarah Isabella is a singer, songwriter and sound healer. Her music travels between the soundscapes of soul, alternative R'n'B, jazz, and hip hop. She is Influenced by artists that push boundaries with their sounds such as Mysie, Nina Simone, Fleetwood Mac and Jill Scott.

The Keeper to My Fires will be Sarah's debut EP consisting of seven tracks. The project explores becoming one with the cycle of life and death, accepting grief, our journey through the present time, our collective experiences as humans and reconnecting with our intuitive selves and the natural world.

  • Region East of England
Megan wears red lipstick and a hippy outfit

Megan Black

Megan Black (EP)

Scotland's 'Hippy-Dippy Drag Queen', Megan Black holds nothing back, exploring themes of gender, sexuality and mental health through their music, creating a powerful sonic bridge between their 70s-influenced sound and contemporary views on feminism and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Megan's new EP will consist of four tracks that is set to be their most raw, authentic and diverse work yet.

  • Region Scotland
Gemini Aaliyah crouches and looks at the camera, the image appears blue

Gemini Aaliyah

New Single Releases

Gemini Aaliyah sees herself as many things, the "Ghetto Goth Girl", the underworld queen, the fairy tale princess from a dark and gloomy wood. The Leeds based singer embodies her variety of characteristics through her bold aesthetic and ethereal voice, singing sweet melodic emo chillers alongside punchy alt bangers.

With the funding, Gemini will release four new tracks, which she plans to promote via bespoke live events, a PR agency and social media.

  • Region Yorkshire and the Humber
enkay rockson wearing a black top and grey cape

Enkay Rockson

EP Release

Surrey-based singer/ songwriter Enkay Rockson would describe her musical style as 'versatile' as she aims to incorporate various styles into her sound. Most of her songs are written and recorded in her bedroom and she loves to use music as a way to heal.

Enkay's plan is to create an EP that embodies the emotions she's felt since 2019; comprising a life changing illness and the loss, grief, love, hope, and will associated with that experience.

  • Region South East
break with me

Break With Me

Break With Me - Content Creation Platform

Dom (AKA Break With Me) graduated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths last year with the intention of setting up a platform to connect visual artists with emerging musicians. He currently works as an office runner in a studio that films cooking shows.

Break With Me is a content creation platform aiming to promote the connection between underground scenes and their wider effect on pop culture by sparking collaborations between visual artists, critics, and musicians. 

  • Region Greater London
Bitez looking at the camera


Vintage Destiny

Bitez is a Mancunian singer and lyricist. She is a winner of Slambassadors, BBC Words First, One Mic Stand, Going Digital and Manchester Young Creative of The Year 2021. Bitez is a MIF Sounds Artist and commissioned poet for Selfridges and BBC. Bitez also performed with Dele Sosimi and at SFTOC.  

Vintage Destiny is a blend of psychedelic soul and spoken word, a four-track concept EP with Afrofuturistic elements. The EP explores humanity's reliance on technology and the nature of reality itself narrating the Gen-Z experience of alienation as we try to find meaning in a manufactured world. 

  • Region North West
Sam Akpro shot in black and white

Sam Akpro

Timeline Of The Barracuda

Bringing his own inimitable style to his music, Peckham born and raised Sam Akpro melds fuzzed out guitars and digi-drums. He's built a cult fan base, culminating in 4 sold-out headline shows at the infamous music venue The Windmill (Brixton), where Sam was given a 5-Star Review by The Times.

Sam will use the funding to complete an upcoming album. He currently has six songs and is looking to write four more.

  • Region Greater London
kalla wearing sunglasses, a denim jacket and white hoodie with the hood up. He is performing at a gig and wears an electric guitar around his neck


This is my life.

Multi instrumentalist turned producer turned band leader, having spent the last two years experimenting in his bedroom crafting a unique blend of Indie-Soul, Alt-Soul, Pych-Rock and Jazz, KALLA is set to release his debut EP this year.

The project will be an Audio-Visual experience introducing KALLA as an artist. He will take the audience through his life, touching on the key events, connecting with the audience on a deeper level and catching them up to where he is on my journey by the end of the project.

  • Region Northern Ireland



Scottish electronic producer, DJ and songwriter naafi creates emotionally driven dance music using organic textures and a minimalist approach to explore identity through her experience of queerness and army childhood. Her productions and mixes dance in the spaces between melancholy and euphoria to bring a bittersweet energy to the dancefloor. 

naafi will release a six-track EP with a launch party in a cinema space as an alternative sober audio-visual experience for dance music, instead of being club-centric. The music and visuals will have elements from old home movies blended with the present day to document the inspirations and experience of creating .

  • Region Scotland
Bawler playing music wearing a denim jacket and hat



BAWLER is bringing house music back to its funky disco dance based roots, while adding a modern feel and trippy aesthetic to each of his pieces.

BAWLER plans to create a concept EP inspired by dreams and nostalgia. Floaty and dream-like synths accompanied by grooving basslines will capture the feeling of flying. With samples and sounds nostalgic of the 50-80s, further creating that dream-like yet unsettling nostalgia that dreams hold.


  • Region Wales
tia talks

Tia Talks

Abstract (EP)

Tia Talks is a Grime MC from Croydon. Reflecting her unique journey into music, Abstract is an experimental 140 Grime/Garage EP accompanied by creative and adventurous visuals. The project will solidify Tia Talks as an artist, not just an MC.

Tia chose the name Abstract as her music is "a response to reality, rather than a culmination of reality."

  • Region Greater London
xyzelle wearing a denim two piece and fluffy hat and sunglasses


Dreams of a Trapped Soul (EP)

Bristol creative xyzelle combines soulful vocals and jazzy vocals with hip-hop influenced flows. Through music, she is able to freely express herself and explore emotions like anger and sadness with themes of self-love and confidence.

Dreams of a Trapped Soul will see xyzelle's teenage ideas realised - with the words coming from the pique of her adolescence it explores the motivation to achieve greatness through life, heartbreaks and barriers. 

deva st john

Deva St. John

Arbitrary Art

Deva St. John is a alt-rock-pop soloist with Cystic Fibrosis. The EP she plans to release next year with Youth Music's grant will be an honest insight into her life as a queer, disabled woman in not just rock, but life in general. It's all about, in her words: "How to nurture a physically and emotionally demanding (but so rewarding) career despite it [the obstacles faced]."

  • Region South East

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