- Sony Music’s Dennis Kooker Represents Music Industry at U.S. Senate AI Insight Forum
- Dec 01
Dennis Kooker, Sony Music’s President of Global Digital Business, represented the music industry in advocating for copyright and intellectual property protections in generative AI development at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) seventh Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.
“If copyrights are protected and enforced appropriately, we are at the beginning of a multi-decade marathon that will change the creative and commercial landscape for music. Innovation does not require that we burn down the past to race to the future,” Kooker said in opening comments.
“Music is a tremendous driver for AI technology, and AI technology presents a tremendous opportunity for the creative development of music. But these opportunities must be grounded by the human creators’ vision with the machine assisting, not with the machine replacing the human creator.
“SME’s active licensing business highlights that strong copyright regimes are not an impediment to innovation.”
Read more from Kooker’s official statement and testimony below.
- Sony Music Group Celebrates Hispanic Latin Heritage Month ’23
- Oct 16
During Hispanic Latin Heritage Month, Sony Music Group proudly embraced this year’s national theme “Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.” Our nation’s economy, culture, cuisine, entertainment and so much more are greatly influenced by the many contributions and strides made by the Hispanic Latin community.
We celebrated and honored the Hispanic Latin community through programming and events designed to recognize their versatility and broad cultural impact.
Highlights from Our Hispanic Latin Heritage Month Celebration
We kicked off our recognition for the month with a leadership development workshop featuring guest speaker Refugio Atilano—an author and career mentor/coach for Latino professionals. Throughout the workshop, he imparted actionable skills for enhancing impact and value within the professional community. Links to the virtual launch of his book, The Latino Leadership Playbook, were also shared with attendees once the event concluded.
Atilano discussed topics ranging from advocating for yourself in the workplace to practical guidance for how non-Hispanic or non-Latin employees can support their Hispanic and Latin colleagues. In addition, he gave a list of action items to help bring the concepts he covered to life, like following the free templates found on his website regarding personal development and activating a Latino Leadership Club where employees can discuss topics that aid in changing the paradigm within the workplace. As a closing statement, he relayed this advice to participants:
“If we want to move the needle on representation … if we’re all serious about it … take these steps. Hold yourself accountable and drive yourself forward.”
Later in the month, we held a special class to help master the art of Reggaeton movement with dance performer and instructor, Sofía Dallal. Reggaeton is one of the most popular dance styles originating from Latin America. Born in Panama and popularized in Puerto Rico, it has traveled across the region and the globe. Evolving from dancehall and influenced by U.S. hip-hop, Latin American and Caribbean music, it’s a vibrant fusion.
Dallal described her experience with the team at Sony Music as being both “comfortable and happy” as she was in a space “with people interested in getting to know more about…Latin culture.” She explained that “everybody had very good energy” and were “focused on getting the steps” while simultaneously keeping it “light and super fun.”
To conclude the celebrations of Hispanic Latin Heritage Month, we held a mixer in our New York City office with special guest—and Sony Music Latin singer and songwriter Beéle. Beéle infused the atmosphere with sounds from Colombia through his performance.
A special thank you to all the SMG employees who participated and attended our Hispanic Latin Heritage Month events and activities. Huge shoutout to Refugio Atilano, Sofía Dallal, and Beéle for all the time and effort they contributed. And thank you to SOMOS—a Sony Music Group Talent Advisory Group—for helping host this month’s events and making it such a memorable one.
Our Ongoing Efforts to Support the Hispanic Latin Community
In honor of Hispanic Latin Heritage Month, Sony Music Group, alongside SOMOS, supported causes important to the Hispanic Latin community, including those listed below:
- Hispanic Unity Of Florida Inc.: Empowering immigrants and others to become self-sufficient, productive and civically engaged.
- UnidosUS: UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos.
- Maestro Cares Foundation: Maestro Cares Foundation improves the quality of life of disadvantaged children and communities in Latin America and the United States. We do so by providing housing, educational programming and the essential resources to support their growth and development.
- Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation: To further international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world’s culture through college scholarships, grants and educational programs.
- A Sense of Belonging on Heritage Day: Embracing Diverse Cultures at Sony Music
- Oct 03
Sony Music Africa celebrated this day with Sony Music, artist, songwriter and producer Ringo Madlingozi, Tanzanian Hip-Hop artist Young Lunya, and artist Daniella Daniel, known as Morravay from Nigeria.
Every year, on September 24, South Africa celebrates the rich history, traditions, and multifaceted cultural heritage of the “Rainbow Nation.” Originally known as “Shaka Day,” South Africa’s Heritage Day, is a moment to acknowledge the many various communities by embracing diversity and promoting respect among different ethnic and cultural groups.
This year’s theme was Belonging, and employees came dressed in their cultural and other relevantly themed attire that showcased their diverse identities—including Ringo Madlingozi— who celebrated 27 years in the industry and had his catalogue made available on streaming platforms the same day. This contributed to fostering an inclusive environment for each individual while providing a space for everyone to learn about different cultures and cultural affinities and have the opportunity to highlight who they are—authentically without judgment.
“Our Diversity and Inclusion committee planned this day to highlight ‘belonging’ as a focal point of this year’s celebration,” said Chenayi Mukaro, Head of People Experience. “It was important to the committee to emphasize being your authentic self and encouraging everyone to take time to understand each other and their backgrounds.”
In a show of celebration and participation on this special day, employees came dressed in their cultural attire that represented their ethnic backgrounds or their chosen cultural association. From delicate African cuisines that symbolized the culinary journey of foods from various cultures and scenes to personal speeches prepared by employees to express what ‘Heritage Day’ means to them, this bridged a connection and helped showcase how diversity plays a greater role in creativity at Sony Music Entertainment.
“[This] event allowed an opportunity for us to meet each other at a point of realness. I did not know that a simple event and cultural clothing would bond us as a Sony Music family. I am aware of who I am culturally, I am an African with a South African culture. I felt respected and honored,” said Caroline Morabe, Label Manager. “Let’s enjoy how we appreciate each of our diverse cultures. Africa is amazing and we are here to make sure that the Sony vision is realized.”
Read an employee speech in celebration of ‘Heritage Day’ from Digital Services and Partner Manager, Blessing Manafa, from Sony Music Nigeria below:
Have you ever noticed that the same of two things never make a new thing?
Have you ever noticed that new experiences don’t ever really come by doing the same routine?
Have you ever wondered why it takes a mix of red and blue – two completely different colors to make purple?
Imagine a world where only reds existed – this means the beauty of purple could never have been born nor experienced.
Thankfully, we do not live in such a world. Our world is full of reds, blue—all unconsciously tasked to, with interacting in various capacities, to birth “purple.”
By “purple” I mean new experiences, fresh perspectives, alternate angles to the same picture.
To speak plainly, everyone here symbolizes a red or a blue and it is our responsibility to create purple ourselves fully realizing that without the rich, bright, and unstoppable red or the wonderful, calm, and powerful blue – we can never have purple.
This means all that makes us who we are, all that has contributed to where we are from indeed has a place here.
Meaning “here” ought to be a place where our unique stories and backgrounds – our heritage – do not take a back seat. Instead that very heritage becomes the catalyst that creates the purple in our relationships within and outside our work environment.
Being a Nigerian born from two major tribes – Igbo & Yoruba, I can tell you that I have come to appreciate and value firsthand the beauty of diversity, and this has led me to the conclusion that we are indeed all pieces of the same whole.
A whole that can never be seen and fully appreciated without its individual parts.
Happy Heritage Day – keep creating wonderful purple experiences!
Scan here to listen to Certified Heritage, the event’s official playlist consisting entirely of artists from Sony Music South Africa.
The Certified Heritage playlist artwork was created by Maria Hadjidimitriadis, Strategic Catalogue Marketing Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Africa. “This artwork was inspired by our rich cultural diversity and passion for our music,” says Maria. “The cover artwork is depicted as a quilt which is pieced together using traditional prints, each representing a different ethnicity across Sub-Saharan Africa. The golden thread holding each print in place, represents the music that brings our diverse ethnicities closer together, and this playlist is made available through the Sony Music Entertainment Africa localized Legacy catalogue division, Certified Africa, the first official CERTIFIED curator on Apple and custodian of our unique genre-blending music catalogue for Hip-Hop, R&B, Kwaito, Gospel, Amapiano and Afrobeats.”
- Digital Catapult and Sony Music UK Unveil 10 Black Tech Entrepreneurs Cultivating Innovation in Digital Entertainment
- Aug 01
Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, and Sony Music UK, have announced a cohort of 10 pioneering digital-first startups, to participate in the inaugural FutureScope Black Founders Programme. The programme will look to level the playing field for Black British entrepreneurs in the digital entertainment space and support the successful commercialisation of their innovative new solutions.
The announcement marks the beginning of the 16-week programme of activities that will provide each early-stage company with business and investment readiness support, drawing on Digital Catapult’s decade of experience supporting UK startups. Through mentorship, workshops and masterclasses, the programme will look to help each startup raise investment in the next six to nine months, helping to redress a racial imbalance in the UK’s startup and investment landscape. In addition, half of the cohort businesses are led by women and half led by men.
Using advanced digital technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence/machine learning, virtual and/or augmented reality, the cohort provides wide-reaching solutions for art, music, social media, retail and tourism. From a digital fine art gallery made possible by an extended reality (XR) immersive world, to an AI-powered social media platform designed to build a community of music lovers, the innovations at the centre of each business are created to transform the UK’s digital entertainment space and bring the sector into a new era.
The 10 startups joining the FutureScope Black Founders Programme are:
- Cashblack: Cashblack is a platform that rewards members with cashback when they shop online with Black-owned businesses.
- Deya: Deya is a platform for Black creative talent and creative companies, building a new approach for Black creatives to find jobs and community.
- Flossy AI: Flossy offers tools for users to create remixable merch and products. It leverages AI to allow users to come together and co-create images.
- Happaning: is a crowdsourced event preview app. Powered by its patented ViiVid® media format, the app lets a user request trusted, real-time video previews through the eyes of the community.
- Korda: Korda empowers music creators, songwriters and innovators by providing tools that support all stages of the music lifecycle, from creation to monetisation.
- Loud Parade: Loud Parade is an award-winning music creative and sonic branding company that makes bespoke music compositions aimed at Gen Z for brands and creative agencies.
- Musircle: Musircle is an AI-driven social media platform that analyses the listening habits of users to deliver their musical DNA.
- Nyangibo Gallery: Nyangibo Gallery is an online and in-person digital fine art gallery, with a focus on extended reality (XR) art.
- Stories & The City: Stories & The City is a cultural tourism immersive startup that uses augmented reality (AR) and a user’s smartphone to create bespoke cultural city tours.
- Waves: Waves is an AI-powered web3 marketplace for collecting and trading rare beats.
Digital Catapult will deliver the FutureScope Black Founders Programme in partnership with Sony Music UK, with both partners having a long-standing tradition of promoting innovation within the UK’s creative industries. By focusing support toward Black tech entrepreneurs, the programme aims to level the playing field for the participating companies, providing them with knowledge and connections that can lead to future investment opportunities.
FutureScope aims to make it easier for Black founders to raise venture capital and successfully scale their solutions, given that research from Atomico, an international investment firm, found that 62% of Black founders have found it increasingly hard to raise venture capital, with only 38 Black founders receiving venture capital funding between 2009 and 2019, just 0.24% of the total sum invested.
To offset costs to a business by participating in the programme, each startup will receive £3,000 as a financial contribution towards completing the programme. This also includes additional support from ‘Musiio by SoundCloud’.
To ensure long-lasting, positive impact is made for the founders and the UK Black tech community, the programme is further bolstered by support from expert consultants and mentors from across the entertainment and tech industries. This includes Sony Music UK and Soundcloud, and nine purpose-driven organisations that promote Black businesses and inclusive opportunities across the UK’s tech startup community.
Justin Cross, Director of Innovation Practice, Digital Catapult, said:
“This cohort is really one of the most exciting we have seen since the launch of FutureScope nearly two years ago. The range of solutions on show, built using advanced digital technologies, just highlights why companies like this are a key part of the future of the UK’s creative sector. The reality is that choosing 10 companies from a strong field of applicants was an incredibly tough process for the judging panel, but ultimately a very encouraging one, that really demonstrated to us the breadth of talent that exists within the UK’s Black tech community. It’s vital that the innovators at the heart of these businesses are given a fair opportunity to raise the investment needed to grow their business and accelerate their development.”
Dorothy Hui, SVP Digital and Audience Development, Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative, said:
“We are thrilled to welcome an inspiring cohort of founders—all building businesses around creative uses of technology—to the FutureScope Black Founders programme. Sony Music is committed to helping improve diversity in digital entertainment and we look forward to supporting the entrepreneurs participating in the programme by providing access to industry expertise and our network. We can’t wait to see how the businesses develop through the programme.”
The programme culminates with a final showcase event in early November 2023, where the founders will have the opportunity to pitch to a select group of venture capital investors.
- Behind the Scenes at Tribeca Festival 2023 With Sony Music’s Premium Content Team
- Jul 10
The Sony Music Premium Content team premiered two films at this year’s Tribeca Festival, giving music and film fans alike the first look at the personal and professional journeys of two iconic artists.
Let the Canary Sing and Carlos, feature length documentaries focusing on the lives and careers of Cyndi Lauper and Carlos Santana respectively, premiered at the Tribeca Festival this June. In a conversation with Krista Wegener, EVP, Development, Sales and Distribution, she shares her thoughts on both premieres, the decision to hold an OCAP (Open Captioned) screening of Let the Canary Sing, and if we can expect to see more films from the Premium Content team at future festivals.
Q: Sony Music’s Premium Content division premiered two films at the Tribeca Festival this year. Can you give us a brief overview of both documentaries and why you chose to premiere them at Tribeca?
In partnership with Legacy, we were proud to host the world premieres of Cyndi Lauper’s Let the Canary Sing and Carlos Santana’s Carlos at Tribeca Film Festival. The Festival serves as a great launching pad for documentaries to create industry buzz and fan excitement as we engage in sales discussions with potential distributors or prepare films to launch in the general marketplace. It also has the added benefit of taking place in New York, which made it possible for many of our Sony Music colleagues to join the celebration of these two films.
Directed by Alison Ellwood, Let the Canary Sing is a spirited documentary that takes the audience on a nostalgic exploration of the life and career of legendary artist Cyndi Lauper. Anchored by Lauper’s own narration, the film showcases the artist’s deep New York roots and her outspoken personal and career journey, which is why Tribeca was such a perfect place to premiere the film. The film highlights Lauper’s activism on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, so along with our partners Fine Point Films and Concord, we were delighted to have the opportunity to screen the film during Pride Month.
The festival was also a great opportunity to launch Carlos, directed by Rudy Valdez, a lively and intimately-crafted documentary immersing fans into rock icon Carlos Santana’s life and musical journey. We partnered with Sony Pictures Classics and Imagine Entertainment to make Tribeca the first stop before the film is released in theaters later this year.
Q: Both Cyndi Lauper and Carlos Santana performed after their screening. How does the performance element come together and enhance the experience for audiences?
This was only the second year Tribeca was creating opportunities for artists to accompany their respective film’s premiere with an exclusive performance for fans. Having the chance to expand the experience at the beautiful and iconic Beacon Theatre was such a special event because after watching these films, you can’t help but to feel a connection to the artist and respect for their craft. It was an incredible opportunity for the audience to experience an intimate live performance right after watching the artists each open up in their films in such a raw, organic and inspiring way.
Q: Why did you decide to hold an OCAP (Open Captioned) screening of Let the Canary Sing?
In a tribute to Cyndi Lauper’s pioneering vision, one of our screenings at Tribeca was open captioned. Cyndi was the first artist to feature captioned videos on MTV, beginning with ‘My First Night Without You.’ She also incorporated the use of American Sign Language in the music video for ‘Time After Time’, an act of inclusion that is now cemented in history. Cyndi’s emphasis on accessibility welcomed the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community into the heart of pop culture.
Our goal is to make the emotional journey of music and cinema available to everyone, so Sony Music was incredibly proud to screen the only feature at Tribeca with Open Captioning.
Q: Can we expect to see more films from the Premium Content team premiere at festivals in the future?
Absolutely! From Tribeca to Toronto, Sundance and Cannes, we are always considering film festivals as part of our sales distribution strategy, so we will likely debut more films at other festivals around the world in the future.
- Sony Music Group Celebrates Pride ‘23
- Jun 30
During the month of June, people in different parts of the world celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with pride and raise awareness of the ongoing pursuit of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other people who identify within the spectrum. This year we’re embracing the theme “Pride and Joy.”
At Sony Music Group (SMG), we believe that when everyone belongs, creativity is amplified. We’re committed to promoting a fair and consciously inclusive workplace for all genders and will continue to support initiatives designed to advance the LGBTQIA+ community. That’s why, throughout Pride Month, we celebrated LGBTQIA+ representation through various internal events that empowered LGBTQIA+ team members to lead with impact—authentically.
Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ Community With Pride and Joy
SMG’s Talent Advisory Groups (TAGs) OutLoud and The Village kicked off our Pride Month activities by hosting a virtual conversation with Anne Sutkowi-Hemstreet, the founder and director of Rainbow Collective for Change (RCC), an organization aimed at supporting LGBTQIA+ and gender-inclusive families. Throughout the event, Sutkowi-Hemstreet detailed various ways families can foster LGBTQIA+ friendly environments for children through educating oneself on gender stereotypes, the importance of gender inclusion, and championing for advocacy organizations including ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign.
SMG team members participated with their local communities to show up and show out for Pride from the East Coast to the West Coast. Beginning in Culver City, CA, members took to the streets to march at the 53rd annual Los Angeles Pride Parade, alongside their peers at Sony Pictures Entertainment. In Nashville, TN, they showed off their pride and joy together at the 2023 Nashville Pride Parade. Check out some of our favorite highlights from both events below:
Our celebrations continued in our New York City office with OutLoud’s annual Pride Month Party, where teammates gathered to celebrate with food, drinks, giveaways and a special performance by Columbia Records artist, INIKO. Take a look:
A huge thank you to Sutkowi-Hemstreet, INIKO and SAGE—the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ elders—for joining us for our Pride and Joy celebrations. And a big round of applause to OutLoud and The Village for contributing to this month’s events and activities. Thank you for making this Pride Month a joyful celebration of LGBTQIA+ inclusion, representation and empowerment.
Supporting of LGBTQIA+ Community Beyond Pride Month
Though Pride Month is coming to a close, SMG’s efforts to support the LGBTQIA+ community grow every day, all year round. Through our Global Social Justice Fund, our support continues with aiding various LGBTQIA+ advocacy organizations, including those listed below:
- National Black Justice Coalition: NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQIA+/SGL bias and stigma. NBJC supports Black individuals, families, and communities in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQIA+/SGL equity.
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute: The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.
- Ally Coalition: The Ally Coalition provides critical support for organizations dedicated to bettering the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth and raises awareness about the systemic inequalities facing the LGBTQIA+ population.
- Transgender Law Center: The Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
- Sony Music Group Welcomes the Third Cohort of SMG Impact Fellows
- Jun 23
This Summer, Sony Music Group (SMG) is welcoming the third cohort of the SMG Impact Fellows Program. The program launched in 2021 as a partnership with 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP), and has since expanded to include American Indigenous Business Leaders (AIBL), Lime Connect, Out For Undergrad (O4U) and Scholarships Plus. Through these partnerships, we accelerate and strengthen our efforts to recruit, develop, and retain diverse entry-level talent.
This year’s cohort is comprised of 15 fellows—the largest class yet!—working across multiple record labels and at Sony Music Publishing, on various teams such as: People eXperience, Premium Content, International Marketing, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Publicity, Global Brand Partnership, Soundtrack Film/TV & Licensing, Radio Promo, Digital Marketing, Artist Development, and Brand Partnerships.
Welcome to the team, 2023 Impact Fellows!
Digital Marketing, AWAL
Soundtrack, Film TV & Licensing, RCA
Digital Marketing, Epic
Global Brand Partnerships, RCA
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Brand Partnerships, Columbia
People eXperience, Sony Music Publishing
Radio Promo, RCA
Artist Development, AWAL
The SMG Impact Fellows Program was launched in 2021 and aims to provide college students from underrepresented communities the unique opportunity to learn about and experience the music industry during a 10-week summer fellowship, supplemented by professional development opportunities and programming from their host organizations.
This year, we evolved the fellowship by extending its program to include:
- Office tours
- Insights discovery workshops
- Meet & greet with senior leaders
- Impact Fellow showcase
- Participating in internal DE&I discussions
- Sony Music Group Global Impact Report 2023
- Jun 20
Last year, Sony Music Group (SMG) published our inaugural Global Impact Report, capturing a pivotal period in our company’s history.
The report was a critical opportunity to assess all we had been doing to respond and adapt to a rapidly changing world, highlight areas where we’re growing (inside and outside of our offices), and convey our near-term ambitions in our continued effort to lead the industry into a more socially responsible and inclusive future of music.
Now, with our second report, we have dug deeper—to highlight the topline impact of our policies and programs, and the day-to-day experiences of our employees, creators, and community members whose careers and creative lives we strive to fulfill. And, since our first report, we’re already seeing how our ongoing commitment to equity, transparency, and entrepreneurship is carrying us closer to a more fulfilling workplace experience and community-focused industry with an active role played by our Company.
We’ve continued to scale up support for our artists’ and songwriters’ health and prosperity. To name just a few of our latest strides: We’ve reimagined ways we foster an inclusive, collaborative workspace, through our People eXperience department and our DE&I framework, MILES. We’ve championed essential causes around the world through charitable contributions and advocacy alike. And we’ve done all of this while adhering to responsible business practices, rooted in our unyielding mission to be a world-class home for creative collaboration.
With our 2023 Global Impact Report, we are thrilled to once again pull back the curtain and spotlight SMG’s success in translating our values into action each and every day. And, with the same enthusiasm, we are taking this occasion to challenge ourselves to seek new heights.
As ever, we will continue seeking out new ways to put our people first, bring communities together, and shape society for the better—just as music always has.
Preview and download the Impact Report below.
- Sony Music Group Celebrates APIDA Heritage Month ‘23
- May 31
This May for Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi, and Asian American (APIDA) Heritage Month, we’re proud to embrace the theme “The Golden Diaspora: Exploring a New Era for the APIDA Community.”
Over the last year, the APIDA community has been recognized and applauded in media, music, and entertainment, dawning a new era for APIDA representation. The Asian community is not a monolith, which is why we celebrate “APIDA.” This term encompasses all the Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi and Asian American communities, which all have unique cultures, languages, and histories.
SMG honors and commemorates the many contributions of the APIDA community and embrace equity and support for the Asian diaspora.
Celebrating the Golden Diaspora
Our month-long celebration of APIDA culture and representation started with a discussion at our New York City office featuring members of the three-time Tony Award-nominated musical, KPOP. Moderated by K-pop expert Jeff Benjamin, we listened to Helen Park—the first Asian American woman composer in Broadway history—and KPOP cast members Abraham Lim and Kevin Woo speak about the global influence of Korean pop culture as well as their personal journeys and experiences on and off the stage.
Park explained that it was rare for her to see accurate Asian representation in American theater and media growing up. “Many of the Asian centric stories were written by non-Asians. It was oftentimes exotified with beautiful music, but the authenticity was questionable.” This prompted her to praise KPOP for its commitment to authenticity and allowing its Korean cast and crew members to be unapologetic about their culture.
We continued our APIDA Heritage Month celebrations with an ‘Ori Tahiti’ dance class led by Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta—SMG’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist—at our New York City office. As a Tahitian dancer since childhood, Nguyen-Acosta was thrilled when she was asked to share her knowledge and passion for the artform with her fellow teammates.
“I noticed that Polynesian culture was not as prevalent in New York City compared to my home state, California, so when I had the opportunity to share it at Sony Music, I did not hesitate to say yes,” she said. “It was fun teaching Tahitian dance to my Sony teammates, and I think everyone had a lot of fun learning as well.”
Lastly, we tuned into an in-person and online hybrid chat with John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, and Tiffany Chang, Director of Community Engagement at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a non-profit partner through the Sony Global Social Justice Fund. The conversation—which was moderated by SMG’s Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Tiffany R. Warren—highlighted the history and mission of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, the efforts to address the nationwide rise in hate crimes against the AAPI communities, and the importance of allyship.
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our APIDA Heritage Month celebrations—especially those who joined us from outside of SMG:
- Jeff Benjamin, K-Pop Editor and Columnist for TIDAL and Billboard
- John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
- Kevin Woo, Singer, Actor, Host and Creative Director
- Sahaj Kaur Kohli, Mental Health Professional and Founder of Brown Girl Therapy
- Shiv Nadkarni, Singer, Actor and Dancer
- Tiffany Chang, Director of Community Engagement at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
- Vinh Pham, Physical Therapist and Founder of Myodetox
And a special shoutout to Sony Masterworks Broadway and Talent Advisory Groups (TAGs) HUE (Helping Unite Everyone) and Wellful for dedicating time and effort to coordinating this month’s internal programming.
Our Ongoing Efforts to Support the APIDA Community
Through our Global Social Justice Fund, we continue to celebrate and support the APIDA community worldwide beyond the month of May. Below, learn about a few of our partner organizations who are advancing social justice in different communities across Asia:
- Yayasan Sosial Indonesia untuk Kemanusiaan (Indonesia) – An empowered community in fighting for a just, dignified, and prosperous life for all within the framework of human rights and natural preservation.
- Milaan Foundation (India) – Empowering girls to stand up for themselves by advancing their skills, rights, and opportunities to unlock their voice, choice, and inner power.
- Modern Women’s Foundation (Taiwan) – With a firm force, we strive to defend the rights and interests of women and children who witnessed domestic violence, and to eliminate inequality in the system and modern culture. By providing professional services, we comfort the injured hearts and souls, and we hope to become the most trusted organization for gender-based violence victims.
- Swadhar Institute for Development of Women and Children (India) – Swadhar envisions a society where in women in distress and underprivileged children are empowered to uplift themselves and become responsible members of our society.
- Sony Music Iberia Named a Great Place to Work
- May 31
Sony Music Iberia—inclusive of Sony Music Spain and Sony Music Portugal—is officially Great Place to Work-certified by Great Place to Work®, a leader in the identification and certification of work environments that foster growth, high-trust culture and employee happiness.
The award is a national and international recognition in the fields of employee management and business strategy, annually granted to companies around the world that meet the certification requirements, which includes an analysis of the environment including a research-backed employee experience survey.
The results of the employee survey surfaced several items that Sony Music Iberia employees recognize as being particularly valuable as part of their workplace experience: employee welfare, the full flexibility model, the close collaboration between teams and the mutual respect at all levels within the organization.
Among the main Human Resources strategies implemented by Sony Music Iberia, a few that stand out is its efforts to promote work-life balance, cross-functional work and the emotional and physical health of employees.
José Mª Barbat, President of Sony Music Iberia, comments on the certification saying “This certification proves that we took the right direction when, years ago, we decided to put people—artists and talented employees—at the strategic centre of the organization, building a more flexible and friendly working environment, where the focus is not only on the what but also on the how.”
Barbat continues, “We are very privileged to work in an industry that is tremendously fun and at the same time very demanding. It is no longer an option to keep up with the times and build the best working environments for the best professionals. For us, this certification is not an end, but a means; it represents a clear commitment to continuous improvement where, year after year, we will continue to work with great focus to remain a benchmark working and collaborative environment and, we will continue to do so, tending to the needs of the people who passionately dedicate their professional lives to making artists’ dreams come true.”