Since 2018, the 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 Sophie Straat, Pitou, and SMANDEM.
Pitou is the Dutch singer Pitou Nicolaes (born in Amsterdam). Her sound is characterized by her unique voice, distinctive compositions and use of vocal harmonies. Through her distinctive Folk Noir style, which has been compared to artists such as Vashti Bunyan, Joanna Newsom and Alela Diane, Pitou manages to combine her background in classical and world music. She started with Kinderen Voor Kinderen, went to the National Children's Choir and ended up Kobra Ensemble. This year saw the release of her long-awaited debut album Big Tear, which was very well received.
The Jury about Pitou; “Pitou is ambitious and deliberately chooses her path. It is the perfect time for her to win the Pop Stipendium”
This year, the jury consisted of Lisa de Jongh (TivoliVredenburg and committee member Cultuurfonds Noord-Holland), Chris Moorman (Popronde), Joey Ruchtie (Oosterpoort and ESNS) and Maike Fleuren (Firma Fleuren and music committee member at the Culture Fund).