Since 2018, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds has annually awarded the Pop Stipendium to promising pop artists or bands in order to develop their (inter)national career. Every year, three artists are nominated of which one eventually wins the cash prize of €10.000,-.
This year's nominees were Naaz, Personal Trainer, and Bnnyhunna.
Personal Trainer began as Willem Smit's ultimate love letter to the lively scene in which he dabbled himself. The scene where he took the stage with an ever-changing group of familiar faces from Dutch and British guitar music. They provided an ever unpredictable energetic live show. Their debut album Big Love Blanket was extensively praised in the Volkskrant and the NRC and received international success with the BBC, among others. The band played at Down The Rabbit Hole, Best Kept Secret, Le Guess Who? and Noorderslag.
The Jury about Personal Trainer; “Personal Trainer is no longer a playful music project, but now has the contours of a successful, decisive indie band that can also strike a high note internationally.”
The Pop Stipendium nominees and winner were selected by a jury, consisting of Joey Ruchtie (Oosterpoort and ESNS), Chris Moorman (Popronde), Lisa de Jongh (Patronaat), and Maike Fleuren (Firma Fleuren, member of the music commission at the Cultuurfonds).