POWER UP has announced today that Spotify, Believe and Simkins are the latest partners to join its ground-breaking POWER UP initiative that elevates Black music creators and industry professionals and tackles anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the UK music industry.
The impactful programme also brings together several music industry organisations across all sectors to accelerate change, with supporters including Creative Scotland, AIM, the BPI, the FAC, The Ivors Academy, The MMF, The MPA, MPG, The Musicians’ Union, PPL, PRS for Music and the PRS Members’ Fund.
In addition to Spotify, PRS Foundation is proud to announce two further new partners to POWER UP, leading record labels and artist service specialists Believe and leading media/entertainment law firm, Simkins.
As well as supporting the cohort of Participants who were selected from over 500 applicants to the Year 1 open call, Believe will work alongside the POWER UP team to deliver a series of masterclasses aimed at the wider Black music community around the UK.
Simkins’ support for participants includes legal masterclasses, panel sessions, mentoring and a legal helpdesk.
SHOUT4 will become the first ‘Associate Partner’, opening up their deal-making and contracting platform to support Black music creator and industry professional participants.
This follows the recent announcement that shesaid.so will work in partnership with POWER UP to deliver the we.grow mentoring support programme to fast-track progression as part of the holistic support package on offer.
With YouTube Music and Spotify in partnership, as well as some of the biggest and most respected independent companies, funders and trade association, the invitation remains open for music companies big and small to add their support and join this initiative to bring about meaningful and lasting change in the UK music industry. The launch of the Associate Partner strand and announcement of other partnerships shows that POWER UP is open for collaboration at all levels. PRS Foundation actively encourages companies, organisations and individuals to reach out and become a part of the Movement.
Tom Connaughton, managing director, Spotify UK and Ireland, said: ‘Ben, Joe, Yaw and the PRS Foundation POWER UP team have been doing great work and we are really excited to be involved. We are committed to using our platform to amplify black creators and champion black voices: partnering on POWER UP, and our Spotify x PLUS1 for Black Creatives initiative, is just one step in the important journey we are all on to continue tackling and addressing inequity in the industry.’
Ben Wynter, co-founder, POWER UP, said: ‘Special thanks to Leigh, Euan and Ric for ensuring their companies engaged with POWER UP and to Tom whom has believed in and been an encouraging force for POWER UP from the start. I am very happy to see more companies coming on board to work with POWER UP! The day 1 vision has always been for the UK music industry to be engaged and invested in POWER UP! When the black squares went up, it became clear that there was a willingness for change but not everyone necessarily knew how to go about it. Our objective was to work with companies to help find the solution. We want to work with the key players in music to create a more equitable industry for all. It has been impressive to see how quickly the DSPs, the independent music community, distributors and trade body sector has recognised the impact POWER UP is having and will continue to make as well as the importance of collaborative working to create real and lasting change. With that said the glaring omission from our partners are the major record labels and I hope this is something we can rectify soon. We hope these partnerships will inspire more across the industry to get involved.’
Joe Frankland, chief executive, PRS Foundation and co-founder, POWER UP, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome the new partnerships with Spotify, Believe, Simkins and SHOUT4 for POWER UP. Their contribution and direct involvement in this initiative will be invaluable to the Participants and the wider movement going forward.’