The project is part of Sony Music Group’s work against social inequality and the latest round of funding includes grants for Key4Life, Milk & Honey Bees and a scholarship at the Royal Academy Of Music, as well as the Bruce Grove scheme.
Headie One – named Breakthrough Artist Of The Year by Music Week in this week’s issue – said: “The Bruce Grove Youth Space is a great project, I'm glad to see Sony Music support it. Music helped me from a young age so I think it's really important to help the next generation discover the joy and escape that music can provide."
Sony Classical composer Alexis Ffrench will provide mentorship on the Royal Academy Of Music scholarship. He said: “It is an honour to create a scholarship supporting and nurturing the talent of black students at the Royal Academy Of Music in partnership with Sony Music UK. I was fortunate to study at this prestigious, world-leading conservatoire, and know first-hand the benefit that their teaching, resources and community has. I am proud to lend my name to this new scholarship and hope together we can reimagine new and inclusive pathways and possibilities for 21st century musicianship.”
We have chosen a broad range of organisations that undertake critical work in communities
Damaris Rex Taylor, RCA
Dorothy Hui, co-chair of the fund and SVP of digital & audience development, 4th Floor Creative, said: “With the new Royal Academy Of Music scholarship, we will contribute to improving diversity in classical music. We are delighted to partner with our artists to reach underrepresented young people wherever we can, and we’re looking forward to developing this new initiative with Alexis.”
Previously announced beneficiaries include the Young Urban Arts Foundation and the 3T (Tour Tech Training) course for black women in the live industry, created by artist Nao, Mura Masa and Native Management.
The Social Justice Fund was launched in June to fight against racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the global Black Lives Matter movement.
An advisory board made of representatives of labels and divisions from across Sony Music UK – including label presidents, members of its diversity, equity and inclusion committee HUE (Helping Unite Everyone) – chose the beneficiaries.
The co-chairs of the team are Sony execs Damaris Rex-Taylor, Dorothy Hui, and Jessica Carsen. They are supported by Charlotte Edgeworth, a corporate social responsibility consultant specialising in grant-making. The partnerships will launch in 2021, with further initiatives to follow.
Damaris Rex Taylor, co-chair of the Sony Music UK Social Justice Fund and RCA UK director of marketing said: “Within the first round we have chosen a broad range of organisations that we feel undertake critical work in communities, from education, to youth rehabilitation and supporting young Black women through Milk & Honey and Nao’s 3T course. These organisations are at the heart of supporting some of the young people who most need access to ongoing development opportunities.”