Race in the Music Industry

The Runnymede Trust and Sony Music UK  have partnered to deliver ground-breaking research examining a lack of ethnic diversity across some music genres and exploring structural barriers that may prevent Black, Brown or ethnically diverse artists from starting or succeeding within genres where such artists are less represented.

The project is funded by Sony Music Group’s Global Social Justice Fund (SJF) was created in June 2020 to tackle racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter global movement. The Social Justice Fund aims to help provide and broaden opportunities for individuals in under-served communities and to improve education, skills and life chances. UK beneficiaries are chosen by a diverse advisory board, representing labels and divisions across Sony Music UK. The findings of this research will inform efforts to drive understanding within the music industry to enact long-term change.

Dr Halima Begum, CEO of the Runnymede Trust said: 

“Some of the greatest strides in dismantling racism historically have stemmed from Black and minority ethnic artists, with their music transcending division and building empathy and appreciation for other cultures and sounds. This cutting edge project aims to provide support for these artists, and indeed their audiences, by building a holistic and clear picture of the barriers currently in place and how to overcome them. 
“It has been encouraging to work with our fantastic partners at Sony Music UK, their genuine desire and enthusiasm for this project indicates a drive within the sector for real, tangible steps to eradicate barriers currently faced by ethnic minority artists and their audiences, both current and potential. That starts with understanding the issues at play, which this bold research will fill.”

Charlotte Edgeworth, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact for Sony Music UK said:

“This latest round of funding represents a development of the Social Justice Fund’s approach, building from our strong base of grassroots projects into addressing more embedded and structural challenges that we face as a society.”

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