New prize gives diverse range of artists £30,000 to support music careers

A new music prize has awarded £30,000 to help support UK talents battling to break through in a challenging industry.

The Drake YolanDa Award was launched to help artists, and redress the balance between emerging acts and mainstream domination.

Ten artists have now been given £3,000 each to support their careers – with winners working in genres ranging from rap, to funk, country and jazz.

Newham grime artist Guvna B, jazz singer Cherise Adams-Burnett, and country duo Worry Dolls are among the winners.

The money given by the prize is intended to be spent on touring, marketing and recording.

YolanDa Brown, co-founder of Drake YolanDa Award, said: “There is so much amazing music in the world and the mainstream acts signed to major labels tend to dominate the airwaves and column inches.

Guvna B is making a name in grime (Drake YolanDa Award)
Guvna B is making a name in grime (Drake YolanDa Award)

“We are committed to help put a spotlight on as many of these amazing emerging acts as possible.”

Gareth Malone, celebrity choir master and prize judge, added: “It is so important to help the next generation of artists to find their feet in a challenging industry.”

Winning acts were chosen from 200 entries by Gareth Malone, music editor of The Independent Roisin O’Connor, X Factor winner Matt Cardle and country music star Ben Earle.

Open to musicians aged 16-30, the music prize was founded by broadcaster YolanDa Brown and philanthropist James Drake.

The list of winners:  

  1. Genevieve Dawson’s

  2. Guvna B

  3. Holly Redford-Jones

  4. Cherise Adams-Burnett

  5. Quinn Oulton

  6.  Said Skeleton

  7. Worry Dolls Joe Baxter

  8. Zola Marcelle

  9. Lady Sanity