Dr. Martens has announced the launch of a new year-long European ment­or­ship pro­gramme for emer­ging voices with­in music. The Tough As You ini­ti­at­ive, which enlists Grammy nom­in­ated sing­er-song­writer Mahalia and vis­ion­ary Ivor-Nov­ello nom­in­ated rap­per Kojey Rad­ic­al to act as ment­ors with­in the UK, aims to accel­er­ate the ascent of under­rep­res­en­ted artists, col­lect­ives and grass­roots organ­isa­tions via a range of sup­port, includ­ing one-to-one industry guid­ance, fin­an­cial assist­ance and help with real­ising their cre­at­ive vis­ions.

United by Dr. Martens — with a col­lect­ive mis­sion to help cre­ate a more diverse, inclus­ive and access­ible music industry for the next gen­er­a­tion of tal­ent — Mahalia and Kojey Rad­ic­al will be joined by Kelvyn Colt and Ser­i­ous Klein in Ger­many, and Luidji and Claire Laf­fut in France. Each Tough As You ment­or will work col­lab­or­at­ively with two mentees, shar­ing their industry expert­ise to help spear­head pro­jects focused on improv­ing access to cre­at­ive oppor­tun­it­ies as part of the initiative’s pledge to sup­port 12 pro­jects over the next year. The pro­jects will vary from pre-exist­ing ini­ti­at­ives to new ideas, with all invit­ing loc­al com­munit­ies to get involved and help push for­ward change in the industry.

Dr. Martens’ Tough As You ment­or­ship ini­ti­at­ive is the brand’s latest step in a long­stand­ing com­mit­ment to empower­ing pro­gress­ive cre­at­ives and com­munit­ies. Har­ness­ing a six dec­ade leg­acy at the fore­front of sub­cul­ture, Dr. Martens aims to help shape the future of music cul­ture by increas­ing access to cre­at­ive oppor­tun­it­ies for emer­ging and under-rep­res­en­ted artists. In the past year, Dr. Martens’ cul­tur­al foot­print has fun­ded and mobil­ised a series of pro­jects with­in the UK, includ­ing help­ing Liv­er­pool radio sta­tion Melod­ic Dis­trac­tion to secure a per­man­ent stu­dio space, work­ing with pro­du­cer Batu to estab­lish a new com­munity music stu­dio in Bris­tol, and pub­lish­ing Nova Twins’ ‘Voices For the Unheard’ vinyl album in aid of The Black Cur­riculum.

For more inform­a­tion, head to

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.