Black History Month roundtable discussion

The Black History Month Roundtable: Celebrating culture and progress

As part of Black History Month 2022, PRS for Music invited leading music industry experts to celebrate Black culture, discuss the barriers Black execs face, and explore the progress being made.

  • 9 Nov 2022
  • min read

In the UK, October is Black History Month. It is a time for reflection on, and celebration of, Black history and the contributions of Black people in the UK. It is also a time for continued activism, and this year’s theme Time for Change: Action Not Words puts the quest for change front and centre.  

Within the music industry, Black artists and professionals experience unique challenges and encounter specific barriers that others do not. To mark Black History Month 2022, PRS for Music invited leading industry professionals to join a round table discussion of these issues.  

Hosted by Michelle Escoffery – songwriter and the President of PRS’ Members Council the Black History – six industry experts came together to discuss the barriers that Black creators and professionals face, and explore the potential solutions being put forward.  

The participants each brought unique insights from their corner of the industry, with Since 93 Founder Riki Bleau, co-founder of the Black Music Coalition and Parlophone A&R Komali Scott-Jones, Head of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre Adem Holness, Lovelace Owusu, manager of drill scene innovator Headie One, artist success coach and co-founder of Hardest Bars Deb McKoy, and manager, producer and Black Music Relationship Manager at PRS for Music, Jaqueline Pelham-Leigh, all lending their perspectives. 

Key issues brought up during the discussion included the scope of income generation for Black creators, barriers to funding, and anti-Black racism within the industry. The panellists also took the time to celebrate Black culture, sharing what they love about it, the significance of Black music, and how to continue to elevate Black music culture.

Watch the discussion in full below. 

Throughout Black History Month 2022, M Magazine has been privileged to welcome a series of guest editors on board to share their experiences in the music industry. Komali Scott-Jones wrote on the significance of Black female vocalists for the UK music industry; Akheim Allen discussed his pivot from artist to entrepreneur and Alexandra Ampofo spoke to Kym Thomas about the profound influence Black culture has on popular music. These guest editors also shared their playlists of the Black British artists everyone should be listening to, which are available on M Magazine's Spotify.