Former Warner Music exec Serene Sass has spoken to Music Week about her socially conscious record label Amplified Music.
Sass spent 17 years at WMG, latterly as VP, international licensee business.
“The vision of Amplified came from the understanding that music is the greatest art form in the world,” said Sass, CEO and co-founder of Amplified. “It has the power to unite people from all corners of the globe.
“We create a platform for extraordinarily talented musicians and help amplify their voices and their stories. These voices are not only heard loudly through our music, but are represented in our leadership and by everyone that contributes to Amplified.”
Amplified Music recently released the new version of Bob Marley’s One Love in aid of UNICEF’s Coronavirus Reimagine campaign in partnership with the Marley Family. It featured artists who don’t usually get a chance to record on such projects, including refugees from conflict zones and countries in crisis.
“Working on the One Love project has been such an inspiring journey,” said Sass. “It has been an absolute honour to work with Stephen, Cedella and Skip Marley as well as artists from Sudan, Syria, DRC, Jamaica, Lesotho, New Zealand, Nigeria, India, UK and the US, each with their own incredible story to tell.”
Ra’ed Khan, who puts on Grime Aid every year, also works at the label.
“I’ve been working in refugee camps and conflict zones over the past five years through my non-profit Road To Freedom and have met so many talented artists from all corners of the world,” he said. “When I first met Serene, I introduced her to a young rapper who had fled Syria in the hopes of seeking refuge in Europe. From that moment to now, to help him see his dreams come to life through Amplified Music, recording the incredible song Refugee with Skip Marley and then performing it at World Children’s Day at the United Nations, has been such a powerful journey.
“It has truly made me realise that sometimes we need to look outside of the bubbles we create around our lives. When we look at the whole world and listen to other stories, that’s when we can make change.”
The campaign has had support from TikTok, where it has been widely shared.
“Seeing One Love come together from an idea we had in the peak of lockdown to now a global anthem with over 74 million views is honestly surreal,” said Khan. “The team put this together in a matter of weeks and the positivity and support we have received along the way has been incredible. One Love exemplifies Amplified’s mission and it has been a great honour for Road to Freedom to be part of this.”
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