Nicky Jam is providing a financial assist to the music world’s next prodigy…
The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American artist will finance the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation’s next four-year Prodigy Scholarship, which will fully fund a student’s bachelor’s degree in music at Berklee School of Music starting in the fall 2023.
“I’ve always wanted to help and I don’t have my own foundation,” Nicky Jam tells Billboard. “My publicist knows that this is something I’ve been wanting to do and when the opportunity came with the Grammys, I was very excited. I see myself in this type of project because music saved my life. Music gave me everything I needed.”
News of Nicky’s involvement comes just a month after he performed his hit song “El Perdón” with four former scholarship recipients (Xavier Cintrón, Valentina García, Nicolle Horbath and Sergio de Miguel Jorgequera) at the Latin Grammys.
“First of all just seeing those kids sing my song, that was incredible. To let them use my platform to create their own platform, that’s what it’s all about,” he adds. “There was this one kid who wouldn’t stop smiling when he was performing, so he was making me feel better because I was nervous. I was performing in a format that I don’t really sing in, it wasn’t reggaeton, but it felt so good. I felt more love onstage with these kids that I’ve felt in years with a bunch of people I’ve performed with.”
The scholarship, created eight years ago, holds a maximum value of $200,000 and the application period will be open from now until April 10, 2023.
The scholarship is traditionally awarded to “exceptionally talented music students, with financial needs, to support their educational and musical aspirations,” according to the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.
“When it comes to pursuing a career in music, finances should not be a deterrent to cultivating talent,” Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza, executive director of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, said in a statement. “We are grateful for Nicky Jam’s generosity, which makes music education a reality for future generations of Latin music creators and preserves our legacy for years to come.”
Nicky Jam, one of the pioneers of reggaetón with more than three decades in music, says this opportunity is special because “low-key” he always dreamed of studying music. As a struggling musician in his early days, receiving a scholarship would’ve had a huge impact on him.
“The fact that I could’ve studied music, that’s already huge. I would’ve gone crazy and studied what I love. No one knew that I’ve always wanted to study music and now people tell me I don’t need it but we could always learn to be better. But I’ll be happy for those kids who do get the opportunity. Maybe the next Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny or Beethoven comes out of this. You never know!”
The foundation is accepting applications for all 2023 scholarships, and alongside Nicky Jam and his manager, Juan Diego Medina (also CEO of La Industria Inc.), is also sponsoring one of the Gifted Tuition Scholarships of up to $100,000.
All scholarships are available to music students between the ages of 17 and 25.
For more details and/or to apply, visit www.latingrammyculturalfoundation.org.
In previous years, the Prodigy Scholarship has been co-sponsored by Latin stars including Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Vives, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Juanes and Sofia Carson.