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Your Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities
(L-R) Otaniyuwa Ehue, Elijah Russell, Kyla Graham, Chris Timothy, Teah England, and MOR attend HBCU Love Tour Talent Showcase at Howard University

Photo: Brian Stukes/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Your Future Is Now: Music Industry Executives Discuss The Benefits Of Historically Black Colleges And Universities

From Interscope Records' Tim Glover to Warner Records' Julian Petty, GRAMMY.com gathered a group of music industry executives to discuss their HBCU experience

GRAMMYs/May 16, 2022 - 10:28 pm

Black creatives, from songwriters to engineers, form the music industry's backbone. To ensure their passions and successes are given a platform, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals, are striving to amplify Black voices.

The BMC aims to create a safe space for the next generation of Black creatives and professionals — both within the Recording Academy and the music industry at large. That’s why they collaborated with Amazon Music to launch the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program. First announced last year during Black History Month, "Your Future Is Now" is a multi-year mentorship and scholarship program that aims to provide select students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to learn and explore all facets of the music industry. The program, which returns this year, offers select students currently enrolled at a HBCU networking opportunities with music industry leaders as well as an immersive rotation program with Amazon Music and Recording Academy department leads, an experience that will provide each student a detailed look at different fields across the music industry.

For this year's program, the BMC will select four current HBCU students for the "Your Future Is Now" program who will each receive a scholarship of $10,000. As well, the BMC and Amazon Music will also award two HBCUs a $10,000 grant each to be used for equipment for their music programs.

In honor of the return of the "Your Future Is Now" program, GRAMMY.com spoke with key players in the music industry — including Tim Glover of Interscope Records, producer TRAKGIRL and Warner Records' Julian Petty — about their personal experiences attending various HBCUs, and the growth they'd like to see within the community.

Visit the "Your Future Is Now" scholarship program page to apply for the scholarship.

Mike Hamilton Jr. (Senior Director of Commerce, Epic Records)

Studied Communications at Howard University, Graduation Year: 2012

What do HBCUs offer in terms of unique education and experience?

The most invaluable quality that's found at HBCUs is the family atmosphere. You're not your student ID number. Professors, staff, faculty, etc. take real investment in students. They know you — and sometimes even your family members — by name. That's almost unheard of at the higher education level.

You also are immersed in the full range and diversity of Black people from different regions of the U.S. and the world at large. Along with those, the network and lifelong relationships you build with friends and classmates, as well as the common bond you have with graduates of other HBCUs, are things that I wouldn't trade for the world.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

You don't just receive an education at an HBCU; it's the full experience that separates it from other institutions. Rap cyphers on the Yard, homecomings, the gospel choir, the bands, fine arts, Greek life, the campus being the equivalent of a daily fashion show are just some of the elements that make HBCU culture extremely unique.

Additionally, in a world that constantly reminds Black people that we are "other[ed]," there's a safety in knowing that for four or five years you're not constantly being reminded of your Blackness in ways that are racist and oppressive. You are who you are and the HBCU environment instills confidence in you that allows you to navigate every space you occupy even after that "safety net" is gone.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The power of networking and really hustling to make things happen. Howard hit us over the head with that from day one, and it's the most impactful tool I took away from my experience there. My first full-time job in the business was as an assistant at Atlantic Records. I got the job through a reference from an executive there (shout-out to Sydney Margetson, also an HU alum) who I met at a panel at my Howard freshman dorm. We stayed in contact and when the assistant job became available in the brand partnerships department, he referred me to Camille Hackney who hired me on the spot after my second interview. I also worked closely with Joi Brown (another HU alum) while in the department.

There are so many Howard and other HBCU alumni in the music business. That common grind spirit is something that we all relate to. I think that's why so many of us have been successful in this industry. You have to have a certain level of determination in order to make a name for yourself in music, no matter what side of the business you're on. Whether you have the resources to do it or not, you learn how to be resourceful. HBCUs prepare you for that.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I'd love to see more partnerships between HBCUs and various music companies that help facilitate a real education and deep learning process so that students fully understand the range of opportunities that exist in our industry. It's no secret that the music business (like many other fields) has a diversity problem. And there are so many talented kids on these campuses who could become the next wave of incredible executives, talent managers and more if they were more exposed to opportunities and granted the chance to learn about them from [alumni].

And I don't mean just partnering with certain HBCUs. It's so common for everyone to only do things at Howard, Spelman and Morehouse. I'm from North Carolina where there's not much of a music scene; it's grown a lot since I graduated high school and we're seeing more artists come out of NC now. But had I not gone to Howard and been able to tap into that network, I'm not sure I'd be where I am now. Students who opt to attend HBCUs that aren't in major cities like D.C. or Atlanta should still have access to the networking opportunities that I did. I'd like to see that happen on a much wider scale. And I'm happy to be part of it myself.

Timothy Glover Image

Timothy Glover (SVP A&R, Interscope Records)

Studied Marketing at Howard University; Graduation Year: 2006

Photo courtesy of Timothy Glover

What do HBCUs offer in terms of unique education and experience?

Howard University School of Business is an accredited business school with a great business program. Howard allowed me to evaluate real businesses and taught me how to carry myself. They kept us professional and gave us information that prepared us for the real world.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Attending Howard, I was around people that looked like me. I think it helped make me become a more social person [in that I] gained long-lasting relationships with students in different industries. That same network transferred over to my professional career. Many people who I went to school with are in the same industry and we immediately have that connection, even if we weren't at Howard during the same years.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU experience that impacted your career? 

I learned how to put together business plans, interacted with African-American faculty and learned the skills needed to feel comfortable in any room.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I would love to see more music courses in all HBCUs. When I was at Howard I was constantly looking for ways to learn the music business. In addition to the music courses, it would be great if these programs were connected with labels to really give these students an opportunity to work across UMG, Warner, Sony, etc.

Kienon Johnson

Keinon Johnson (President of Urban Promotions, Interscope Records)

Studied Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 1997

Photo by Harold Daniels

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

My experience at Clark Atlanta University provided a space for young Black students like myself to feel secure in the familiarity of our shared experiences while pursuing our education.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

The sense of community and finding your tribe is without question a uniquely HBCU experience. Many of the relationships I built during my time at CAU are even stronger today in regards to both business and friendship.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The relationships you cultivate in college, while you and your peers are all broke and figuring who you are and will become, are the same relationships that will enrich your life after college is over. There's something about struggling together, learning together, becoming together at an HBCU that bonds you for life.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I would love to see more investment in all HBCUs across the country to modernize them and provide them with the top resources available, which will keep them competitive with other institutions of higher learning. I think all things being equal, the experiences you gain while attending an HBCU are priceless. It would be amazing if the lesser-known schools outside of Atlanta, D.C. and VA received more sustained funding from private and public donors.

Trakgirl

Shakari "TRAKGIRL" Linder (Music Producer/Entrepreneur/Founder, TRAKGIRL/The 7/NO ADTNL)

Studied Business at Hampton University; Graduation Year: 2010s (note: undisclosed years)

Photo by Barron Bazemore

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

Hampton provided life lessons that I was able to utilize in my daily life, such as holding yourself to a high standard. Both in life and as a creative, we should hold ourselves in that nature. Hampton gave me an opportunity to find and know myself. That's something a book can't teach you.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

The alumni network is golden at an HBCU. When you go out in the world it's nothing like meeting someone who has a similar foundation as you. It's also amazing to see people who look like you with so many different ideas and perspectives. It's like being on a special island.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

My career is bigger than just music. Building a legacy and leaving the blueprint for others after you to thrive is something Hampton helped grow inside me. Giving back to my people and community is far greater than just being in the studio. Let's create our own legacy. Ownership is key for us. Again, [these are] principles that HBCU culture enhances.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I want everything at a high level for my HBCUs. Every resource that PWIs [Predominantly White Institutions] have, HBCUs should have — we deserve that standard. Also, updated campus facilities that include state-of-the-art studios and programs/courses focused on financial literacy for music creatives.

Rachel Jackson

Rachel "Rachie" Jackson (Artist Relations Manager, YouTube Music)

Studied Business Marketing & Psychology at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 2013

Photo courtesy of Rachel Jackson

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

HBCUs present a unique opportunity for Black students to discover that we are in no way culturally homogenized. Out of the 107 HBCUs, there are clusters of them that are top 10, 5 or even No. 1 in specialized fields such as Business, Health, Agriculture, STEM, Criminal Justice, and more. Additionally, there is nothing like an HBCU homecoming!

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs? 

The scholarly pride, support, life-long bonds and networking opportunities that come from HBCUs are a few underrated additives that come along with attending. There have been so many times where I was chosen for an opportunity or included in a program that helped my career grow because of having CAU on my resume. It set me so far apart from my competition.

The HBCU alumni base looks out for and encourages growth in all aspects when they come across students that attended. I view it as a baton that I believe I was passed to carry out the same historical support. I always say that CAU shaped me for the better. Our dual mottos "I'll Find a Way or Make One" and "Culture for Service" are strong ideals that were instilled in me during my undergraduate experience, and I still apply them to my matriculation through life.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained at your HBCU that impacted your career?

The CAU School of Business Administration primed me like no other. I thank all of the professors that taught me within my degree programs, my business communication (both written and verbal), presentation/public speaking skills, marketing acumen, understanding of supply chain, the list goes on and on. I also was able to hone my event planning, promotions, and live concert logistics skills by way of being so closely involved with our Homecoming festivities.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I'd love to see more corporate entities pouring more money into HBCUs while simultaneously incepting incubators that land opportunities for growth within both creative and corporate industries. I'd also like to see a greater emphasis placed on scholastic programming around financial literacy and wealth management.

Albert Cooke

Albert Cooke (General Manager, Hillman Grad Records/Def Jam Recordings)

Studied International Relations at Lincoln University; Graduation Year: 2007

Photo courtesy of Albert Cooke

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

HBCUs are educational centers of empowerment for those who attend. You learn about the great history of Black leadership throughout the diaspora while also being encouraged to add to that legacy. Your experience will be enriched through interacting with other Black students from different parts of the world at various school activities, campus-wide events and organizations.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

One key reason is the overall support from faculty and staff. Their efforts aid in building knowledge within the community and providing accountability on campus. Many of the opportunities I was presented at Lincoln were introduced to me by professors and faculty who believed I had the potential to make a difference.

Another key reason is the financial cost. Most HBCUs have tuition that is lower than most PWIs while providing quality education to those ready to make an impact on their lives. Lastly, the bonds you build with other students and alumni while attending an HBCU are like no other. The experiences of homecomings, graduations, step shows, probates, and sporting events create a family-like atmosphere that continues well after you graduate.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Serving in various leadership positions while at Lincoln provided me the early opportunity to define the type of leader I wanted to be and how I wanted to support members of the Lincoln community. The knowledge I gained from majoring in international relations provided insight on the importance of cultural understanding, diplomacy, compromise, strategy, and maintaining strong relationships in business.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

HBCUs should continue to expand study abroad opportunities in various disciplines for students. I would also like to see more music industry-focused degree programs since many of today's leading artists either are Black or influenced by Black artistry and culture.

Julian K. Petty

Julian K. Petty (EVP, Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Warner Records)

Studied Marketing at Howard University; Graduation Year: 1999

Photo courtesy of Julian K. Petty

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

I believe the quality of the education is just like at any other competitive school. However, for many of the students, it's the first time that they are being taught by professors who look like them. These are highly accomplished educators who could have taught anywhere (which some have on their path to an HBCU) but they chose to take their talents and expertise to a historically Black institution. Moreover, the professors bring a certain passion and perspective to the coursework that makes it an education like no other.

As far as experience, it's unique for the simple fact that it's probably the only time the average Black American will go through day-to-day life and not have to think about race as a burden.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Great education, strong alumni network, and professors who care about your "life outcome," not just your grades.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career? 

One of the biggest reasons I am where I am today is because of a summer internship I did at Def Jam Records back in the summer of '96. I spent the summer working in the marketing department under the tutelage of Howard alum Jasmine "Jazz" Young. We've stayed in touch ever since and I couldn't imagine where I'd be now if Jazz didn't give me that shot. Since then, I've worked with countless Howard alum as well as folks from other HBCUs. My career trajectory has been greatly influenced by HBCU grads and the network we have.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

In order to take things to the next level, you must have resources. I've seen some real progress in the last few years but I believe there is much to be done in the area of philanthropy. [The action of] "giving back" must become second nature in order for our HBCUs to survive and thrive. The alumni have to step up to the plate.

Phylicia Fant

Phylicia Fant (Head of Music Industry Partnerships, Amazon Music)

Studied English Language & Literature at Spelman College; Graduation Year: 2000

Photo courtesy of Phylicia Fant

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

The experience is unparalleled. The first part is education about self-love and acceptance. The latter is a redirection of what society might have told you to be true about people of color. We are not a monolith and what we have and continue to contribute to the world is often undervalued if not recognized at all. It is the ultimate history lesson and ownership of what our ancestors died for.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Community is essential to growth. What happens beyond graduation is when the experience truly activates. It is the unspoken language that says "I see you and know your worth." If you call upon this tribe, it is our duty to show up for each other personally and professionally. That bond can never be broken.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

I am an unapologetically Black woman. I am often misunderstood simply by the tone of my voice. I have sometimes questioned my appearance because it was not status quo. I recall the day I called my mom about getting braids in corporate America, recalling a time I was almost removed from an organization because I was told my hair resembled snakes. The call ended with, "We did not raise you to hide. You better go get those braids and embrace who you are." That led me right back to a class I took about the Black female body at Spelman. Having a career where you are often the only one means embracing all parts of you are you won't succeed. So that is my voice, my hair, my body, and all things that allow me to be me.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

First and foremost, graduates have to give back financially to their alma maters. We also have to go back and let these students know that jobs exist that are both traditional and non-traditional. We grow up knowing that certain jobs allow acceptance on a larger scale but we also have to let them know what is possible. I had no idea publicity or the music business existed until my last year of college and I was in the epicenter of music and culture.

For HBCUs not in cities like Atlanta and D.C., it can be hard to access these experiences. We have to level the playing field and that can only be done by showing up and giving back.

Lake Morrison

Leighton "Lake" Morrison (Co-owner, Generation Now)

Studied Political Science at Morehouse College; Graduation Year: 2000

Photo courtesy of Warner Music Group

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

Seeing progressive young Black people from all over the world. In my personal experience, I had classmates from everywhere from New York to Africa. Just to see how different regions were was almost like you were able to travel without actually traveling.

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

There's a certain passion the professors have about making sure they prepare you for the real world. As I grew older I truly see the benefit of having those "hard" teachers.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Creating and maintaining relationships. That's the single most important thing I learned and took with me.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

I think it's started already, but more of the top recruits coming to the athletic programs will help tons. That will help funnel funds into the colleges and universities and make them competitive in every aspect.

DJ Drama Photo

Tyree "DJ Drama" Simmons (CEO, Generation Now)

Studied Mass Communications at Clark Atlanta University; Graduation Year: 2000

Photo courtesy of Warner Music Group

What do HBCUs offer in terms of education and experience that is unique?

It offers relationships that you can cherish throughout your life and career, along with having family and friends. What was special to me beyond the classroom and the education I got in school was the education and experience I got from meeting so many people from various backgrounds and places, while all having very unique goals. The friends I met in my time at Clark Atlanta are still some of the best and most important relationships that I have to this day. I met my best friends and my business partners while attending CAU and being at the Atlanta University Center (AUC).

What are some key reasons why students should consider attending HBCUs?

Relationships and a cultivating learning environment, the culture when it comes to pride and loyalty, and the bonds you only make at HBCUs.

What are some experiences or knowledge you attained from your HBCU that impacted your career?

Being a DJ coming from Philly to Atlanta and being in an environment that had so many young people from all across the country and the world, it taught me how to be a much better and well-rounded DJ. I learned how to control the crowd. To this day, I feel like I learned my DJ chops in the AUC. It taught me how to hustle outside of the classroom and really take advantage of every moment that you're in.

What growth or developments would you like to see happen at HBCUs to take things to the next level?

More alumni involvement and acknowledging the culture more.

"Black Music Saved The World": How The Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective Celebrated Positive Change For The Culture & Community

Underrepresented, Overworked & Underpaid: 7 Key Learnings From The Newly Published Women In The Mix Study

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Underrepresented, Overworked & Underpaid: 7 Key Learnings From The Newly Published Women In The Mix Study

Released today, on International Women's Day, the Women In The Mix Study explores the employment experiences, job satisfaction, family decisions, and pathways women professionals take in the music industry

GRAMMYs/Mar 8, 2022 - 02:04 pm

It perhaps shouldn't come as a shock that women working in a variety of professional fields face challenges unique to their gender. Those working in the American music industry are no exception.

The newly published Women In The Mix Study — released today by the Recording Academy, Arizona State University (ASU) and Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) — explores the experiences and socioeconomic landscape of women and gender-expansive people working in music. Built on data from a 2019 study conducted by the Berklee College of Music, the Women In The Mix Study surveyed more than 1,600 professionals working in various capacities — from behind the scenes to center stage — and at all levels, with all ages, races and ethnicities responding.

The Women In The Mix Study explores demographic characteristics, employment experiences, career challenges, job satisfaction, family decisions, and pathways into the music industry. More than 1,000 respondents also provided suggestions for improving the climate for women in music.

Ultimately, the study is designed to influence advocates, allies and leaders in music to work toward a more inclusive and equitable industry, while amplifying women's voices.  

"The Women In The Mix Study is a groundbreaking account of the realities and decisions that we as women working in music are publicly and privately making each day," Recording Academy Co-President Valeisha Butterfield Jones said. "By centering this study around active listening, learning and building solutions, we've armed the industry with valuable data about the barriers affecting women in music and how we can together take a stand."

"When trying to create meaningful change you have to speak directly to the people who will be most affected by that change and let them be a part of the conversation," Erin Barra, Director of Popular Music at ASU, added; Barra co-authored the study with Mako Fitts Ward, Ph.D.; Lisa M. Anderson, Ph.D.; and Alaysia M. Brown, M.S.  

In celebration of International Women's Day, GRAMMY.com is taking a deep dive into some of the major findings of the Women In The Mix Study. 

Read the Women In The Mix Study in full.

Women are underrepresented, overworked and underpaid

The Women In The Mix Study cites work from the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which found that women are severely underrepresented in the music industry, accounting for just 21.6 percent of artists, 12.6 percent of songwriters, and 2.6 percent of producers. The Initiative's annual Inclusion in the Recording Studio report found that there has been no meaningful increase in these numbers over the years.

More than half (57 percent) of Women In The Mix respondents work two or more jobs. Twenty-four percent work between 40-51 hours per week, while an additional 28 percent clock more than 50 hours per week. 

Thirty-six percent of respondents earn less than $40,000 per year, and nearly half of them feel like they should be further along in their careers. Nearly half of the respondents who identify as music creators and/or performers reported making less than $40,000 a year. 

Approximately 57 percent of music creators felt they should be further along in their career, compared to those working in music education (48.5 percent), event/tour production and management/promotion (41.7 percent), music business (37.4 percent), and music media and technology (32.9 percent).

Discrimination is prevalent — especially for gender-expansive respondents and women of color

Across all racial identities, 84 percent of respondents had faced discrimination. Seventy-seven percent felt they had been treated differently in the music industry because of their gender, while more than 56 percent believed their gender had affected their employment. Music creators and performers experienced this the most, with 65 percent experiencing discrimination. Sixty percent of respondents said they had been discriminated against for their age. 

Gender-expansive respondents were less satisfied than those who identified as women by a 16 percent margin. They were twice as likely to make less than $40,000 per year and felt less comfortable in their workplace by a margin of almost 18 percent.

Women of color reported feeling the highest level of discomfort in the workplace and noted less workplace support. More than half of respondents of color felt they should be further along in their careers.

Career advancement is often prioritized over parenthood

Roughly one out of every two respondents said they chose not to have children or had fewer children than they wanted because of their careers. Respondents with children under the age of 18 represent slightly less than two out of every 10 women and gender-expansive people in the music industry.

People who make over $100,000 per year had a 27 percent likelihood of having children. Those earning less than $40,000 a year have a 15 percent likelihood of having children. Women of color are the most likely respondents to have children, though they still reported that their career was a factor in their decision-making around having or rearing children.

Work-life balance development should begin early

While less than half of respondents reported having an internship during their career, 78 percent felt internships contributed to their career. 

However, since internships, particularly those in creative fields, are often unpaid, these opportunities may not be feasible for people without sufficient financial and/or supportive resources. Study respondents suggested paid internships as one method of addressing networking, access to opportunity, and work-life balance. 

Respondents — many of whom are working more than 40 hours per week — noted that burnout is a significant challenge. Additional and/or mandatory paid days off would also improve work-life balance throughout the industry. 

Mentorships and advocacy organizations are valuable

Ninety-three percent of respondents felt that mentoring had contributed to their career. These respondents were more likely to feel they were where they should be in their careers and reported feeling satisfied with their jobs. Respondents suggested that providing access to quality mentorship and mentors can have a profoundly positive effect on the careers of women and gender-expansive people.

Forty percent of respondents were members of advocacy organizations, while 35 percent of respondents cited professional or industry-related organizations as crucial factors to their growth and advancement. Roughly 20 percent mentioned advocacy in their recommendations to help improve the climate for women and gender-expansive people.

However, mentorship and networking are both largely built upon a person's interpersonal skill set, as well as their ability to negotiate and advocate for themselves. By bolstering soft skill development, while also building and strengthening institutional programs, support infrastructure, and active education, the music industry can improve business acumen for women and gender-expansive people early in the employment pipeline. 

Organizations should take real action and spend money

Simply saying your business is committed to DEI isn't enough. Women In The Mix Study respondents suggested recruitment pledges — a commitment from hiring managers to recruit diverse and robust candidates — as a means of intentionally addressing access to opportunities and dismantling gatekeeper culture.

Addressing women's representation in music has been a longstanding priority for the Recording Academy. In 2019, the organization launched Women In The Mix, which prompted hundreds of music professionals and organizations to pledge to consider at least two women in the selection process every time a producer or engineer is hired. That same year, the Recording Academy pledged to double the number of women voters in its voting membership by 2025; the organization has reached 60 percent of that goal.

In 2021, the Recording Academy donated a total of $25,000 to five charities and organizations that support the growth of women and girls in production and engineering. Based on the Women In The Mix Study findings, and to help address issues surrounding access to resources and opportunities, the Academy has committed to donating an additional $50,000 to five organizations that support the growth of women and girls in music, including Beats By Girlz, Femme It Forward, Girls Make Beats, She Is The Music, and Women's Audio Mission. 

Career satisfaction and passion for the music industry remain high

Despite the challenges around insufficient earnings, burnout, gatekeeper culture, sexism, and the competing demands of creative vision and generating revenue, 78 percent of Women In The Mix Study respondents reported feeling satisfied in their careers. Even in career categories that seem to face the most obstacles — such as freelancers and music creators and performers — more than 80 percent of respondents said they felt satisfied. Respondents working in event and tour production, management and promotion were the least satisfied, noting a 65 percent satisfaction rate.

Such satisfaction may be the result of inherent passion: Over half of respondents said that their pathway into their careers was through their inherent love for and excitement about the music industry.

10 Ways To Support Women Musicians & Creators Year-Round

Recording Academy Partners With Top Brands For The 2022 GRAMMYs

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Recording Academy Partners With Top Brands For The 2022 GRAMMYs

The Recording Academy has announced the official marketing partners for the 2022 GRAMMYs. Binance, IBM, Mastercard, OneOf, Grey Goose, Bulova, Hilton, SiriusXM, PEOPLE, FIJI Water, Frontera Wines, and United are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Mar 29, 2022 - 03:00 pm

The Recording Academy announced today its official marketing partners for 2022 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 64th GRAMMY Awards. Binance, IBM, Mastercard, OneOf, Grey Goose, Bulova, Hilton, SiriusXM, PEOPLE, FIJI Water, Frontera Wines, and United are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards. 

"We are excited to be working alongside these industry-leading brands for the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards," said Adam Roth, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Business Development at the Recording Academy. "Music's Biggest Night wouldn't be possible without each and every one of our partners. With their participation, we are able to celebrate the music community and its creators in a new and exciting way that's never been done before. We hope fans watching the show in person and at home can join in on the celebration as we know this will be a night to remember."

Read: Where, What Channel & How To Watch The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

Binance, the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner, is the global blockchain company behind the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange and the first crypto partner of the GRAMMY Awards. Binance will bring Web3 technology solutions to the Academy.

IBM, the Official Cloud & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Partner of the GRAMMYs, is transforming the GRAMMY Live Pre-Show and grammy.com with "GRAMMY Insights with IBM Watson." The AI-powered solution analyzes more than 20 million news stories about nominees, generating surprising and engaging insights about your favorite artists. The insights are shared in real time as nominees walk the red carpet and served up to the artist profile pages on grammy.com, getting music fans closer to the artists they love.

Mastercard, the Official Finance Services Partner, is the preferred payments technology partner of the GRAMMY Awards. Just ahead of Music's Biggest Night, Mastercard is hosting the GRAMMY U Masterclass on April 1 featuring music video director Hannah Lux Davis.

OneOf, the Official NFT Partner, launched the first GRAMMY NFTs for the 64th GRAMMY Awards featuring collections from renowned artists Emonee LaRussa, Andre Oshea and ThankYouX. Collections are dropped each week leading up to the GRAMMY Awards beginning March 7 with the free 64th GRAMMYs NFT. 

GREY GOOSE Vodka, our Official Spirits Partner, developed an all-new signature cocktail for this year's GRAMMYs, the GREY GOOSE Passion Drop. This specialty cocktail, which is a remix of the GREY GOOSE quintessential martini, will be featured at all our signature GRAMMY Week events and highlighted digitally on our GREY GOOSE Hub on GRAMMY.com, a curated destination for themed invites, GREY GOOSE cocktail recipes and watch party ideas. GREY GOOSE has also partnered with three of today's hottest artists (JoJo, Lucky Daye and Tinashe) for a limited digital series, GREY GOOSE x GRAMMYs: Monday Mix that premiered on March 14 and will air every Monday leading up to the GRAMMY Awards telecast. During GRAMMY Week, GREY GOOSE will also be highlighting their new line of vodkas infused with real fruit and botanicals, GREY GOOSE ESSENCES, during the GREY GOOSE ESSENCES x GRAMMYs: Sound Sessions featuring Tinashe. 

Bulova, the Official Timepiece Partner, celebrates GRAMMY-nominated artists with an exclusive watch from their music-inspired GRAMMY Edition watch collection. First-time GRAMMY Award winners will be gifted with a limited-edition "GRAMMY Automatic" watch, infused with musical cues throughout and a "Circle of Fifths" dial design. The meticulously designed timepiece is constructed using the Recording Academy branded proprietary metal "GRAMMIUM."

Hilton, the Official Hotel Partner, is a returning longtime partner and host venue of the inaugural Recording Academy Honors Presented by the Black Music Collective.

SiriusXM, the Official US Radio Partner, is bringing The GRAMMY Channel back for its second year. The limited-run channel will feature a variety of music from this year's nominees across the GRAMMY Awards' 30 Fields, all leading up to the live broadcast of Music's Biggest Night. The GRAMMY Channel will run for a limited time only from March 23 through April 6 on channel 105.

PEOPLE, the Official Magazine Partner, will be broadcasting from the GRAMMYs with a live pre-show. Hosted by Jeremy Parsons and Janine Rubenstein, Red Carpet Live: 64th Annual Grammy Awards will feature interviews with the world's leading performers and nominees. PEOPLE & Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live will stream at 6:30 p.m. ET on people.com, ew.com and their social platforms.

FIJI Water, the Official Water Partner, will be on hand at the GRAMMY Red Carpet to hydrate attendees, executives and talent as they stop for photos and interviews with media. FIJI Water will also be the official water brand at the GRAMMY Week events leading up to Music's Biggest Night, ensuring everyone has the chance to enjoy Earth's Finest Water.

Frontera Wines, the Official Wine Partner of the GRAMMY Awards, 12th most powerful wine brand worldwide and #1 Chilean wine brand in the US, will be pouring across select events. The Recording Academy will exclusively work with Frontera to highlight specific Frontera varietals and amplify the partnership through social posts across all channels.

United, the Official Airline Partner, will be providing travel accommodations for the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards. 

For more information on official GRAMMY Awards partners, please visit:  

binance.com, ibm.com, mastercard.com, oneof.com, greygoose.com, bulova.com, hilton.com, siriusxm.com, people.com, fijiwater.com, fronterawines.com, and united.com

The Recording Academy will present the 2022 GRAMMYs on Sunday, April 3, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8–11:30 p.m. ET / 5–8:30 p.m. PT. Prior to the telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be streamed live on live.grammy.com and the Recording Academy's YouTube channel. Additional details about the dates and locations of other official GRAMMY Week events are available here. Learn more about How To Watch The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show and get excited about the full 2022 GRAMMYs nominations list. For more GRAMMYs coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's social networks on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominations List

Essence Fest: 7 Female R&B Acts You Need To Know

Ella Mai

Photo: Peter Forest/Getty Images

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Essence Fest: 7 Female R&B Acts You Need To Know

The annual music event introduces a slew of rising R&B stars

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2018 - 10:27 pm

Essence Fest is the ultimate celebration of Black women and music. And while it manifests that mission through dynamic headline shows featuring some of music’s biggest acts (Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu), it also serves as a major introduction for a slew of up and coming artists. And this year was certainly nothing different. Over the course of the three day event, we have spotted seven rising female acts whose music you need to explore right now.

Ella Mai
The summer (and in part Essence Fest) belongs to Ella Mai. Her chart-topping breakout single “Boo’d Up” has induced instant sing-a-longs all week, and the recent release of a remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Quavo of The Migos, shows that the British R&B singer is not slowing down. 

Denisia
If you’re a New Orleans native, Denisia is certainly not a new artist. She first garnered mainstream attention back in 2015 when she was featured on YaBoyBigChoo’s cover of Adele’s hit “Hello”, remixed in the locally popular bounce music style.

H.E.R.
The mysterious R&B singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose identity at one point didn’t go beyond a shadow and silhouette, is fully stepping into the spotlight---albeit with her face still slightly concealed by oversized sunglasses. After her soul-stirring performance at the 2018 BET Awards went viral, H.E.R. (an acronym for "Having Everything Revealed") hit the Essence Fest Superlounge to a massive crowd.



Yanina
A student at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, rising songstress Yanina made her Essence Fest debut this year. Currently working on a yet-to-be-titled EP, she is making her mark thanks to her powerhouse voice, dancing ability and a striking stage presence.

June’s Diary
Groups formed via reality shows typically have a shelf-life that expires at the end of a TV season. But every so often there are exceptions. Enter June’s Diary. Formed on the Kelly Rowland-executive produced BET show Chasing Destiny, this talented line-up of singers have the harmonies, moves, and style that puts them on par with the great girl groups of the past.

Mykia Jovan
Mykia Jovan is proving to be a name bubbling in the progressive soul music scene. The New Orleans native’s unique vocal quality has been compared to the likes of Erykah Badu and the late great Billie Holiday. Her debut album Elliyahu is currently available at mykiajovan.com.

Victory Boyd
After one hears Victory Boyd’s voice, it becomes clear why Jay-Z signed the New Jersey-native to his Roc Nation music label after hearing her perform just two songs. Many have placed her vocally in the lane of Tracy Chapman, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone. However, her approach to soul and folk music is so fresh and youthful, that she is in a lane of her own.

Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? "Talk To GRAMMYs"
 

Recording Academy Announces 61st GRAMMY Awards Update

Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images

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Recording Academy Announces 61st GRAMMY Awards Update

General Field nominations grow from five to eight and categories evolve to stay as appropriate, current, and relevant as possible

GRAMMYs/Jun 27, 2018 - 02:31 am

The GRAMMY Awards reflect what's happening in the ever-changing landscape of music, and the Recording Academy works diligently to ensure the awards process continually evolves. Driven by the music makers — Academy members — who seek to meet the needs of the music community, several changes have been enacted for the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards process and categories.

For the four General Field categories — Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist — the number of nominations included in each will be increased from five to eight in order to better reflect the many entries in these categories.

Other changes put in place affect various categories including those in the World Music Field, which will now determine nominations through its own Nomination Review Committee where the top 15 selections from general voting membership's ballots will be narrowed down to the final five nominations by a Trustee-ratified committee of Voting Member experts.

For Best Compilation Soundtrack Album, the growing role of Music Supervisors is recognized as eligible. Also, only Music Supervisors who produced more than half of an album will now be eligible for consideration as album producers.

Driven by the technological side of music evolution, the Best Surround Sound Album category is renamed Best Immersive Audio Album. The same goes for the Field to which it belongs. The change reflects evolving technology, new formats, and current industry trends, practices, and language.

Several category guidelines and/or definitions were also updated. For instance, the Best Alternative Music Album criteria and definition has been broadened and updated as, "Alternative is defined as a genre of music that embraces attributes of progression and innovation in both the music and attitudes associated with it. It is often a less intense version of rock or a more intense version of pop and is typically regarded as more original, eclectic, or musically challenging. It may embrace a variety of sub-genres or any hybrids thereof and may include recordings that don't fit into other genre categories."

These changes and other will be in effect for the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards, as the Recording Academy continues to ensure the process remains as appropriate, current, and relevant as possible.

For more information about this year's rule changes and the GRAMMY Awards process, visit www.grammy101.com.

Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? "Talk To GRAMMYs"