What Does It Mean To Break Through Barriers?
Are their ceilings left to break?
In short, yes. Habitually, reports analysing diversity in music show that while different types of people are entering the industry, at the top level managerial and senior positions these roles are disproportionately filled by middle class Caucasian men. The music industry is a sector that thrives on its ability to take the sounds, rhythms and styles of the world and monetise them for profit. Why should certain cultures be monetized without enabling its people to reap these same rewards? The music industry was created for the benefit of a small proportion of people and at Young Music Boss we believe this should and can be changed. Music is global and those with the power to lead should also reflect this.
YMB was lucky to have a varied and diverse set of speakers at our event. The event was titled 'Breaking Through Barriers' so we thought it would be useful to break down what we thought out panelists meant.
Host: Terry Mardi
Former music producer and founder of global publishing and distribution platform Asian Music Publishing (AMP), Terry specialises in bridging cultural gaps using the arts and culture.
Our very own budding music lawyer and MD founded Young Music Boss precisely from the desire to empower the next generation of music industry professionals. Jusnah took to the stage to share why it is so important for young people to take control of their own musical journey.
Music industry professional and founder of the PR firm ‘We Plug Good Music’ Ayo, aims to reinvent what media and PR looks like for unsigned and independent artists. He shared words of wisdom about what artists have to do bypass traditional media outlets and build a successful team.
Quitting a steady job to become a music industry professional Chris certainly knows about taking risks. Now having gained various experience at different industry settings and as member of the OneFest cohort , Chris shared tales of how important it is to be decisive and commit.
Alexandra is the founder of Acoustic Live UK a live events company which has become a major platform for the discovery of artists early in their career. Alexandra shared her experiences as a young woman in the industry and talked about the strength of carving unique spaces for ourselves.
As freelance music creative, journalist and product manager for Polydor Records Tasha had a unique insight to bring to the panel. Tasha shared her know-how about the importance of entrepreneurship, passion for the craft and self-starting.
1. WE ARE POWERFUL.
“You can be in the music industry and be monumental within it…you don’t actually have to be an artist”
- Alexandra Ampofo
Chris and Alexandra reminded us that as young people with big aspirations we always have something unique to offer. Our talent and ambition is a threat but it is also our greatest strength. It is up to us to carve out spaces that show our talents, especially now we have the potential to start a blog on our phones, its important to remember there are many paths to success.
2. WE ARE ALREADY ENTREPRENEURS.
“In this entrepreneurial age people are becoming who they want to be, because of that change will come” – Jusnah Gadi
An entrepreneur is not someone who has a degree, they are someone with spirit, determination and big ideas. Whether you’ve only ever worked in your Dad's mechanic or were part of your student council for a year, success isn’t determined by qualification it is determined by outcome. Grime music has always been entrepreneurial not out of choice but out of necessity. As a genre without access to the privileges of mainstream arena all grime artists are entrepreneurs, why can’t you be? Take what you know, take what you believe in and invest in your passion to invest in your future.
3. WE MUST WORK SMART.
“You’ve got to work smart” – Terry Mardi
Being successful doesn't come easy, nor is it fast. There are plenty people that work hard and in a saturated market you don't have time to spend fussing over things that don’t guarantee a significant output. You’ve got to be strategic to be successful, you can’t do everything so figure out where your priorities lie.
4. WE ONLY HAVE MORE TO LEARN.
“We’re all trying to rise together” – Tasha Demi
Tasha reminded us that the music industry is moving fast and although it may seem like a disadvantage it is not. We are the ones using the platforms, sharing the content and consuming the music. You may not know how streaming will impact the music market, but at this point neither do the execs. We're at an interesting point where technology has meant that that everyone is learning. Read up, work smart and network and one day you could speaking on our panel.
5. WE ARE EACH OTHER'S NETWORK.
“Artists need to find ways to get their music directly to their fans...that’s how you create your own business and begin to think long term" – Ayo Adepoju
We are living in a world that has never been as connected as it is today. Digital technology has revolutionised society and it has revolutionised music. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook are not just for looking up Roll Safe memes, they are an opportunity. Use it to seek advice from someone you admire or learn from the mistakes of someone you don't. Networking at events like these are where you find the tastemakers of tomorrow, recognise this, maximise it.