Rapper Wretch 32 spent part of the pandemic offering advice over the phone to people who contacted him about struggling with lockdown.
The 36-year-old musician, whose real name is Jermaine Scott, said he had not struggled mentally with the months of isolation, but reached out to those who had via social media.
Scott, from Tottenham in north London, joked that he had provided “unprofessional therapy” but that it had worked “amazingly”.
Alongside director of Africa Sony Music UK, Taponeswa Mavunga, Scott is supporting the Richard Antwi Scholarship for future music industry leaders from Bame backgrounds.
He told the PA news agency: “I haven’t struggled mentally a second through this, and I feel so fortunate that it’s actually been a great time for me.
“Since when I became 16 years old, and spending a lot of time with myself when I moved out at 16, I became my favourite person.
“So allowing me to spend more time with myself is probably as close to paradise as I’ll get.
“That’s why there was a period of time where I was online, and I was just on my Instagram, if anyone is having a hard time and just wants to have a conversation, DM me your number.
“And I literally spent a week calling people, spending hours on end on the phone, like some form of unprofessional therapy, but it worked amazingly.
“Just give back some good energy back into the community, because I was really at peace.”
The annual Richard Antwi Scholarship, which found its first scholar in 2018, is funded by the three UK major record labels, Sony, Warner and Universal, as well as top independent music companies and law firms.
Scott recalled the important role Mr Antwi, an influential music manager and lawyer who died in 2016, had played in launching his career.
“Me and Richard Antwi’s history is a special one,” he said.
“He’s the reason my career is at the point where it is, or even got off the floor.
“So in 2010, me and my manager signed our first record deal to Richard Antwi and Twin B’s record label, which was called Levels, and then, of course, in 2011 we emerged from the underground and had a load of top fives and a top five album and a gold record and toured the country.
“It was just such an amazing period of time to share with such an incredible, selfless, smart, hardworking, individual that was Richard Antwi.
“Literally, he has always had my back so I’ve always got his in his presence and his absence. It’s only the right thing to do.”
The scholarship is awarded in conjunction with the University of Westminster to applicants who hold an offer for the Music Business Management MA course.
Previous scholars include inaugural recipient Jojo Mukeza, Esther Bokuma (also known as Estee Blu) and Daniel Beckley, all who now work within the industry.
Virtual open days are taking place on Saturday May 8 and Saturday June 12 for the 2021/2022 academic year.