Ditto Music has launched a multi-stage training initiative, Industry Access, to encourage people from minority and working-class backgrounds to start careers in the music industry.
After pledging $100,000 to Black Lives Matter causes in 2020, Ditto began developing Industry Access as way of making a lasting difference to those who feel they have been shut out of the music industry.
Industry Access is open to anyone aged 16 and over who feels challenged by inequality and would like to develop their music industry experience, networks and knowledge, and will be comprised of two main elements: the Music Industry Training Programme, open to 100 applicants, and a Music Industry Fair & Networking Event.
The training programme will include five in-depth training sessions covering key areas of the music industry: distribution and labels, artist management, music marketing, publishing and a closing keynote by rapper and TV personality Big Zuu on strategies for developing an artist’s career.
Each session will be hosted by Ditto Music and feature guest speakers from across the industry as they share their vast knowledge and expertise. Confirmed speakers include Despa Robinson, founder and director of BE83 Music Group; The Go 2 Agency founder Shauni Caballero; and Tasha Demi and Whitney Asomani, founders of Twenty:two Agency.
The industry fair and networking event will be open to everyone who completes the initial training programme. Due to take place on September 4, the event will host music industry guests who will be on-hand to chat, connect and network. Industry guests will include label representatives and owners, collecting societies and publishers, music lawyers, marketing companies and more.
Following the Industry Training Programme, Ditto will also offer one-to-one mentoring, providing a selection of the initiative’s participants the opportunity to learn directly from key industry figures.
Applications for Industry Access are now open here with a short video explaining why you would benefit from the initiative. It is due to start in spring/summer of this year.
Ditto CEO Lee Parsons said: “After we pledged to $100,000 in 2020 to support Black Lives Matter causes and underrepresented people across the music industry, it was clear that we needed to use our position to create real opportunities that would make a real difference. That’s why we created Industry Access, to give those who feel underrepresented in the industry the opportunity to learn from the best, develop their skills and excel in their own careers.’”
It was clear that we needed to use our position to create real opportunities that would make a real difference
Big Zuu said: “The launch of this initiative, hosted by Ditto Music, is so important for this industry. I feel proud to be a part of it and any advice I can offer to young people wanting to kick start their careers, especially those from minority backgrounds, I hope is one step further in the right direction. I'll be talking to Vital about my journey and how I've approached my career.”
On their involvement with the initiative, Twenty:Two Agency founders Tasha Demi and Whitney Asomani said: “We are delighted to be a part of Ditto's Industry Access. The programme aligns with Twenty:Two Agency's core values to nurture new talent, and we are really keen to continue to provide access to knowledge and improve literacy in order to unlock some of the barriers to access in the music industry.”
Vital Powers, video content creator at Ditto, said: “Industry Access is an opportunity I would have run to at the start of my career. There can be lots of knock-backs for young black people trying to break into the music industry no matter how eager they are, so it's a breath of fresh air to see Ditto tackling the issue and offering support to try and better the situation. Plus, it feels great for me personally to be a part of the solution, rather than just hoping something gets done.”
Shauni Caballero, of The Go 2 Agency, added: “It's great to see a company put their money where their mouth is and launch a programme that will really make a difference and help to empower the black community.”