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  • Sony Music Group Celebrates Black History Month ‘23
  • Feb 28, 2023
Sony Music Group Celebrates Black History Month ‘23

This Black History Month, Sony Music Group proudly embraced the theme “History in the Making: The Future Is Now.” Throughout February, we held internal events that acknowledged, advanced and supported Black artists and creatives paving the way for a more inclusive future, while still reflecting and remembering our history. 

Highlights From Our Black History Month Celebrations 

As part of our month-long celebration of Black culture and the Black community, we hosted a virtual conversation with Greg Noire, award-winning live music and portrait photographer and Sony Alpha camera ambassador, moderated by Towalame Austin, Sony Music Group’s Executive Vice President of Philanthropy & Social Impact. Noire reflected on his journey as a Black photographer and shared his experiences capturing some of today’s most notable artists, like Doja Cat and Steve Lacy

During his conversation with Austin, Noire highlighted that he often finds himself the only Black photographer in the photo pits he operates in, which prompted him to stress the significance of inclusive hiring practices. “If you look outside of who you already know, you would see that talent exists in other diverse [candidates],” Noire said. Austin added, “We all have a responsibility to make sure we are hiring diverse people, looking at credentials and the people themselves.” 

Additionally, in a panel discussion held by HUE (Helping Unite Everyone)—a Talent Advisory Group (TAG) at Sony Music Group—and The Orchard, we listened as Niyi Osidipe, Sony Music’s Director of Artist Development & Global Strategy Africa; Tunde Ajaba-Ogundipe, Sony Music’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of African Music Strategy; and Ashley Hall, Associate Director of International Label Management at The Orchard, described the impact of Afrobeats on the global music scene.

Hall explained that one of the most important ways the music industry can champion African artists is by allowing them to maintain their authenticity. She added, “[The industry] must continue to provide vital resources into the market to bring their music to the forefront of what is considered mainstream, popular music.” 

A big round of applause to all SMG employees who participated, contributed and attended our Black History Month events and activities. Shoutout to our special guests Noire and Mackenzie Palmer, yoga instructor and sensual movement leader, for lending their time and wisdom to enrich our celebrations. And, to our TAGs HUE U.S., HUE GSA and Wellful, thank you for spearheading the event programming and making this Black History Month at Sony Music Group so special. 

Supporting the Black Community Beyond the Month of February 

While the month has come to an end, we are committed to continuing our support for the Black community—and all communities around the world—through our Global Social Justice Fund (GSJF). With World Day of Social Justice also falling in February, we highlighted a few of our GSJF partners raising awareness and driving action to eradicate poverty, discrimination, inequity and unfairness in society, like Bridges for Music

Bridges for Music is a South African-based nonprofit organization that provides young students in under-served communities the tools and skills to excel in creative industries. “In the face of an ever-increasing lack of education in our communities about what equal rights and opportunities really mean, ensuring everyone has equal economic, political and social opportunities is becoming an increasing challenge,” said Thulani Headman, Bridges For Music’s Co-Founder and Operations Manager. “Through our program (and its music) we have been able to change minds, and we consider that the most important tool for social justice.” 

Learn more about Bridges for Music and our other partners impacting social justice in different communities around the world here.

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