The Mastercard Artist Accelerator kicks off its second season, launches live touring series with OnesToWatch

March 11, 2024 | Singapore
Emerging artist Asha Imuno and expert mentor Este Haim join the Mastercard Artist Accelerator

Extending its footprint in the music space, Mastercard has unveiled the second season of its Artist Accelerator program. This year's Accelerator is tailored to meet the surging demand for live music seen in 2023. A new partnership with OnesToWatch, a global music discovery platform for emerging artists of all genres, will unlock incredible new experiences for artists, fans and mentors alike.

Rising stars take the stage, and fans find their next favorite artist

Beginning in April, Mastercard, in partnership with OnesToWatch, will launch a live touring series where artists will benefit from opportunities including live performances, mentorship from industry experts such as Este Haim from well-known sister trio HAIM, and educational bootcamps on technologies like Web3 and Generative AI. Participants will hone their skills for merchandizing, marketing and promoting themselves in digital and physical spaces, mastering emerging technologies to create, collaborate, and monetize their work as they grow their fan bases.

“Having a successful career in today's dynamic music industry demands an entrepreneurial mindset. From the screen to the stage, the second season of the Mastercard Artist Accelerator is designed to help artists thrive in this dynamic digital era,” said Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar. “Through programs like the Accelerator, brands can unite passion and purpose to lift artists up—as we enrich the fan experience.”

With 84% of live music fans wishing there were better ways to discover new artists1, OnesToWatch meets the rising demand, bringing more of tomorrow’s biggest stars to concert stages than any other emerging artist platform in the industry. Through the partnership, Mastercard will empower artists onstage and off, fueling their growth and success in the live music industry while helping fans discover their next favorite artist.

“OnesToWatch is a proven launchpad for the next wave of talent. We’ve helped propel icons like Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae, the Marias, Conan Gray, and Ashe onto the global stage," said David O'Connor, Founder of OnesToWatch. “Together with Mastercard, we’re giving artists opportunities, tools and the guidance they will need to build a sustainable and successful career. At OnesToWatch, there is nothing that fills us up more than championing and fostering the growth of young artists, paving the way for them to become the headliners of the future."

The first artist to join the second season of the Artist Accelerator is Asha Imuno, a 22-year-old artist, producer and songwriter from California, who takes pride in his unique sound that blends nostalgic influences from classic Hip-Hop and R&B with a refreshing take on new age Soul and Funk. Asha will be performing with Mastercard at the Fast Company Grill on Sunday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. in Austin, Texas as part of the magazine's 11th annual event.

Fans eager to follow the journey can collect the second season limited-edition Mastercard Music Pass NFT. When claimed, the Music Pass gives fans access to exclusive content and experiences throughout the year, including concerts for select pass holders, behind-the-scenes content and the opportunity to engage with Mastercard’s Pass to Priceless platform. The Mastercard Music Pass will drop in the coming weeks.

Continuing our connection with season one Artist Accelerator participants

The 2024 Mastercard Artist Accelerator builds upon the success of its inaugural season, which empowered five artists to forge their own paths in the digital economy and brought more than 100,000 Music Pass holders on the journey. Through mentorship, digital education, and strategic opportunities, Mastercard continues to support these artists as they navigate their careers.

Earlier this year, Mastercard invited Cocoa Sarai, a previous participant, to speak and perform at the Mastercard GRAMMY House. During the event, she reflected on the impact of the program and the importance of learning how to use tools like Generative AI to enhance her music: "My experience with the program was refreshing, fun, and informative. As an independent artist, it's not easy to have access to experts in the field and learn how to use tools like GenAI to bring our music to the next level. We became a unique community of people who have a passion for music."

Mastercard is a long-time supporter of the music industry, artists and fans, continuing to build on its partnerships with the GRAMMY Awards®, Latin GRAMMY Awards® and The BRIT Awards, and forging new partnerships to bring exclusive live music benefits and experiences to select cardholders around the world. The brand even launched its album, “Priceless,” through an innovative collaboration centered on mentoring rising artists. With the brand’s track record in the music space, coupled with its expertise for building strong networks in the digital economy, season two of the Mastercard Artist Accelerator will give emerging artists the tools and capabilities they need to thrive in this tech-driven era.

Sign up on Pass to Priceless to get notified about the drop of the Mastercard Music Pass, so fans can get involved. For additional information about the program, please visit


1 Source: EBCO x Live Nation Custom Survey Nov ‘23


Media Contacts

Sarah Guldin, Mastercard
+65 6390 6199 |

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.