The future of music will be a diverse one. The days when careers in music were only meant for the privileged few are numbered as calls for equity and inclusion from traditionally underrepresented groups get louder and barriers to entry get lower via technology.
To hasten the arrival of an inclusive new day in music, Spotify has partnered with BIMM Institute, the U.K. and Europe’s most connected music education provider. The BIMM Institute x Spotify Educational Partnership will offer a group-wide package across all eight of the Institute’s colleges, including fully-funded degree scholarships, Spotify Masterclass events, mentoring opportunities with Spotify executives like Head of Artist & Industry Partnerships International, Bryan Johnson, and educational resources created by Spotify, shared directly with students as part of their studies.
This first-of-its-kind partnership was created with the goal of accelerating diversity in music education and the creative industries to help develop the next generation of creators and industry execs.
To learn more about the partnership and Spotify’s overall commitment to diversifying music, Spotify for Artists had a brief conversation with Johnson to understand why this partnership is so important to him, the company, and the music world at large.
Talk about this partnership with BIMM Institute, how did it come about?
We’ve had the pleasure of working with BIMM institute for many years. From hosting Masterclasses to advising on modules within their curriculum, through to the standalone Spotify BA Music Business Scholarship we launched with BIMM Institute Dublin in July 2020, it’s been a great relationship that has developed over the years.
This new BIMM Institute x Spotify Educational Partnership is a positive next step and a fantastic way in which we can help bring through the next generation of creators and industry execs.
Why is diversity so important for the future of the music industry? What is the future you would like to see? How does this vision of a more diverse and inclusive industry dovetail with Spotify’s ethos and work in your opinion?
Our culture at Spotify is founded on diversity, inclusion, and belonging. The aim is to accelerate a diverse culture where everyone belongs, not just within our workplace but across the wider music industry and beyond. We believe that a broad spectrum of minds is key in shaping the future, and that the more voices we have represented and amplified, the more we will all individually contribute and thrive, and collectively push our industry forward.
When did it occur to you that the lack of diversity was a problem? Was there a particular a-ha moment for you personally?
After initial discussions with Mel Thornton, Group Head of Employability at BIMM Institute, it was clear that both companies have a shared vision and opportunity to accelerate diversity in music education and the creative industries.
We’re pleased to be using this partnership opportunity to offer the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships exclusively for applicants from underrepresented groups within the BIMM Institute Access & Participation plan. This includes Black, Asian, and minority ethnic students, disabled students, care leavers, and mature age students, or those with a background of low participation in Higher Education, with a household income of below £25,000.
What are you hoping to offer scholarship recipients/students as a mentor? How important is mentorship to navigating the industry in your opinion?
Having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial in navigating and making sense of one’s journey through the industry and life in general. I’ve benefited from mentoring within my own career, so it felt right and natural to offer this as part of the partnership. My colleagues and I are looking forward to lending an ear to the students, and to have time with them to impart knowledge, guidance, and words of encouragement.