Black Lives in Music celebrate 2 incredible years advocating for Black representation in the music industry. Watch their video of achievements here.
Yesterday, Founders Charisse Beaumont and Roger Wilson, along with former Noisettes front woman Shingai Shoniwa, spoke at the House Of Commons to present Black Lives In Music’s (BLiM) research and advocacy work to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music. They asked MPs to intervene to ensure government action on transparency over the Gender and Ethnic pay gap in the music industry.
This would be achieved by publishing an annual pay gap report with an accompanying set of commitments to address the disparity. Precedence has been set with mandatory gender pay gap reporting.
“We need government support for the facilitation of the Industry Wide Anti Racism Code of Conduct and Independent Standards Authority to tackle Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment in the UK Music Industry. We are grateful to the APPG on Music for being a supportive voice for the issues that are Black Lives in Music are bringing to public discussion.” – Charisse Beaumont, Chief Executive
The ground-breaking organisation also share the news that they are an Arts Council Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO), and are delighted to announce that Bradley Wilson has been selected as the inaugural Conductor in Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. This follows an open call from Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music to nurture diverse talent and representation within the orchestra.
“We have achieved so much in such a short space of time, but we couldn’t have done it without the support of our partners but most importantly the musicians, creators and professionals in the music industry who we advocate for. These individuals trusted us with their stories and we are grateful. We are driven to see change because of the voices of those sharing their experience of being Black in the music industry. This alone is what motivates us. Thank you all for being a part of this journey. Imagine what more we can all achieve, if we work together.” – Charisse Beaumont, Chief Executive
“It’s been a whirlwind 2 years for Black Lives in Music. I’m immensely proud of the work that the organisation has delivered on, and in an incredibly short space of time! Equally, I’m excited and enthused by the discussions and collaborations that we have enjoyed with the wider music community. We believe that honest, open conversations drive social change. There is a considerable way to go in our aim to build a truly inclusive music community, but we feel assured that objective is achievable through hard work, conversation and collaboration. We look forward to the work ahead with much excitement and thank all who have supported us thus far.” – Roger Wilson, Managing Director
BLACK LIVES IN MUSIC’S (BLIM) ACHIEVEMENTS OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS ARE NO MEAN FEAT:
- They stirred debate last year by publishing the largest survey of Black musicians and music industry professionals conducted in the UK to date – Being Black in the UK Music Industry Pt. 1
- Announced the creation of an Industry Wide Anti-racism Code Of Conduct, endorsed by the Independent Standards Authority, to be implemented in 2023
- Created the Celebration of Black Music video series hosted by Zeze Millz
- Launched virtual roundhouses for music industry professionals, in association with TuneCore
- Championed inclusive practices at 6 top conservatories
- Launched BLiM Connect – a mentoring programme supporting aspiring music talent
- Worked with Classical:Next in Germany to inspire diversity and conduct a Gala performance showcasing Black talent in the sector
- Partnered with Royal Opera House to launch a youth mentorship scheme
- Became grantee partners with Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund
- Launched 3 year partnership with Musician’s Union driving diversity across the UK music industry
- Secured the first graduate scholarship at University of Oxford for Yvonne Ile – the first Black PHD student in music at Oxford University
- Collaborated with four of the top UK orchestras to start Recruitment Classical – an extra work audition scheme
- Chief Executive Charisse Beaumont was last week inducted to Music Week ‘Roll of Honour’ at their Women In Music event
- Launched a key collaboration with Platoon/Apple Music for next generation of classical and jazz music artists, amongst much more
- Presented ground-breaking research and advocacy work to Members of Parliament at the House of Commons to an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Music
This Autumn 2022, BLiM has been giving evidence at the Misogyny In Music inquiry, the first inquiry of its kind, set up by the Women and Equalities Committee.
Chief Executive Charisse Beaumont was invited to the hearing after Black Lives in Music released the results and findings of their survey in October 2021 – Being Black in the UK Music Industry Pt. 1 – which set out to capture data on the experiences of music industry professionals and creators, and which included a specific focus on misogyny in the music industry affecting Black women.
Being Black in the UK Music Industry Pt. 1 partnered with Opinium Research, revealed a majority of those who took part have experienced direct or indirect acts of racism in the music industry. The survey also found some stark data identifying a link between this discrimination and mental wellbeing, especially among Black women.
Beaumont gave evidence across multiple areas, highlighting that Black women feel the need to change themselves in order to be accepted within the music industry, the pay disparity between Black women and the rest of the industry, women facing barriers to progression due to race, the lack of female producers within the industry, and much more. Beaumont spoke about the importance of Black managers in the industry, citing the success of Little Simz – “the person that’s in charge of her career is a Black woman. And that’s because she understands the culture, she understands Simz’ stance, and most importantly, she knows how to market and make someone a success.”