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RIP IT UP announce new speakers/mentors for unique bursary programme

Providing a platform and direction for the next generation of Black, Asian and diverse talent to impact on the music industry in the months and years ahead - Rip It Up expands its unprecedented offering today with the announcement of new mentors/speakers contributing to the future of the music industry.

Joining an already vast pool of musicians, creatives and industry figures packed with their own experiences and insights in the industry - Rip It Up promises to boast an eclectic and essential programme that gives bursary winners a definitive wealth of knowledge to move forward into the music world’s different spheres. These new additions include Pierre Hall co-runner of famed indie label Speedy Wunderground, revered music industry consultant Remi Harris MBE, Tanyel Vahdettin director of Eleven Management, home to the likes of Gorillaz, The Clash, Riz Ahmed and Bastille amongst others, Co-Founder of Power Up, Founder & CEO of Unstoppable Music Group and Entrepreneur & Outreach Manager at AIM Ben Wynter, Chi Chi Nwakodo of Sony Music Publishing and Big Drum Entertainment’s Nike Durosaro.

Pierre Hall of Speedy Wunderground says:

“I’m so happy to have been asked to take part in the ‘Rip It Up’ initiative.

As a black British man in the music industry – it’s of vital importance to me that we address the ongoing issues of diversity and representational imbalance in a sector which relies on and is richer for having input from people from a wide range of backgrounds. Too often are those doors closed to the minority and I hope that by offering guidance and talking from my experiences I can play my small part in opening up those equal opportunities to those that deserve it – and help improve this incredible and creative industry we work within.

‘Rip It Up’ is an important part of that change and one that I feel privileged to get behind.”

Chi Chi Nwakodo of Sony Music Publishing says:

"Mentorship changed my career and helped me get where I am today. I’m so excited to work with Rip It Up to help young people like me reach their full potential and diversify the next generation of creative talent."

Ben Wynter, (Co-Founder Power Up/Founder & CEO Unstoppable Music Group/Entrepreneur & Outreach Manager AIM), says

"Rip It Up is a fantastic initiative that I am proud to be a part of. It is important for young people trying to navigate their way into the industry to be able to engage and communicate with people that look like them and understand cultural nuances. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have mentors and executives that have provided me with words of wisdom to help me find my way through what can be a tricky business. I know first hand the important role that representation plays and the positive impact it has. I hope to be able to impart my knowledge, experience and offer guidance to the young ambitious participants. I hope they can see that if I could maintain an unstoppable attitude to make it happen, then they can too."

Nike Durosaro of Big Drum Entertainment says:

“I think initiatives like Rip It Up are really important because they provide young people invaluable insights into the inner workings of the music industry. These insights help them to manage their own expectations and will also influence what areas they are likely to explore and eventually end up working in. It's a privilege to be able to pass on knowledge and be a part of their journeys.”

Becky Ayres, MD of Sound City says about Rip It Up:

“We’ve been blown away by the response to Rip It Up since we announced its launch, and we can’t wait to get started with an incredible programme of speakers and insights from some of the most inspiring voices in our industry today. Rip It Up is incredibly important and dear to our hearts, increasing diversity within our industry and bringing those voices to the fore by offering an opportunity for the next generation of Black, Asian and diverse talent to make their mark for years to come. Making tangible change is more important than ever and Rip It Up marks an important step in the right direction”

These names sit alongside the previously announced string of names all bringing their time, expertise and experiences to Rip It Up - helping shape and provide an unrivalled opportunity for young Black, Asian and diverse talent to make those vital steps into the music industry. From long-standing music industry innovator Yaw Owusu (THE PLAYMAKER GROUP), revered musicians and industry trailblazers Seye Adelekan and Nova Twins and Global Client Partner {Entertainment} head at Facebook Vanessa Bakewell to Liam James Ward of digital agency Be-Hookd Digital (home to Sea Girls, The Wombats and more) and Killing Moon Records head Achal Dillon. Ensuring bursary winners will receive an insight into all aspects of the music industry, Rip It Up is focused on flipping the script and pointing to an exciting new future for the music industry shaped by the minds of the future.

The growing disparity when it comes to racial equality within the music industry remains a vital issue, needing to be confronted and addressed not just through words but with action. With Rip It Up, the teams at Sound City, Youth Music, sm-mgmt, CAPLL LTD and more have come together for a direct programme encouraging and pushing change - offering 10 important bursaries that provide the perfect nurturing framework for young talent to emerge and enter the music industry.

Combining an eight session education programme covering a string of vital areas within the current music industry (from campaign strategies, publicity, recording/production, music distribution, management and more) with an extended practical product - Rip It Up looks to provide the framework and opportunity for young creatives to immerse themselves with a rich knowledge of the industry they wish to enter. 10 selected applicants will receive extensive support from the very beginning of the programme, with a financial grant assisting in their studies - with the sole aim of discovering and providing opportunities for talent from across different communities and backgrounds the equal chance to engage and thrive within the eclectic music world.

Applications for Rip It Up are now open to young people aged 18-25 across the North West, separated into two strands:

5 of the 10 bursaries will be focused on Artists themselves - with the practical element incorporating professional experience within a recording studio alongside an engineer being covered as a part of the Rip It Up scheme.

The other 5 places will be focused on Industry applicants, with the practical element incorporating a paid placement within a professional workplace situated in the industry sector they wish to enter.

All 10 successful bursary individuals will receive a dedicated mentor to assist them with regular meetings and discussions, with monthly updates continuing after the programme to assist in further job placements and industry catchups.

To apply, please head to

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