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  • Social Justice Fund Wins Business Charity Award
  • May 21
Social Justice Fund Wins Business Charity Award

Sony Music UK’s Social Justice Fund won the Corporate Foundation prize at last night’s Third Sector Business Charity Awards, which celebrate the collaboration between outstanding corporate and not-for-profit organisations.

The Global Social Justice Fund (SJF) operates across different territories and divisions of Sony, with a common goal to address injustice and racism, while being responsive to local challenges. Since the fund was created in June 2020, the SJF team at Sony Music UK have concentrated on how to support anti-racist initiatives in Britain, addressing structural inequality for lasting change. To date, the UK SJF – with a focus on broadening access to music education and skills, backing criminal justice reform projects, and supporting grassroots communities – has awarded almost £2.2million in grants to 22 charity partners working across the country.

The judges praised the winners, saying: “Sony’s Social Justice Fund tackles critical issues that are impacting their target market, using their core strengths and assets in a holistic, highly engaging and creative way.”

With strong competition in the Corporate Foundation category, Charlotte Edgeworth, Sony Music UK’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Social Impact, was delighted to accept the award alongside colleagues and representatives from some SJF partners – Key4Life, Young Urban Arts Foundation, Small Green Shoots, and OnSide Youth Zones. Many congratulations to all those involved.

  • Sony Music Group Recognizes Global Accessibility Awareness Day With Brittany Davis and an Immersive Listening Experience
  • May 16
Sony Music Group Recognizes Global Accessibility Awareness Day With Brittany Davis and an Immersive Listening Experience
Photo Credit: Kolin Mendez Photography

Every year, the third Thursday in May marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an opportunity for everyone to recognize and learn more about how digital tools, spaces, and content can be made more accessible and inclusive—specifically for the more than one billion people who have disabilities or impairments. Sony Music Group joins our global communities and disability rights advocates in continually working to build a more inclusive digital future. 

To celebrate GAAD this year, Sony Music Group’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosted a special event with The Orchard distributed artist Brittany Davis, an incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and engineer from Seattle, WA.  Brittany is blind and describes herself as a vessel of sound and experiences music in spirit and colors.  Everything about Brittany represents music and everything is an instrument to her.  

Hosted on May 7th at Sony Music Headquarters in NYC, Sony Music Group colleagues sat down for an immersive listening experience of Brittany’s new debut album, Image Issues. Attendees were invited to wear eye masks or close their eyes to experience the music the same way Brittany does. Attendees were able to focus on the lyrics and different instruments in each record.

“That was beautiful! And I love her honest, almost raw lyrics, her rich voice,” said Jan Mecham, Executive Assistant, Epic Records. “Closing my eyes made me focus on both the lyrics and the music, (and Brittany’s rich voice).”

After the immersive listening experience, Brittany performed “Lashes”, “So Fly”, “Through the Motion” and “Soft As the Sand” from her album, followed by an intimate Fireside Chat with Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta, Senior Specialist, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, where Brittany shared her experience as a disabled artist in the music industry and how Sony Music colleagues can support people with disabilities in all industries.

Image Issues is out now on Loosegroove Records, a Seattle-based label owned by Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, distributed by The Orchard.  The album was produced and engineered by Davis and Josh Evans (Brandi Carlile, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) and praised by media outlets such as NPR Tiny Desk, Seattle Times, and American Songwriter. For more info, visit her website at brittanydavismusic.net.  

Sony Music Group is committed to keeping up the momentum around digital accessibility—and raise awareness of how and why physical digital spaces ought to be more inclusive. Toward that end, SMG is proud to have worked with Davis Interpeting Co. LLC to bring live ASL interpretations to this event and proud to continue our partnership with Disability:IN, the leading nonprofit resource for global business disability inclusion.

  • Celebrating National Arab American and MENA Heritage Month at Sony Music Group
  • Apr 30
Celebrating National Arab American and MENA Heritage Month at Sony Music Group

Sony Music Group is embracing a singular, unifying theme for every heritage acknowledgement and celebration in 2024: Reimagining CommUNITY. Inspired by the art we create, music can help us strengthen our connections to the people and cultures around us, so everyone can belong and thrive. 

Throughout the month of April, Sony Music Group proudly celebrated National Arab American, Middle Eastern, and North African (MENA) Heritage Month. In efforts to continue Reimagining CommUNITY within and outside of our company, we dedicated this time to recognizing and celebrating the contributions, achievements, resilience and diversity of all people of Arab and MENA descent. 

Celebrating Culture Through Food 

The MENA region is comprised of over 20 countries, which have a rich tapestry of culinary history. Food, much like music, brings people together and is reflective of culture, heritage and historical happenings. That’s why the Office of DE&I hosted a celebratory breakfast at our New York City headquarters, catered by Edy’s Grocer, North Brooklyn’s first Lebanese Market and Deli. Edy’s mission is to make Middle Eastern ingredients more accessible and prevalent in people’s daily kitchens and pantries. 

The in-office breakfast included a wide variety of pastries for employees to taste, from spinach and cheese boreks to mini za’atar croissants, providing a unique experience of MENA culture. 

Highlighting the Work of the Sony Music Middle East Team 

Special shoutout to our Sony Music Middle East teammates, who will be producing this year’s Esports World Cup 2024 anthem which will take place this summer in Saudi Arabia. Sony Group Corporation recently announced a multi-year partnership with the Esports World Cup Foundation to collaborate on various initiatives ahead of this year’s events. Learn more about the partnership here

Supporting the Arab and MENA Community Beyond Sony Music Group 

Although National Arab American and MENA Heritage Month has come to an end, our support for the Arab and MENA community continues. Through our Global Social Justice Fund, we proudly support Canadian non-profit organization, Afghan Women’s Organization (AWO). 

Our Global Social Justice Fund allows us to support AWO’s Neighbourhoods for Newcomer seniors program, an initiative that allows seniors to be civically engaged in various activities within their cities, from voter education events to public engagement forms. These activities are designed to increase their sense of belonging and community involvement. 

Find out more about AWO’s work here

  • How Team Sony Showed Up for Earth Day 2024
  • Apr 23
How Team Sony Showed Up for Earth Day 2024

For the second year in a row, Sony Pictures, Sony Music and The Orchard collaborated on a special Earth Day happy hour for employees in the Culver City LA office. The event was attended by nearly 600 SMG & SPE employees, and included special performances by The Orchard distributed artists Brittany Davis, Chris LaRocca, and Love Moor, and interactive stations by several nonprofit partners.

While listening to the performances by The Orchard artists, attendees could wander between a variety of interactive booths and stations to learn more about long-term environmental sustainability programs.

These stations were designed to empower participants with knowledge and resources that foster autonomy, community engagement, action, and impactful change in the sustainability space. For example, gardening at home and planting flowers and food alike was a theme at both the ALMA Backyard Farms and Niles Foundation booths. ALMA Backyard Farms offered small bundles of fresh flowers and seed packets to attendees while providing insights into their urban agriculture initiatives, youth education programs, and farm stand social enterprise program, and The Niles Foundation gave out small strawberry plants.  

Big shoutout to all of our sustainability partners for making the event so fantastic: The Niles Foundation LA, ALMA Backyard Farms, Heal the Bay, FoodCycle LA, and Rock and Wrap It Up.

We’re committed to doing our part to make a positive impact on the environment. That’s why, in alignment with Sony Road to Zero, we’re taking steps to address the climate crisis and minimize our environmental footprint.

How Team Sony Showed Up for Earth Day 2024
Pictured: The event committee and the BU Environmental and Sustainability leads from across SMG, The Orchard, and SPE.

Check out more from the event, below:

  • Sony Music West Africa Launches “She Is…” Event to Empower and Connect Female Music Creators
  • Apr 19
Sony Music West Africa Launches “She Is…” Event to Empower and Connect Female Music Creators

On March 26 and 27 in Lagos, Nigeria, Sony Music West Africa held its highly anticipated event “She Is…” in commemoration of International Women’s Month. The two-day summit was dedicated to empowering women across various fields, particularly in the music and creator economy, providing them with the knowledge, network, and resources necessary to thrive in the industry. 

The event, which gathered creatives and music enthusiasts alike, served as a platform to glean insights from esteemed thought leaders in the industry. Day 1 commenced with engaging panel sessions, covering a spectrum of topics aimed at fostering growth and sustainability within the music business. 

The first panel, moderated by Omolola Ige, Marketing Manager at Sony Music West Africa, delved into the theme: “The Creator Economy: Stand out. Earn, Invest. Repeat.” Panelists, including Ifeoma Uddoh, CEO & Founder, Shecluded; Adaora Oramah, CEO & Founder, Amaka Studios; Mary Edoro, Chief of Staff & Strategy, BellaNaija; and Ivy Ifeoma Iboko, Brand Influencer and Founder, Ivymark, shared invaluable insights from a creator’s perspective, discussing opportunities, differentiation strategies, sustainable earnings, and investment avenues. 

The second panel, moderated by Princess Okereugo, A&R Manager at Sony Music West Africa, explored the theme: “Afrobeats: Past, Present & Future.” Panelists Addy Awofisayo, Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa, YouTube Music; Christel Kayibi, Director of Repertoire & Strategy, Continental Europe and Africa, Sony Music; Taymi B, Renowned On-Air-Personality at Beat FM & CEO, Pitchr; and Gift Israel, Head of Content, Glitch Africa, engaged in a dynamic discussion on the evolution and commercial potential of Afrobeats as a global genre, sparking insightful dialogue among attendees. 

Day 2 concluded with a vibrant mixer attended by over 150 guests, who participated in activities ranging from sip & paint to karaoke and games. The evening featured captivating music performances by F3line, Salle, Elmah, and a special acoustic set by Godwin. Additionally, guests were treated to a special virtual appearance by Aqyila, a rising TikTok sensation and Juno Awards 2024 winner. 

In response to what inspired “She Is…”, lead organizer of the event, Blessing Manafa, Digital Services & Partnerships Manager, Sony Music West Africa, said, “Knowledge is power and power can be measured by your network. Women in the music industry need to foster closer and more impactful relationships between and within one another. It’s our hope that She Is… is the start of more to come.” 

The success of “She Is…” was made possible through the generous support of sponsors including AMAKA, Shecluded, Glitch Africa, Saturday’s Eve, BellaNaija, and Nigerian Breweries. 

Sony Music West Africa remains committed to fostering diversity, inclusion, and empowerment within the music industry, and looks forward to future initiatives that continue to uplift and celebrate women in music. 

  • How Sony Music, The Orchard, and 88rising Are Collaborating to Celebrate Japanese Music 
  • Apr 12
How Sony Music, The Orchard, and 88rising Are Collaborating to Celebrate Japanese Music 

This Sunday at Coachella, our partner 88rising will take over a stage with their stand-out set of performances called 88rising Futures. They will feature groundbreaking artistry from Japan that will include some surprise performances as well as from Sony Music Japan pop sensation YOASOBI; the genre-defying quartet ATARASHII GAKKO!; iconic supergroup Number_i; and queen of Japanese hip-hop Awich. 

Today, Japanese music has more influence globally and in American culture than ever. The share of Japanese-language music in the global and U.S. streaming charts has steadily increased for the last three years—and consumers who listen to Japanese music spend twice as much per month on artist merchandise than the average listeners of American music. Amidst this backdrop, 88rising is committed to bringing Asian music to the global stage.

It’s a vision shared by Sony Music Group, Sony Music Japan, and The Orchard, too. As part of a Japanese company, we are uniquely suited to support and help accelerate this trend. 

In 2023, 88rising began working with The Orchard for global distribution and to empower their creators to reach new global audiences. And, The Orchard expanded operations into Japan in 2019; ever since, they have worked closely with Sony Music Japan to offer services to an impressive slate of local artists and independent labels. 

These are the sort of opportunities we’re dedicated to creating for artists and our label partners: iconic moments that help musicians of all backgrounds break through to global audiences.

Coachella has always captured a unique, timely cross-section of music and culture. Today, that culture is more global than ever. At this year’s festival, 88rising Futures will spotlight exactly what its name implies: the future of Asian music. As always, we’re proud to play a role in bringing music from anywhere to audiences everywhere.

Check out the global livestream here this Sunday at 5:20 p.m. PST.

  • Women’s History Month 2024: Highlighting Our Partners Empowering Women Worldwide 
  • Mar 31
Women’s History Month 2024: Highlighting Our Partners Empowering Women Worldwide 

Sony Music Group is embracing a singular, unifying theme for every heritage acknowledgement and celebration in 2024: Reimagining CommUNITY. Inspired by the art we create, music can help us strengthen our connections to the people and cultures around us, so everyone can belong and thrive.

Throughout Women’s History Month, we proudly amplified the unique voices, intersectional identities, and diverse backgrounds of women around the world. While we’ve reached the end of the month, our celebration of and advocacy for women continue through our Global Social Justice Fund.  

Discover some of our partner organizations who are excelling in advocating for global women’s rights and gender equality: 

Global Girl Media 

Locations: Germany, Greece, Kosovo, Morocco, South Africa, UK, US 

Global Girl Media (GGM) empowers female identifying and gender expansive young people, ages 15-25, from underserved communities by developing their media literacy skills and teaching them how to produce impactful, female-forward journalism.  

We proudly support their annual Summer Intensive Media Training Program, which helps train twenty young women from low-income backgrounds in South and East Los Angeles neighborhoods to understand the role that media plays in shaping identity. Additionally, these women learn about the contributions of female BIPOC leaders that work to positively change society’s cultural and political landscape. 

Learn more about Global Girl Media’s influential work here

Association of Women for Action and Research 

Location: Singapore 

The Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) remains dedicated to removing gender-based barriers throughout Singapore through its research, advocacy, education, and support services.  

By supporting their Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC), a specialized service that aids sexual assault survivors, we help them achieve their mission. SACC’s services are provided by a team of experienced counsellors, lawyers, social workers, and volunteers. They offer a wide range of services ranging from case management to supplying legal information and counseling support. 

Young Women’s Freedom Center 

Location: US 

Young Women’s Freedom Center provides support, mentorship, training, employment, and advocacy to young women and trans youth in California. Their mission is to provide fiscal sponsorship, coaching, and training that inspires young people from various backgrounds, ranging from those who grew up in poverty to those who have been part of the foster care system. 

We aid in this mission through our support of their Siblings on the Rise Internship Program (SSoR), a 350-hour training and paid internship that promotes leadership development and job placement for BIPOC women and trans youth ages 14-25. This program engages and encourages these young people to become advocates and community organizers. 

Read more on how Young Women’s Freedom Center uplifts young people here

A huge thank you to all our wonderful partners for helping us redefine connection and rediscover belonging throughout Women’s History Month and beyond. Through their ongoing support, we continue to help celebrate and empower women around the world.  

  • Sony Music UK Celebrates Second Year of Beyond the Instrument Youth Initiative
  • Mar 01
Sony Music UK Celebrates Second Year of Beyond the Instrument Youth Initiative

Beyond The Instrument – a Sony Music Group youth programme designed to promote music creativity, education, and career development in the industry – has celebrated its second year by donating DJ equipment, musical instruments, and PLAYvirtuoso access to the Walker Riverside Academy, in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In partnership with grant-giving music charity Restore the Music, the co-educational secondary and sixth form school was selected for this year’s scheme due to its location in an area dealing with high levels of social deprivation and unemployment. The Beyond the Instrument package was meticulously tailored to meet the specific needs of the school. As well as a range of musical instruments and DJ equipment, the school was granted classroom access to over 100 courses on PLAYvirtuoso – an educational platform loaded with video courses from the world’s best electronic and rap producers, DJs and songwriters – alongside personal logins for students to further enrich their music education experience. In addition, PLAYvirtuoso will deliver a number of workshops to students and staff at Walker Riverside Academy, ensuring the new equipment is fully utilised and embedded into the curriculum.

Read the full article on sonymusic.co.uk.

  • Black History Month 2024: Celebrating Our Partners Extending Support for the Black Community 
  • Feb 29
Black History Month 2024: Celebrating Our Partners Extending Support for the Black Community 

Sony Music Group is embracing a singular, unifying theme for every heritage acknowledgement and celebration in 2024: Reimagining CommUNITY. Inspired by the art we create, music can help us strengthen our connections to the people and cultures around us, so everyone can belong and thrive.  

While Black History Month has come to a close, we remain committed to reimagining commUNITY within and outside of our company through our Global Social Justice Fund. We continue to partner with organizations who go above and beyond to advance racial and social justice worldwide. 

Learn more about some of the organizations we are supporting below: 

Black Women’s Blueprint  

Black Women’s Blueprint is a women and girls rights organization committed to intergenerational collaboration, youth development, and leadership at the center of each initiative they sponsor. Their goal is to bring people together to design and practice strategies for healing and health. 

We proudly support the Black Women’s Blueprint Sound Healing with Emerging Girls youth program, which engages girls ages 16-24 in violence prevention and arts-based healing services. This year-round program offers workshops and learning using hands-on experience, narrative sharing, sister circles, and violence prevention education to cultivate healthy self-image and relationships through co-created healing and arts spaces. This program provides space for young people to engage with the arts in a way they may not have had otherwise while simultaneously allowing their unique stories and voices to be heard.

Learn more about Black Women’s Blueprint’s inspiring work here

Brotherhood Sister Sol  

For over 25 years, Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis) has helped Black and Latinx youth claim the power of their history, identity, and community to build the future they want to see. Through around-the-clock support, the organization makes space for young people to examine their roots, define their stories, and awaken their agency.   

We aid in this mission through supporting BroSis’ holistic programming and social justice youth organizing efforts such as the Liberation Program. The Liberation Program is a youth-led initiative that fosters a new generation of organizers and social change-makers. Through this program, young people can develop informed perspectives on equity and power, learn about past social justice movements, and draw from their own experiences with oppression and privilege in a safe and nurturing space.

Find out more about the groundbreaking work of the Brotherhood Sister Sol here.  

One Acre Fund 

One Acre Fund is an agricultural service provider that supports Africa’s smallholder farmers to build resilient communities.   

For smallholder farmers, the line between flourishing and struggling often comes down to small differences in planting techniques and the quality of seeds and supplies. By providing access to better farm products and education on farming techniques, the organization helps these farmers to grow their way out of hunger and poverty.  

Through our Global Social Justice Fund, we proudly support One Acre Fund Field Officers, aiding with enrollment and training while supporting smallholder farmers. This support will have a transformational impact on this underserved community. 

Discover more about One Acre Fund’s purpose-driven work here

Thank you to all of our incredible Global Social Justice Fund partners for helping us continue to redefine connection and rediscover belonging. With the collaboration and support of our partners, we aim to uplift and celebrate the Black community throughout the rest of 2024 and in the future. 

  • Growing Together: How SMG Celebrated Black History Month
  • Feb 29
Growing Together: How SMG Celebrated Black History Month

Black culture is everywhere. From the arts to tech innovation and so much more, Black heritage and traditions influence our daily activities, such as the music we write and listen to. And as music continues to evolve globally, we’re shaping the next generation of artists and music industry experts while celebrating the growth of music genres created by Black creators, artists, songwriters, and communities across the globe.

At Sony Music Group, we celebrate Black History Month during the month of February in Germany, Canada, and the U.S., and we’ll continue to support programs and initiatives throughout the year for Black communities worldwide. Take a look at some of our highlights below.

Empowering the Next Generation of Black Leaders and Creators in Berlin

To celebrate Black History Month, Sony Music’s Talent Advisory Group, HUE (Helping Unite Everyone), hosted a workshop, Record Label 101, for Black youth to gain insight into the music industry and discuss career opportunities within a record label.

This event was organized by Deschoolonize e.V. in partnership with Black Futures Week and Vitamin Black. In unity, the event was formed to inspire and empower the Black community in Berlin.

“We were honored to support Deschoolonize and Black Future Week because their work is critical to empowering the next generation of BIPOC leaders and creatives,” said Will Mckinny-Raphelt, Senior Product Manager, and member of HUE, “We are pleased to have been able to provide our knowledge and resources to further this important mission.”

Participants also had the opportunity to meet with Sony Music’s People eXperience team for resume critiques and networking. 

Chatting with Groundbreaking Director Cazhhmere

In Canada, Sony Music hosted a conversation with Canadian director and filmmaker Cazhhmere for Black History Month. As an 11th generation Black Canadian, Cazhhmere discussed her path from transitioning from music videos to filmmaking, and adapting to changes in technology, while continuing to commit to telling meaningful stories. “The stories I wanted to tell got bigger,” Cazhhmere shared of her journey into the film industry. “That was a driving force for me—to create richer and more nuanced narratives for my audience.”

Cazhhmere is a beacon of creativity in the Canadian arts and culture space and a storyteller who continues to soar over hurdles and challenge limitations.

Her acclaimed short documentary “Deeply Rooted” explores the concept of Canadian identity from the perspective of her own family, who have been in Canada since the 1600s. The film challenges the idea that Black Canadians are necessarily “from somewhere else,” and has become part of the school curriculum throughout Ontario. 

Throughout the conversation, Cazhhmere discussed the pivotal role of community support and collaboration in fostering success in the creative industries in Canada. The session served as a testament to the resilience and creativity of Black Canadian professionals, driving positive change and inspiring future generations.

Celebrating the Rise of Amapiano

Music is always evolving—and in New York—The Orchard held a lively event in honor of Black History Month to celebrate the impact and contributions of Black artists from around the world. Hosted by HUE, attendees gathered as a community to recognize the expansion of music genres created by African artists, producers, songwriters, including Amapiano.

Growing Together: How SMG Celebrated Black History Month

Reimagining Black History With Doug Melville

In a fireside chat with Doug Melville, author of “Invisible Generals,” Doug shared family stories of his ancestors’ accomplishments, including his ancestors Benjamin O. Davis Jr, and Benjamin Davis Sr., America’s first two Black Generals.

To check out the organizations we support click here.

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